By a slim margin, the Marcellus girls volleyball team avoided the upset bid of the Solvay Bearcats last Wednesday night as a great rivalry was reborn.
Down 0-2 in games, and twice on the brink of defeat, the Mustangs somehow fought back and beat the Bearcats in five.
After a pair of easy league wins, the Mustangs may have taken Solvay for granted -- not a surprise, since for years Marcellus has dominated the long-time feud, especially when it won six consecutive Section III Class B titles following the Bearcats' domination of the 1990s.
But Solvay was ready for this chapter, and showed it by pulling out the first game 25-21, then adding to that lead by taking the second game 25-19.
Startled into better play, the Mustangs easily took the third game 25-12, but soon found itself staring at a tie late in the fourth game, two points from defeat.
Showing newfound resolve, Marcellus got the serve back and won that game, 26-24, tying it at 2-2 and forcing the match to the wire.
Again in the fifth game, Marcellus was locked in a 24-24 tie. Again, the Mustangs got the serve back, and when it converted match point for 26-24, the comeback was complete.
Lauren Fletcher, forced into her longest duty of the season, pounded out 19 kills and added eight blocks. She had some help up front, too, as Kailyn Winoski had 10 kills, Kayla Howard got nine kills and Kelly McInerney had eight kills.
Solvay, in defeat, put up a fine effort, as Cate Callisto had 26 assists and Jordan Bakowski had 10 kills and five blocks.
When it could breathe again, Marcellus turned toward Monday's match with Hannibal and a key contest with Westhill on Thursday.