Alexys Mann tried to make her actions speak as loud as her words this fall for the Reynoldsburg High School girls volleyball team.
A four-year varsity regular, Mann attempted to embody what it meant to be a leader in numerous aspects.
"(I tried to make) sure I control my face and be a good captain," she said. "I think it's really exciting how far we've come."
Mann, who played middle blocker and outside hitter for the Raiders, was one of just two seniors in the program along with setter McKhenna Crosson.
Despite the youth, Reynoldsburg won two more matches than a year ago, finishing 10-14 overall.
The Raiders didn't win a Division I district tournament match from 2006-14, but their 25-18, 26-24, 25-20 victory Oct. 17 in the first round over 31st-seeded Eastmoor Academy -- the City League champion -- marked their second postseason win in three seasons.
"I felt we served aggressively (against Eastmoor) and did a good job keeping them out of system," first-year coach Ian Davis said.
Reynoldsburg, which was seeded 29th, lost at 10th-seeded Watterson 25-7, 25-7, 25-22 on Oct. 19 in a second-round match.
It was the final prep match for Mann, but not the last of her volleyball career.
After committing to play for the University of Delaware as a sophomore, she later switched her commitment to Western Carolina. She is planning to graduate early and enroll in college in January.
Western Carolina competes in the Southern Conference and is in Cullowhee, North Carolina, which is more than a seven-hour drive.
Mann, who said she "really liked how they were a family" at Western Carolina, is about 6-foot and could see time at either middle hitter or outside hitter in college.
She also has competed the last six years for the Mintonette club program.
"Alexys' discipline defines her as a player," Davis said.
"No matter the situation, we can count on her. Her attitude and consistency will serve her well at the next level. We are going to miss both of our seniors next year on and off the court."
Mann believes the Raiders have an exciting future.
A first-team all-league selection as a junior, she was impressed with the team's improved passing this fall.
"I think we've gotten closer this season," Mann said.
Reynoldsburg went 1-9 in the OCC-Ohio Division to finish behind Pickerington North (9-1), Gahanna (8-2), Pickerington Central (6-4), Grove City (3-7) and Lancaster (3-7). The Raiders beat Grove City 25-23, 25-17, 27-25 on Sept. 7 for their league win.
Eligible to return are juniors Tyra Barber (outside hitter/opposite hitter), Aubree Carmichael (middle blocker/opposite hitter), DeNetra Franklin (defensive specialist/libero) and Lindsey Long (defensive specialist/libero), sophomores Kayla Ferguson (setter), Olivia Kirksey (outside hitter/opposite hitter), Elysia LaPrade (middle blocker/outside hitter) and Jessica Ricks (outside hitter/middle blocker) and freshmen Jordan Brooks (middle blocker/outside hitter) and Hannah Ratliff (defensive specialist/libero).
Davis said he was "very proud" of his seniors.
"Our core leadership has been strong," Davis said. "Our seniors, McKhenna Crosson and Alexys Mann, have done a tremendous job since day one of our preseason."