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Culver Lady Dawgs volleyball team loses to Colton Vikings at home 3-1 in league postseason game.

STEELE HAUGEN - Hali Soderstrom returns the ball over the net for the Lady Dawgs volleyball team. Culver lost to Colton 3-1 at home during a league playoff matchup. Soderstrom will return for Culver next season.The Culver Lady Dawgs volleyball team lost a league playoff game to the Colton Vikings 3-1 Oct. 26.

Culver had a combination of lineup changes and a tough schedule, which resulted in the Lady Dawgs going on a four-game losing streak before their league playoff game, which included a 3-2 loss at Colton Oct. 21, and a 3-0 home loss to No. 1 ranked Kennedy Oct. 23.

During the home league playoff game against the Vikings, both teams were battling for the lead in the first set, tied at 8-8. A big spike by Claire Bender, followed by a tip by Bender, gave Culver an 11-8 lead and Colton called a quick timeout.

The Lady Dawgs scored six unanswered points, taking a big 17-8 lead, forcing another Colton timeout. A few plays later, Bender served back-to-back aces and Kayden Benningfield had a big block, which helped Culver win the first set 25-14.

Culver came out on fire in the second set and an ace by Anyla Rico gave Culver a 6-1 lead. Colton came back strong after the Lady Dawgs strong start, cutting Culver's lead down to 8-7, forcing a Lady Dawg timeout.

STEELE HAUGEN - Kayden Benningfield, 12, jump high to block a Colton spike.The Vikings took an 11-9 lead on Culver and held a close lead all the way until the end of the second set. Both teams battled hard for a lead, but a tip by the Vikings gave Colton a 25-22 second-set victory.

In the third set, Culver was down 2-5 early, but a few plays later, a tip by Bender, followed by a kill by Bender, gave Culver a 6-5 lead and Colton called a timeout.

A big spike by Benningfield extended the Lady Dawgs' lead to 11-8. The score remained close and an ace by Colton gave the Vikings an 18-17 lead. Colton went on a 6-1 run, taking a 24-18 lead over Culver.

Culver cut the Colton lead to 21-24, but the Vikings were able to win the third set 25-21.

The Lady Dawgs started the fourth set with a 7-2 lead after Emma Richards served an ace. Culver continued to play well and a kill by Bender extended the lead to 14-8. A few plays later, a block by Benningfield, followed by a tip by Benningfield gave Culver a 17-12 lead.

Colton went on a small run to cut Culver's lead to 18-16, but after a Lady Dawg timeout, Culver took a 20-16 lead. A kill by Bender made the score 22-20 in favor of Culver, but Colton held strong, cutting Culver's lead to 23-22.

A tip by Benningfield gave the Lady Dawgs a 24-22 lead and Culver was one point away from winning the fourth set. Two hits into the net in a row by Culver made the score 24-24 and an ace by the Vikings gave Colton a 25-24 lead.

Colton again served an ace, earning a 26-24 fourth set victory and earning a 3-1 win over the Culver Lady Dawgs. Colton moved on in the league playoffs, facing the Delphian Dragons Oct. 28.

Culver still has a chance to make the state playoffs depending on 2A volleyball ranking. Sixteen teams make the OSAA state playoff bracket. Twelve teams that finish in the top spots in their league make the state playoffs, but four additional teams also make the state playoffs depending on rankings.

Culver is currently ranked No. 16. So, depending on teams moving up or down in the ranking, Culver has a small chance to make the OSAA state playoff bracket. The rankings are frozen and final after Tuesday, Oct. 29.

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