In the midst of a dynasty, the Marcellus girls volleyball team gave itself a real test to start the 2008-09 season.
The Mustangs, winners of Section III Class B titles eight of the last nine years, hosted Fulton last Tuesday night and needed four games to fight past the Red Raiders.
Following its latest championship run and an undefeated 2007-08 campaign, the Mustangs saw its dominant front-line hitter, Lauren Fletcher, graduate, one of five departed seniors that included libero Sarah Clere and top setter Jenn Daley.
What returned was a more balanced front line, ready to strike against Fulton, a Class A finalist last winner that lost just four seniors from that squad.
Roaring out of the gate, Marcellus blasted the Red Raiders 25-13 in the first game. Fulton fared better in the second game, but the Mustangs prevailed here, too, by a 25-22 margin.
In the third game, the Red Raiders inched in front and stayed there, 25-21, only to see Marcellus fight through the fourth game and close out the match by a score of 25-20.
Kayla Howard had nine kills and five blocks, while Kelly McInerney had eight kills. Becca Eddy added five assists, four kills and three aces, while Samantha Vulcano picked up 18 assists. Carly Annable (four aces) and Rachel Eddy (three aces) also served well. Fulton got 26 assists from Ariel Streeter and 10 kills from Sabrina Sutton.
Marcellus is home again Thursday night to face Mexico after a Tuesday-night visit to East Syracuse-Minoa.