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Raiders earn a big piece of the puzzle

BL volleyball squad ensures itself of at least a share of the CBC Mad River division crown 

BL-volleyball 1010

Benjamin Logan’s Alex Thompson sends the ball towards a Graham defender during the third set of their match Tuesday at Ben Logan High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

In an effort to win a Central Buckeye Conference championship this fall, Benjamin Logan’s volleyball team treated the mission like putting together a puzzle.

The Raiders earned a big piece of that puzzle Tuesday when they defeated visiting Graham 25-11, 25-16, 25-17. With the win, Ben Logan ensured itself of at least a share of the CBC Mad River division title.

The Raiders improve to 19-2 overall and 9-0 in the CBC Mad River division. The Falcons drop to 4-17, 2-7.

Ben Logan can wrap up the outright championship at home Thursday against Urbana. The Hillclimbers are currently 8-1 in conference play.

“We said that to win (a league title) would be like getting 10 pieces to a puzzle, and tonight we got the ninth piece,” said Ben Logan head coach Allison Reule. “Thursday, when we face Urbana, will be the 10th and final piece. We just have to take it game-by-game and put all the pieces together at the end.”

The Raiders defeated Urbana in four sets earlier this season.

“If we could (win an outright league championship) that would be very humbling and I would be so happy for these seniors,” said Reule. “It will definitely be a big game for us against Urbana.”

Reule is in her second year as the team’s head coach, but she has been around the program for a long time. She coached this current group of Ben Logan seniors when they were in seventh-grade, which gave Thursday’s win special meaning.

“It does make it more special for us,” said Reule. “I’ve been with this group longer than I have with others and I’ve seen these girls develop into the players they’ve become now. They are competitive and don’t give up. They set this goal as seventh-graders and they got it done.”

Tuesday’s win showcased Ben Logan’s dominance. The Raiders went unchallenged in the first set and pulled away in the next two sets to ensure a piece of the league title.

“We played well tonight,” said Reule. “Our word for tonight was ‘fierce’ and in game one and game two I felt we played that way.

“Our game plan was to shut down Graham’s Michala Faulkner and I felt we did that, too. Alex Thompson was on her blocks all night and had a hand in Faulkner’s face.”

Alex Thompson sparked the Raiders’ win with 10 kills and five blocks. Ciarra Wirick had 10 kills and nine points, Jennifer Poling had 14 points, three kills and four aces and Marissa Wilbur tallied 27 assists and 18 points.

Ben Logan also won the junior varsity match in three sets to improve to 15-3 overall. Jessica Rutan led the team with 11 kills and 11 points, while Autumn Wallborn had 10 kills and Tayler Rose had 21 assists and eight points.

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