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Volleyball Lakers sweep Marcellus

A single contest, alone, does not shift a balance of power -- but it can be a step in that direction.

So if the Skaneateles girls volleyball team eventually topples Marcellus from its long-held Class B championship throne, it could point to last Thursday night's three-game sweep of the Lakers' home court as the moment where the transfer of control began to unfold.

A large crowd turned out for the latest chapter of this neighborhood rivalry, which had heavily tilted toward Marcellus in years past.

But with Lauren Fletcher graduated, and with Skaneateles sporting a talented, athletic roster with just one senior on it, a chance for the Lakers to change course presented itself.

Marcellus would immediately try and establish control, as it did so many times before, when it raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening game behind great serves from Kassie Phillips and Samantha Vulcano.

Skaneateles quickly caught up, though, with a bigger presence on the front line, and soon that game became a tight, back-and-forth exchange that featured no less than 14 ties, as neither side could separate.

The Mustangs inched back in front 24-23 and earned a game point, but the Lakers fought it off, then took the next two points to prevail, 26-24, and gain a lead it would never surrender.

Even when Emily Wood left the match with a shoulder injury in the second game, Skaneateles did not hesitate. Instead, it stayed patient through another close battle, then scored the last four points of the game to prevail 25-20.

That momentum spilled over into the third game, where Skaneateles bolted ahead 9-1, meaning that it had scored 13 out of a possible 14 points with the second game included. Marcellus, despite a late flurry, never recovered, and the Lakers completed the sweep 25-18.

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