Maybe it's not too soon to plant the Fayetteville-Manlius girls volleyball team on the short list of prime Section III Class AA challengers to Baldwinsville's throne.
Giving a good indication of what it might do, the Hornets defeated West Genesee in four games in Tuesday night's season opener.
This was the same Wildcat team F-M lost to in last year's AA semifinals. And while the Wildcats saw heavy graduation hits, the Hornets, too, got hit hard, as eight seniors, including top setter Lane Brenner and hitters Katie Sager and Liz Towne, departed.
The new-look Hornets beat WG 25-21 in the opening game, only to see the Wildcats rebound and take the second game, 25-17. A long match looked to be at hand.
Gradually, though, F-M took charge, as it won the third game 25-18, then pummeled the Wildcats 25-15 in the fourth game to put the match away.
Stephanie Bousquet, suceeding Brenner at setter, finished with 26 assists. On a balanced front line, Meg Randall had 11 kills, while Casey Kohler and Megan Stoeckel each got six kills. Kohler added five assists, while Megan Materna helped out with four kills.