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JORDAN — Skaneateles started and finished strong.

The Lakers took the first nine points in the first set and went on lengthy runs at the end of the other two frames, as the Skaneateles volleyball team topped Jordan-Elbridge 3-0 at Jordan-Elbridge High School Tuesday. The final set scores were 25-17, 25-15, 25-16.

"I told them in the timeout that their communication improved. A lot of times when a team goes on a run with us, we shut down and get quiet and the communication isn't there," Lakers coach Dan Mulroy said of the final set. "Once things started to roll our way, they started to open up and talk more, and they started to feel comfortable."

Skaneateles' Lily Delasin recorded 23 assists, six aces, five kills and three digs, while fellow senior co-captain Maeve Canty added 18 kills, eight digs, seven aces, two assists and a block.

"Both Lily and Maeve had great all-around games. ... The two of them are captains this year and they've been starting on JV since eighth grade, and it's all coming together for them with their leadership and their experience," Mulroy said. "They're bringing the rest of the team along with them."

The Lakers' Emma Keady chipped in eight assists, five kills, five blocks, two aces and a block, while Kristen Henry had six digs, three aces and a kill.

Jordan-Elbridge's Elizabeth Bartoszewski registered six digs, freshman setter Sarah Lane added three assists and a kill, and Ranait McGuire finished with an ace, an assist, a block and a dig.

For Eagles coach Robin Smart, the stats didn't show the full picture of how well her players performed.

"She played well," Smart said of McGuire. "Her stats may not show it, but she was all over the floor."

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Delasin's dominant serving got the Lakers off to a 9-0 start in the first set. Jordan-Elbridge went almost point-for-point almost the rest of the way, but Skaneateles wrapped up the first set 25-17.

"It came from good serving and good passing, two things that we worked on a lot yesterday in practice," Mulroy said of the first set. "We felt like Friday when we played Westhill we made a lot of mistakes that we could've cleaned up, and a lot of that came from serving and some bad passes. ... Lily set the tone right away with her serving in that first game."

The lead changed hands four times in the second set. The Eagles led 12-10, but the Lakers finished the frame on a 15-3 run to take the set 25-15.

In the third set, Jordan-Elbridge led early and had a six-point advantage at one point, but Skaneateles closed strong on a 19-4 run to complete the sweep 25-16.

One year after winning the section championship and losing seven seniors, Skaneateles is off to a 4-1 start this season. Mulroy coached many of his current juniors and seniors as far back as in modified, and believes the defensive work they've put in is paying off.

"There's been a bit of turnover, but this team is different than some from the past because we play a tighter defense," Mulroy said. "It's rare for the ball to really hit the floor on a lot of plays. Even against Westhill when they had a good outside (hitter) and she was hitting it hard, we were playing hard and digging it. Our defense has been very solid this year and it started back from when these girls were in modified."

Both teams return to action Thursday. Jordan-Elbridge hosts Hannibal, while Skaneateles welcomes Cazenovia. Mulroy knows what to expect in the battle of the Lakers.

"We saw them a little bit in August during a preseason tournament," Mulroy said. "They're good, they're scrappy and they're young."

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Sports writer Jeremy Houghtaling can be reached at 315-282-2256 or at jeremy.houghtaling@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenHough.

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