When the Cazenovia girls volleyball team made its move from the winter to the fall in pursuit of state championship honors, it did not go there alone.
Skaneateles, who knocked off Cazenovia in last February's Section III Class B final, joined them in that shift. And that guaranteed, at the least, a pair of regular-season showdowns between the Laker powers, starting Friday night at the Skaneateles gym.
Here, Cazenovia got the early advantage, only to slowly surrender it the rest of the night and take a four-game loss to its eastern namesakes.
That opening game saw Cazenovia hit on all the crucial points and prevail, 25-21. Perhaps a sense of complacency set in, though, and if so, Skaneateles jumped on it and dominated the second game in a 25-13 decision.
The crucial third game saw Skaneateles play first-rate defense and win 25-21 to take the lead in the match before closing it out 25-19 in the fourth game.
Despite the loss, Chelsea Lauria still had 16 assists, nine digs, three kills and three aces. Amber Robinson had 15 assists. Up front, Lizzy Reed led with 15 kills, adding 12 digs as Hannah Koennecke gained 11 kills and six digs.
For Skaneateles, Colleen Cargile, with 16 assists and 17 digs, and Erin Callahan, with 23 digs, led the way as Anna Goodell (nine kills) and Caroline Walton (six kills, six blocks) played well in the front. The Cazenovia-Skaneateles rematch comes Oct. 27, in the regular-season finale at Buckley Gym.
As a warm-up for Skaneateles, the Lakers hosted Utica Proctor last Wednesday night and put together a 25-11, 25-12, 25-22 sweep of the Raiders.
Not taxing itself too much, Cazenovia still saw Lauria pick up 13 assists and seven digs, while Robinson earned eight assists, five kills, two aces and two digs. Up front, Koennecke had six kills and four digs as Melanie Arehart got five kills and Reed picked up four kills, plus four digs.
Cazenovia would get a highly-anticipated look at Class AA's reigning champs from Baldwinsville Tuesday night before coming home Friday to face Corcoran.