By Eliot Schickler

eschickler@bcnnew.com

The Darien girls volleyball team survived what appears to be its biggest test of the year.

Darien hasn't been pushed to five games all year but was pushed to the limit by Staples. In the end, the Lady Blue Wave showed why its the premiere program in the state with a 3-2 (25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 26-28, 15-8) home victory over Staples Monday.

Darien has won 20 FCIAC titles in the last 21 years with its only blemish coming in 2000 and 15 state titles in 18 years, including nine straight from 2000-9.

In the fourth game, the Lady Wreckers were on the verge of losing the match in four games as the Darien Lady Blue Wave had a 24-20 lead. However, Staples senior tri-captain Kenzie Roof served four straight points to tie it 24-24.

After a questionable foot fault on Roof gave Darien another match point, Lady Wrecker senior tri-captain Joosje Grevers tipped home a kill to keep her team alive. Staples then took a 27-26 lead with Lady Wrecker junior Lily Rappaport serving. Rappaport came up with a dig to prevent a Lady Blue Wave kill and the match ended on junior Kelly Kosnik's hitting error.

Being the storied program it is, Darien rebounded and dominated the fifth game. Senior Nina Preston served three straight points to give the Lady Blue Wave a 4-1 lead and they never looked back. Senior tri-captain Katie Stueber (14 kills, 17 service points, nine digs, four blocks) and Kosnik (10 kills, three blocks, three digs, 13 service points) had dominating performances for Darien and were difference-makers in the victory.

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