Fresh off of a 12-4 regular season campaign and an appearance in the State semi-finals in 2010, the Darien girls tennis team is undoubtedly looking to take that next step in 2011.

With only 12 members on the squad, the Blue Wave is counting on their senior laden, led by team captain Amanda Brodsky, who will play on the top doubles team.

"We're trying to improve our record from last year and we'd like to make it to the State finals and get a little further in FCIACs," Brodsky said. "I think we have a stronger team than last year, as well."

According to third year head coach Davin Gebauer, similar success is expected in 2011. Gebauer sounded especially encouraged by the talent and leadership of his six returning seniors. Of the 10 varsity spots, five will be occupied by new players in 2011.

"Obviously, the goals are the same, and I think we can do that. We've got six seniors, so we've got a lot of leadership," Gebauer said. "But the FCIAC is a very tough division. New Canaan, Greenwich, the Fairfield teams, Staples. So, if we can go 12-4 I'd be pleased with that, but if I can squeak out another win and go 13-3, then we'd be really happy."

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Darien saw its 2010 season come to a close in the semi-finals of the Class M state tournament, when the No. 7 seeded Blue Wave were edged by Wilton, 4-3. Brodsky said that she's looking forward to that particular rematch.

"Wilton is always a team that we go back and forth on. We beat them in the regular season last year and then lost to them in the State semi-finals, so that was a little upsetting," Brodsky said. "But it's very even with them, so that's always a team that we like to see what we can do with."

Gebauer said he's likely to go with the following lineup to start the season: Senior captain Lonneke Eenkema van Dijk at the top singles spot, Jenna Murray at second singles, Sophie Doering at third singles, Sarah Alptekin at fourth singles, Brodsky and Kyle McCoy at first doubles, Kate Morant and Ellie Riegel at second doubles and Libby Feingold and Caroline McGuire at third doubles. The two reserves are Abby Becker and Jenna Murray.

"Lonneke Eenkema van Dijk played [second singles] for us [last year] and she'll probably play one. She's been playing all year, really training hard," Gebauer said. "Both Jenna and Sarah have played all winter and have really stepped up, so I'm excited for them. They're going to have some good matches, and we're going to need some wins at those levels."