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Culver Lady Dawgs beat Santiam twice in one week, looking to make the state playoffs.

STEELE HAUGEN - Senior Madison Miller returns the ball for CHS. She led the team in kills with 12 to help CHS beat Santiam.The Culver Lady Dawgs beat Santiam twice this week. Most recently, they beat the Wolverines in a league playoff game on Oct. 22. The Lady Dawgs won in three sets, 25-15, 25-12, 25-11.

After Culver defeated Santiam, the team traveled to play Kennedy the next day, Oct. 23, after the Pioneer's deadline.

If Culver beats Kennedy, the team will be in the state playoff tournament. They also have a chance to make the state playoffs even if they lose. If the Lady Dawgs are a top eight ranked team, they have a chance to host a play-in game on Saturday, Oct. 27.

The first set was close, with the score 12-8, before Irma Retano hit five aces in a row for the Lady Dawgs. Culver took a 17-8 lead and forced Santiam to call a timeout. A few plays later, a kill by Madison Miller and a tip by Claire Bender gave Culver a 22-14 lead.

STEELE HAUGEN - Freshman Lucy Louden spikes the ball during Culvers league playoff game against Santiam,Rosie Olivera served an ace and Miller had another kill to advance the lead to 24-15. The Lady Dawgs would win the first set 25-15.

The Lady Dawgs took control of the second set early. A quick 9-2 lead led to a Santiam timeout. A kill by Retano made the score 10-3.

Culver never looked back as a kill by Miller put them up 16-6. A few plays later, a block by Ryanne Scholl advanced the Lady Dawgs' lead to 21-8. Culver would win the second set 25-12.

In the third set, the Lady Dawgs found themselves down 2-1 early, but soon regained the lead.

A pair of tips over the net by Retano and a pair of aces by Bender gave the Lady Dawgs a 10-2 lead. A few plays later, an ace by Miller made the score 16-6.

A big rally between Culver and Santiam was won by the Lady Dawgs, thanks to a kill by freshman Lucy Louden.

Culver won the third set 25-11 and beat the Santiam Wolverines 3-0.

"I thought the game was good," said Miller. "The defense played good and we served good even though we did miss some. For the most part, when we served, they were aces. We worked as a team together and hopefully, we can bring that tomorrow."

"We just saw Santiam, so that helped," head coach Gabrielle Alley said. "Our game plan was just serving. When we served tough, they were not able to receive that very well. Moving on, we have to play better if we want to meet our goals this season."

STEELE HAUGEN - Ryanne Scholl hits the ball over the net for the Lady Dawgs.

Senior night

The Culver Lady Dawgs volleyball team also won their last regular season home game against Santiam Oct. 17. On Culver's senior night, they were able to play all 10 seniors in the game and win in three sets, 25-20, 25-13, 25-13.

"For the first set, we practiced the starting lineup the day before," Alley said. "I was able to get all 10 seniors in that match. I had players in different positions, so all the seniors could play."

"I was really excited because I felt like every senior had a good moment, whether it was a good hit, toss, ace, kill," Alley said. "I think every senior was able to experience that. I also feel like our blackout (wearing the color black) was a good, energetic crowd."

"The first set, I think the players were nervous, maybe a little confused because it was senior night with a big crowd and lots of emotions," she said. "The rest of the game was in our control."

"The second set, I went back to our original starting lineup," said Alley. "The third set was a mix of starters and seniors. It was a really good night."

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