Staples squandered an opportunity to put the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference girls volleyball dragon on its heels. Instead, Darien, winner of 19 league titles and 55 straight matches, held on for a thrilling 32-30 win in Wednesday's game. The Blue Wave proceeded to win the next two games, 25-15 and 25-14, to sweep the Wreckers, 3-0. Darien (7-0) came into the match ranked second in the state in a coaches' poll. Staples was ranked eighth.
"We had a bunch of set points, and I was proud of the way we kept getting them,'' first-year coach Jon Shepro said. "I thought we would be able to come back after that. Darien played great. It was them stepping up. They made some great plays."
Staples (5-1) played well enough to have beaten virtually any other team. Alex Masiello had a huge game with 11 kills, 12 digs, eight service points, three aces and a block. Joosie Grevers added six kills and 11 blocks, and Kristen Weiler had 12 digs.
The first game was a volleyball classic. Staples led 8-5 early before Darien came back to take its first lead at 10-9. Neither team led by more than two points for the rest of the game. Darien, which had four match points, finally put the game away with Emma Getsinger (13 kills, 12 service points) on the service line.
The next two games followed familiar patterns. Darien jumped out to leads in each game, and Staples struggled to catch up. Shepro came away impressed by Darien's defense.
"They blocked some balls that were straight down, and they had six players ready to bounce it up,'' Shepro said. "They were great today. I was pleased with the way that we played, too."
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