by: BILLY GATES - Madison Sprauer (left) and Amelia Grosjacques attempt to block a shot from the BILLY GATES - Loghan Sprauer goes up for a kill against the Culver Bulldogs in Saturdays Tri-River Conference championship game. Top right,After the Kennedy volleyball team kept Culver from going undefeated in league last year, the Bulldogs sure have taken their frustration out on the Trojans in 2013.

Kennedy was on the verge of beating toppling the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs Saturday night after taking a 2-0 lead in the Tri-Valley Conference championship game, but Culver showed why it is one of the top teams in the state after taking the next three games to win 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16, 15-5).

The Bulldogs have now won five straight against the Trojans after Kennedy handed Culver its only league blemish in 2012.

Saturday’s game was the closest the Trojans had come to beating their league rival this season after being handily beaten 3-0 near the opening of the season and getting swept again earlier in October.

While the loss is disheartening to Kennedy, the team gets a chance at redemption this week when the Trojans play a yet-to-be-determined team in the first round of the state playoffs Saturday.

With the OSAA rankings schedule to set Tuesday, the Trojans currently sit at No. 7 and in a position to host in the first round. But if Kennedy drops to ninth or worse, the team will open the playoffs on the road.

Check on Wednesday for scheduling details after the playoffs matches are set.

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