Bulldogs all alone with three to play

by: Photo By Joe McHaney - Culver senior Samantha Donnelly passes the volleyball during a recent Class 2A Tri-River League home match.

The Culver Bulldogs took another step closer to winning the Class 2A Tri-River League regular season title Monday.
   Led by 11 kills each from Gabrielle Alley and Kelsie Stafford, Culver topped Western Mennonite 21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-5 to improve to 10-1 in TRL play with three matches remaining.
   "I'd be lying if I said it was not in the back of our minds," Culver head coach Randi Viggiano said of the TRL league title hopes. "We're trying to prepare for our next opponent and not get ahead of ourselves."
   The Bulldogs host Santiam (5-5 TRL) at 6 p.m. Thursday for its final regular season home match of the season. Culver visits Kennedy (7-3) Oct. 17 and Central Linn (4-6) Oct. 21, before the TRL district tournament.
   "We need to win out to improve our power ranking," Viggiano said. "That's our only chance of being able to host a state playoff game, which is a huge goal of ours."
   Against Western Mennonite, Shealene Little had nine kills to go with eight aces, while teammate Samantha Donnelly had seven aces.
   "We were a little slow moving our feet on defense in the first game, but we regrouped in the second game and played well from there," Viggiano said. "These girls have found a will to win no matter if they are down a game or a spread of points in a game."
   Cheyenne Dobkins booked 26 assists for Culver and Jahnie Cleveland had eight digs for the Bulldogs.
   Culver sweeps Eagles
   On Oct. 5, Culver took care of visiting East Linn Christian 25-18, 25-11, 25-15.
   Little led the Bulldogs with 10 kills and Alley added seven slams. Dobkins had a hand in the win, contributing 26 assists and four aces, while Donnelly had eight digs.
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