What the Cazenovia girls volleyball team had built up, through a six-match win streak, would get tested last Wednesday night when undefeated Westhill paid a visit to Buckley Gym.
Fired up to play in front of its home crowd, the Lakers blitzed the Warriors in a 25-8 opening-set gem, but could not follow it up as Westhill, keeping cool, pulled out the second set 25-22, claimed the third set 25-18 and finished the comeback with another 25-22 decision in the fourth set.
Dominique Lyons put together 18 assists, seven digs, three aces and two kills. Up front, Willa Mihayli-Koch had a team-best five kills, plus six digs, two blocks and four aces, while Madison Gabor played strong defense with 15 digs to go with her four kills.
Danielle Tedesco and Amara Kattrein each got four kills, with Tedesco contributing three blocks and Dana Kiselica getting 17 assists, plus three aces, as Clarese Zirbel got six digs.
On Westhill’s side, Annaleigh Gedney had 31 assists, 13 digs and four kills, with Delaney Martin gaining 10 kills and 10 digs as Bella Sterly (seven kills), Xiomara Rodriguez (11 digs, four kills), Melissa Newcomb (six kills, five aces) and Lena Guindy (five kills, seven digs, three aces) helped out.
Getting that sixth straight win proved challenging enough. Phoenix hosted Cazenovia last Monday night and pushed the match to five sets before the Lakers could prevail over the Firebirds.
In fact, it nearly ended in four sets. Cazenovia won the opener 25-18, only to see Phoenix claim the next two sets 25-20 and 25-17, and then move within two points of victory in a tense fourth set.
Somehow, Cazenovia survived going to the brink and won that fourth set 26-24, gathering up momentum and, in the final set, rolling past Phoenix 25-15.
Lyons finished with 28 assists, feeding passes to Gabor, who augmented her 13 kills by earning a team-best 11 digs. Mihayli-Koch and Kattrein each had four kills, with Mihayli-Koch adding eight digs as Zirbel had six digs and Ashley Marti earned five digs.
Phoenix, in defeat, had plenty of fine efforts. Amber Crews matched Lyons with 28 assists, adding 20 digs as teammate Paige Recore, gathered up 10 kills, nine aces and 14 digs.
Following the Westhill defeat, Cazenovia entered a period of rest, recuperation and lots of practice. The Lakers play just one league match in a span of 14 days – this Wednesday’s visit to Jordan-Elbridge.