After having its string of 11 straight FCIAC Tournament championships snapped last season, the Darien High School girls volleyball team seems like it's primed and poised to start a new streak this fall.

As has been the case all season, the Blue Wave put on an absolute clinic when they faced their latest opponent, Greenwich, Tuesday in an FCIAC matchup.

Determined not to break its trend, Darien added yet another convincing 3-0 victory to its ledger, upending defending FCIAC champion Greenwich by game scores of 25-6, 25-7, 25-21.

The win raised Darien's record to 13-0, with each triumph coming by a 3-0 variety.

"Being aggressive and playing to win, not to lose was the key for us today," Blue Wave senior quad-captain/setter Celia Martzolf said. "Communication on the floor and keeping our energy level up are what we're always focused on."

Martzolf was one of stars of the match for Darien, registering an impressive 26 service points, including 10 aces, 28 assists and one block. Sophomore Sami Huff recorded nine kills, while senior Claire Naughton added six kills, eight service points, one ace and two blocks for the victors.

"We just tried to have a varied offense and tried to always be the aggressor out there," said Naughton, also one of the team's captains. "We're kind of the opinion if you are going to go down, go down swinging. As a team, our motto is "keep going."

The Cardinals, who had trouble passing the serve throughout, received five kills and one block from junior Abbie Wolf, seven digs from Nadia Sotgiu and seven digs from Patricia David.

Displaying her standout serving, Martzolf closed the first game with 12 consecutive service points, four of which were aces.

"We had trouble with their serve and when that happens, it's just a funk you can't get out of," said GHS coach Steve Lapham, whose squad is 10-4 on the season. "She (Martzolf) was serving a good floater and a jumper that was moving a lot and splitting us. Our team hasn't been beaten like that in a long time."

With Morgan Rafferty serving effectively, the Cards took a brief 4-3 edge in the second set. But the Blue Wave went on another huge run, sparked by outstanding serving and the ability to win long rallies.

"They were very consistent and they played defense very well," Sotgiu said. "They picked up everything and had a lot of momentum throughout the match. We definitely need to improve on our serve receive and be more consistent in our hitting and when it comes to covering everyone."

Also pacing the Blue Wave were Anna Barsanti (eight kills), Kitty Crosby (five kills) and Emily Milukas (seven service points, one ace, two kills).

"We definitely served aggressively today, especially the first two games," Darien senior quad-captain/libero Keli Reyes said. "Celia doing so well on her serves motivated us to do well on our serves as well. Our team is definitely showing good chemistry."

Greenwich, which received 10 assists from Maggy Egan, kept pace with Darien the majority of the third game and at one point held a 14-13 advantage. Yet the Blue Wave pulled away, efficiently running their offense.

"All of us move well together on the court, which is a benefit for us," Darien junior captain Izzy Taylor said. "Being close as a team helps."

Said Lapham: "It would have been nice if we competed more. The third game we gave ourselves a chance to get in it though. We still have some newer players who are trying to figure this thing out."

david.fierro@scni.com

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