Solvay Well before Labor Day, and nearly a week before school started, the Cazenovia girls volleyball team was already on the court, and already in winning form.
The Lakers needed four sets to defeat Solvay in Thursday night's Onondaga High School League Liberty division opener, getting a good start to a season it hopes will end with a state tournament appearance in Glens Falls.
Cazenovia is one of just two Class C schools in Section III playing a fall schedule (Syracuse's Institute of Technology Central is the other), and so it merely needs to beat ITC in the season-ending sectional final in order to advance to state tournament play.
Still, the Lakers want to vie for league honors, so it is testing itself with a tough regular-season slate that began at Solvay on a successful note.
A tight opening set went to Cazenovia, 25-23, and Solvay was not initially fazed, roaring to a 25-16 victory in the second set. the Lakers went back in front by taking the third set 25-20, and in a tense fourth set was nearly pushed to the wire before closing out the match 25-23.
Dominique Lyons led the Lakers with 21 assists, 13 digs and three aces. Madison Gabor had 18 digs and four kills, while Dana Kiselica picked up 17 digs. Willa Mihayli-Koch and Amara Kattrein each had five kills, with Mihayli-Koch adding four aces. Danielle Tedesco had four kills, two aces and two blocks.
Solvay, in defeat, got 15 kills from Heather Thompson and 13 kills from Jackie Allen, while Lauren Bandera amassed 27 assists, 13 digs, five kills and five aces. Allen (19 digs) and Michaela Marotti (22 digs) both were strong on the defensive end.
Cazenovia gets a huge test Tuesday when it visits defending Section III Class B champion Skaneateles on Tuesday before its home opener next Friday night against Hannibal.