DARIEN -- Even before the 2011 season began, members of the Darien girls volleyball team weren't shy about saying it -- the two goals for the season were to win an FCIAC championship and a State Championship. Having already achieved the former, the Blue Wave moved one step closer to securing a Class LL State title with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-13, 25-27, 25-22) win over Glastonbury Tuesday night at Darien High School.

Darien not only has a chance to turn its State championship dream into a reality, but it could do so with an unblemished record. The victory set Darien up for a matchup against No. 4 Southington (19-1) in the semifinals on Thursday (result not available at press time).

If Darien defeated Southington, then it would play either No. 2 Cheshire or No. 3 Newtown for the State championship on Saturday at Wilby High School at 7 p.m.

"We knew that this was an awesome team and that we had to be prepared. We came out with a lot of fire and it was nice to maintain that energy throughout the match," Darien's Charlett Stevenson said. "Any match that presents great competition is good for preparing for bigger games. We're very excited because that was our last home game, so it means a lot to pull through."

That isn't to say the No. 8 seeded Tomahawks made it easy for the top-seeded Blue Wave. In a tense fourth set, Darien emerged with a 25-22 win close out the match. At one point in the match's final set, Darien took an 8-7 lead and neither team could establish a two-point cushion until the Blue Wave accomplished the feat at 17-15. After Glastonbury won two straight points to shrink Darien's lead to 23-22, the Blue Wave called a timeout and subsequently won the next two points.

"It's fun to play in a game that's competitive. We all enjoy it so much even though it gets pretty stressful," Darien's Amanda Sommi said. "It's really exciting that, as a team, we could pull together to win that fourth set."

Darien looked a lot like its unbeaten self in the first set, as the team led from start to finish. Katie Stueber notched several kills and the Blue Wave also got strong play from Stevenson and Kelly Kosnik.

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Darien (20-0) took a commanding 2-0 lead by dominating the second set 25-13. Darien went on a 12-5 run to turn a slight 7-5 lead into a 19-10 advantage, essentially putting the set out of reach.

Glastonbury (16-4), however, refused to go quietly and did not trail by more than two points for the entire third set. Behind stellar play at the net by Ashley Flock and Danielle Ganci, the Tomahawks built a 19-12 lead. Darien steadily closed the gap and eventually tied the set at 24-24. Glastonbury took a 25-24 lead, Darien again tied it at 25-25 and Glastonbury won the final two points for the 27-25 win.

"I think some of the crowd and their togetherness was intimidating to us at first, but then we realized we could still play with them, and we started to fight back," Glastonbury's Emily Grusse said. "They didn't make it easy and they fought back in that third game. In the fourth game, we both fought really hard, but we came up a little short."

In taking a game off of Darien, Glastonbury did what many teams before it could not do, leaving the team with some mixed emotions.

"They played that way all year. They're fighters and they're going to come back at you strong and I'm really proud of them," Glastonbury coach Tracey Hollenbaugh said. "We came down here with the intention of winning and we knew it was going to be a fight. Taking a set from them, and almost two, is great. It's not quite what we wanted, but at the same time, it didn't surprise me that we came fighting back."

For Darien, which made a habit out of 3-0 victories during the regular season, the stiff competition from Glastonbury came as no surprise. Additionally, the team seemed to indicate that playing in such a back-and-forth match could be beneficial for the Blue Wave moving forward.

"This gives us a little more confidence and I think it will help us in the long run," Sommi said. "Every competitive game like this, you come away from it being a lot better."