On the one hand, the Skaneateles girls volleyball team accomplished a lot last season, going 17-3 and earning the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship after years of seeing rivals like Marcellus dominate.
On the other hand, though, the Lakers fell one match short of an ideal ending, beaten in the Section III Class B finals by Cazenovia.
With just three seniors -- Leigh Ryan, Chloe Warner and Amy Menpace -- departed from last winter, Skaneateles commenced its 2009-10 quest for the top by sweeping last Tuesday's opener against Christian Brothers Academy.
Each of the three games produced similar results. By margins of 25-19, 25-18 and 25-18, the Lakers withstood all of the Brothers' charges.
Gabby Eckles led the way with 15 assists, plus five aces and two kills. Ryan Merle had eight kills and six aces, while Emily Wood picked up nine kills. Katherine Hill and Alexa Campanile each had three kills as Destin VanTyle got three assists.
Going to Fulton Friday night, the Lakers dropped the opening game 26-24, but shook off that brief moment of adversity to beat the Red Raiders, taking the next three games by scores of 25-18, 25-14 and 25-17.
Wood and Merle both had 10 kills, with Wood adding three aces and two blocks. Campanile contributed seven kills, while Hill earned five kills and four aces. Eckles produced 21 assists, with some help from VanTyle, who picked up five assists.
Two long-time rivals show up this week, as the Lakers meet Marcellus on Tuesday and Solvay on Thursday night.