Once again infused with a championship mentality, the Canastota girls volleyball team has already begun its quest to get to the top.
Even with a 21-2 record in 2007-08, the Raiders left the scene hungry. In last February's Section III Class B-2 final, Canastota took Mount Markham to a fifth game and had the scored tied, 20-20, before the Mustangs pulled out a 25-21 decision.
Determined not to let anyone top them again, the Raiders made its intentions clear last Tuesday when it opened with a three-game sweep of Oneida.
Granted, the Indians are far removed from the Aubrey and Brianne Bobo-led championship squads of 2006 and '07, but it's still a Class A school in the Tri-Valley League, so Canastota's 25-7, 25-14, 25-13 decision was an impressive showing.
Jessica Patterelli, back as the Raiders' primary setter, earned 11 assists to go with six digs. Chelsea Backus finished with 10 digs, while Jessica DeNova earned five kills and Denae Rinaldo got four kills and six digs. Sarah Willis had four aces and seven digs. Oneida, in defeat, had Rachel Kline pick up five kills and Shannon Dowling earn six assists.
Both teams play in Oneida's tournament on Saturday. Following that, the Indians face Whitesboro Monday and visit Vernon-Verona-Sherrill on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are at home next Wednesday against Morrisville-Eaton before a Friday trip to Hamilton and a Saturday tournament at Beaver River.