Only twice this decade has the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team not finished with a Section III championship banner.
The Bees start 2009 as, once again, the defending Class AA champs, having swept West Genesee for the title a season ago on its way to the state final four in Glens Falls.
Just five seniors graduated from that team, but that included setter Laura Galvin and libero Erin Carrino, two crucial pieces to B'ville's recent success.
For its opener, the Bees hosted Cicero-North Syracuse and showed little rust, sweeping the Northstars in three games.
Only the second game proved close, a 25-23 decision. That came in between a 25-11 romp in the opener and a 25-15 third game that closed out the sweep.
Brianna Stewart earned 26 assists in her debut as Galvin's successor. Veteran front-line star Lauren McVey had 12 kills, while newcomer Liz Giromini impressed with eight kills and four aces. Becca Maher had three aces, with Jenna Blujus (three kills, four aces) and Sydney Hamm (three kills, three blocks) making solid contributions, too.
Meanwhile, the B'ville boys volleyball team made an impressive start at home on Thursday night, sweeping Central Square 25-12, 25-21, 25-20.
Pete Cuppernull, with 16 assists, there kills and two blocks, set a consistent tone as the front line proved quite balanced. Jarret Reaume had six kills and four blocks, while Kevin Saintey got five kills. Kyle Lattanzio and Dan Dubiel each had four kills, with Dubiel adding three aces.