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Culver Lady Dawgs volleyball loses to Colton Vikings 3-1, beats Western Christian Pioneers 3-1.

STEELE HAUGEN - Culver Senior Janae Rhen sets the ball for the Lady Dawgs.The Culver High School volleyball team went 1-1 last week, losing to Colton 3-1 Oct. 7, and beating Western Christian Oct. 9. The Lady Dawgs are the No. 10 ranked 2A team, with a 13-5 overall record and a 10-2 Tri-River Conference record.

Culver hosted Colton during the Lady Buffs' senior night, but lost to the Vikings 20-25, 13-25, 25-17, 23-25.

"It was senior night, so it was nice to recognize the seniors and their parents, who have put a lot of time in the program, even if it wasn't all with me," head coach Gabrielle Alley said. "I only had them for two years."

"Colton is a solid team," she said. "They are very scrappy, like a lot of teams in our league, and they just would not let the ball drop, constantly getting the ball back over to us. Our consistency just wasn't there that night and it was a big difference. Our hitters across the board struggled at times, but they also had some good moments as well."

"We continued to pass the ball really well. For the first time in a long time, we had more service errors than aces," said Alley. "We usually have more aces and that is a tribute to the Colton team. We are looking forward to playing them on their senior night in a couple weeks (Oct. 21)."

Anyla Rico and Emma Richards led the team in aces with three each, while Claire Bender led in kills with 15. Janae Rhen had 17 assists, while Richards had 10 and Bridget Lopez had 53 digs.

Powering past Pioneers

Culver traveled to Western Christian Oct. 9 and won in four sets, 25-19, 25-17, 25-27, 25-18.

"Western Christian gave us a really great game, just refusing to let to ball drop, forcing our hitters and servers to work to earn points," said Alley. "That was a big difference, having to earn our points against Western Christian."

The Lady Dawgs had 20 aces as a team, with Lopez and Bender serving five each. Kayden Benningfield led the team in kills and hitting percentage. Lopez also had 50 digs, while Rhen and Richards had 10 assists.

Culver has a challenging last part to their season, playing in a tournament at Corbett High School against schools in a higher classification Oct. 19. They have a rematch at Colton Oct. 21, and finish up the regular season with a home match against the No. 1 ranked 2A team, the Kennedy Trojans, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23. The Tri-River Conference league playoffs start Thursday, Oct. 24.

"The Corbett tournament has a great mix of 4A and 3A teams, so it should be a great opportunity for us to get pushed," Alley said. "What is left of our season definitely is not easy. We have a tough schedule coming up, both in travel and also the quality of teams we are playing."


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