Faced with the prospect of seeing a big lead melt away, the Canastota girls volleyball team pulled off its toughest win of the season so far.
When the Raiders visited Cooperstown last Thursday night, a possible sweep turned into a long, difficult battle that took five games to decide.
Still, Canastota came out in front, its sixth win in a row, and it was hard work from the opening serve until the final whistle.
The opening game set the tone, going beyond the wire before, at 24-24, Canastota went to the lead and stayed there to win 26-24. A close second game also saw the Raiders prevail, 25-22, so it was up 2-0.
Cooperstown started to turn it around in the third game, winning 25-22, and claimed the fourth game by that exact same score, sending the match to the wire.
At several points in the fifth and final game, the Raiders appeared to be in trouble, but it would beat the Redskins 25-22 and keep its mark perfect.
Leading the way again, Jessica Patterelli earned 38 assists, adding 12 kills and 10 digs. Denae Rinaldo put up 15 kills, with six assists and 11 digs, while Jessica DeNova gained 11 kills and nine blocks. Sarah Willis had 10 kills and nine digs. Chelsea Backus had 19 digs and April Swanson finished with 11 digs.
The Raiders spent little time on the court in last Monday's match against Sherburne-Earlville, earning a 25-9, 25-12, 25-15 sweep of the Marauders.
Patterelli came up with 13 assists, three kills and three aces, setting up DeNova and Denae Rinaldo for six kills apiece. Julie Willis and Carmella Rinaldo each earned four kills.
After the weather postponement of Friday's match at Sauquoit Valley, the Raiders get some time off before hosting the annual Laidlaw Tournament next Saturday.