The Fairfield Warde girls tennis team has had a hellacious schedule to start its defense of its state championship.

The Mustangs fell to 3-3, after a 4-3 loss to Staples on Monday afternoon at Fairfield Warde High School.

Warde lost for the second straight match. However, all three of the Mustangs' losses have come to undefeated teams in the FCIAC. The Mustangs have also lost to Greenwich and New Canaan.

"It's been a little discouraging," Warde captain and No. 1 singles player Christie Schneider said. "We've had some really tough matches in a row."

Schneider won her match over Staples' Katie Reiner. Warde's top-singles player won the first set 6-3, and Reiner was forced to retire due to a wrist injury.

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"I played well," Schneider said. "I felt bad because of her wrist."

Warde's top doubles pair, Erin and Megan Hines also emerged victorious, with a 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) victory over Hannah Bjorsen and Alex Walsh.

"We dug deep and we wanted the win," Erin said. "They were really good, they didn't give up."

The freshman pair overcame a three-set loss to Greenwich on Friday, and were pleased that they did not have to get to a third-set again.

"We didn't want to play the third set," Megan said. "We didn't want that pressure."

No. 3 singles Marysa Walsh lost the first set of her match with Molly Rudinger, but won the final two in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.

"I got off to a bad start in the first set," Walsh said. "When I won the second set, I had the momentum to pull through."

However, No. 4 singles player Caroline Gallucci and No. 2 singles player Haley Wolf both lost their matches. Gallucci lost 7-5, 6-1 to Leigh Rubin. Wolf lost 6-4, 6-1 to Melissa Bevitta.

Second and third doubles for Warde lost as well. Abbie O'Hara and Elise Finzi lost 6-3, 6-1 to Kate Collins and Nicole Marcante.

The duo of Bronte More and Mackenzie Hiltz lost to Farrel Levinson and Margaux Stamm, 6-1, 6-3.

The Mustangs will not play a match again until Monday, which according to Schneider, is beneficial since Warde will host arch-rival Ludlowe at 4 p.m.

"It's probably good that we have some time off," she said. "We've been playing a lot. We need the rest."