After finishing 3-19 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Ohio Division last year, the Reynoldsburg High School girls volleyball team expected better results this season.

After finishing 3-19 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Ohio Division last year, the Reynoldsburg High School girls volleyball team expected better results this season.

Instead, the Raiders have struggled. They were 0-12 overall and 0-8 in the league before playing Newark on Sept. 27.

"This is definitely not what we expected and it's a tough season, but we have some good teams in our conference and we're just trying to keep pushing through it," senior defensive specialist and libero Rachel Few said.

Coach Zach Franklin, who also is a coach for the Elite Volleyball Training Center in Plain City, said a lack of communication on the court has hurt his team.

Franklin is hoping for improvement as the Raiders continue the second round of league play.

"We learned which teams are very good," Franklin said. "Hopefully, we learned what mistakes we made in the games that we were competitive in and I'm going to be working on those in practice and fixing those in practice, so we can learn the next time around."

Franklin has been pleased with the contributions of senior captains Few and Noelle Day, who have provided leadership for the relatively young team.

"They're doing their best," Franklin said. "They get frustrated from time to time, which is understandable with where we're at record-wise, but they are maintaining a good, positive level."

Franklin said the addition of freshman right-side hitter Madison Eubanks has provided a spark for the team. Eubanks began the season on the freshman team but was promoted to varsity before the Raiders' match against Groveport on Sept. 13.

"She has been playing phenomenally well," Franklin said of Eubanks. "The biggest change for that is we get instantly bigger because Madison is one of the taller kids I have and one of the bigger hitters for the entire program. She's obviously young, but she's done a phenomenal job of coming in and adjusting super fast to an entirely new team and a faster-paced game."

Franklin added the team now is playing with two setters, as junior Jessie Alianiello and freshman Alexa Jeffers are sharing the duties.

It won't get any easier for Reynoldsburg, which visits league favorite Pickerington North on Thursday, Sept. 29.

The Panthers defeated the Raiders 25-5, 25-7, 25-6 on Sept. 6.

After losing its opening match to Rocky River Magnificat on Aug. 27, North was 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the league before playing Pickerington Central on Sept. 27.

Over the previous two seasons, the Panthers had a 49-3 record and won two district and two OCC-Ohio championships.

The Raiders' two wins in the league last season came over Groveport, which finished eighth in the league at 0-14, behind seventh-place Reynoldsburg.

The Cruisers won the first of two meetings this season, 25-8, 22-25, 25-19, 8-25, 16-14 at Reynoldsburg on Sept. 13. It was the only match this season in which the Raiders weren't swept.

The Raiders are looking forward to the rematch Oct. 6 at Groveport.

"Groveport is probably the easiest team in the conference and we just folded over and let them win," Day said. "It was really disappointing. We plan to win at their place."