Culver Lady Dawgs volleyball program loses to Glide in the first round of state playoffs.

PHIL HAWKINS - Irma Retano makes a dig during the Lady Dawgs league championship game against Kennedy. Culver lost to Kennedy 3-0. They also lost in the first round of the playoffs to Glide 3-0 on Oct. 27.The Culver volleyball program lost two games this week and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

They lost to Kennedy 3-0 in the league playoff game Oct. 23, and traveled to Glide High School for the state playoffs and lost 3-0 on Oct. 27.

The Lady Dawgs lost their league championship game to No. 1 ranked Kennedy in three sets 25-15, 25-15, 25-14.

"It was awesome that the administration was able to get a rooter bus," said head coach Gabrielle Alley. "We had around 35 students that were able to come and make it a fun high school sporting event atmosphere."

"We were not able to pass well enough against them and Kennedy is a team you can't get away with giving them free balls. They are going to take advantage of that and they did. We kept fighting no matter what, but couldn't pass well enough in serve-receive to get any going and put pressure on Kennedy, she said."

In the Glide game, the Lady Dawgs lost in three sets, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19.

"We were really neck and neck in the beginning and even able to take control early, but there was a long run that Glide was able to have that we just, one, couldn't reciprocate and two, couldn't really recover from," said Alley. "We didn't have enough time to get back into the point where we were in control of the match. We were playing catch-up and that changes your mental outlook, especially during a high-pressure game."

PHIL HAWKINS - Mia Gamboa celebrates after a play against Kennedy. The Lady Dawgs finished with a 24-7 record."It was a really tough day for the Bulldogs and especially for the seniors and girls on the team who worked hard all season,"Alley said. "We had two starters that could; not play and the players that replaced them did the best they could, it was just hard because they only started in a part of a practice. That adjustment on such short notice and such a big game, with lots of emotion and pressure, was hard for us."

One of the starters had an injury and the other a family emergency and could not play against Glide.

"We lost the serve, serve-receive battle and had more unforced errors than normal," Alley said. "That was the big difference in the game. There were good moments, but not enough for us to come out on top."

The Lady Dawgs finished the season 24-7 overall and 14-2 in league. They went on a 15-game winning streak to start the season and were the No. 8 ranked 2A team in OSAA.

"I think there was a lot of variables for this season," Alley said, "It was tough for our seniors, since we had so many and I was a new coach. We had some changes made, but even though this season was not the way we wanted things to end and the ways things ended was tough, there was a lot of positive things to look back on."

"We won some tournaments and any team to be able to have 20-plus wins in any classification is a milestone and I am really proud of how the girls worked all season long," she said.

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