Only once in this decade has the Marcellus girls volleyball team not rammed its way to the Section III Class B championship.
And the memory of that defeat drove the Mustangs in a big way Thursday night, when it took out Cazenovia in three games to move to 10-0 on the season.
A year ago, Marcellus saw its six-year reign as sectional champions end when the Lakers pulled out an epic five-game victory over the Mustangs, a match where both sides played at a high level and the difference between them was miniscule.
Ever since, the Mustangs had worked to return to the top, and a 9-0 start helped, but in two December tournaments where Cazenovia was present, it could only manage a split with the Lakers. This added some doubt as to whether Marcellus was truly back in its customary position.
Those doubts dissipated, though, when Cazenovia paid a visit, as the host Mustangs took barely an hour to perform its sweep.
That opening game proved to be pivotal. After roaring to a 12-5 advantage, Marcellus watched the Lakers take over in the middle stages, going on an 8-0 run at one point to build a 21-16 lead.
Once the Mustangs got the serve back, though, it turned things around. Rachael Eddy recorded back-to-back aces, and Lauren Fletcher's blocks helped keep the 8-0 run going. By a score of 25-23, Marcellus got the edge -- and would keep it.
The second game turned into a 25-9 romp. In the third game, there were eight ties before Marcellus gained the serve and, with Fletcher pounding away, it put together another run of eight unanswered points, leading to a 25-17 victory and the sweep.
Fletcher was the dominant figure in this match, as she piled up 10 kills, eight blocks and two aces to keep Cazenovia on the defensive. Kailyn Winoski had four kills, four aces and two blocks, with Kelly McInerney stepping up to earn seven kills. Jenn Daley had 20 assists.