Second-year Reynoldsburg High School girls volleyball coach Zach Franklin had hoped his team would improve on last season when it finished 3-20.

Second-year Reynoldsburg High School girls volleyball coach Zach Franklin had hoped his team would improve on last season when it finished 3-20.

The Raiders fell short of that goal, however, as they finished 3-20 overall and 1-13 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

Their season ended with a 25-9, 25-5, 25-19 loss to third-seeded Dublin Coffman in the first round of the Division I district tournament on Oct. 18 at Jonathan Alder.

"Coffman is the No. 3 seed in the district, so they're very good," Franklin said. "Coffman was good, but we still played some of the better volleyball that we have played."

Having lost three key players from a year ago to graduation, Franklin had an inexperienced team this season, but he said senior captains and defensive specialists/liberos Noelle Day and Rachel Few were solid leaders.

Day was special mention all-league and Few was selected honorable mention.

"The season was challenging for both of them because I know they are both very competitive and they both very much want to win," Franklin said. "I know both of them were pretty disappointed last year as well with only getting three wins when we had a couple bigger players. We were definitely hurt by being small playing against some of the teams in our conference."

The Raiders tied Groveport for seventh in the OCC-Ohio, behind Pickerington North (14-0), Newark (12-2), Grove City (9-5), Gahanna (9-5), Lancaster (6-8) and Pickerington Central (4-10).

North is the top seed in the district and is seeking its third consecutive district title. Newark is seeded second.

Reynoldsburg split two leagues matches with Groveport, winning 25-22, 25-18, 25-22 on Oct. 6 and losing 25-8, 22-25, 25-19, 8-25, 16-14 on Sept. 13. The Raiders lost their first 16 matches before beating the Cruisers.

The teams met again in the Panther Invitational on Oct. 15 at Pickerington North, with the Raiders winning 22-25, 25-23, 26-24.

"It was so exciting to finally win a match," Day said of beating Groveport in the league match. "I lost my voice and everyone was cheering."

Reynoldsburg also defeated Eastmoor Academy in the Panther Invitational, 25-19, 25-17, but Day sustained an injury to her right knee in a collision with Few during the match and did not play against Coffman.

"It's sad that my career is over and I didn't get to play (against Coffman)," said Day, who hopes to play at the collegiate level.

The Raiders took Lancaster to four games before losing 25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19 on Oct. 4. Reynoldsburg was swept in 18 of its 20 losses.

"The season was a little tough as a whole, but being young was definitely the biggest factor," Franklin said. "We had several girls who didn't play club last year. It was a lot of learning."

Franklin said the addition of freshman right-side hitter Madison Eubanks from the freshman squad at the midway point of the season provided a boost.

"Madison did very well on the freshman team and I was looking for another big hitter," Franklin said. "We definitely got a little bit bigger and taller. We competed a little bit better with her in there.

"(Madison) turned out to be one of my best offensive weapons and it will be nice to have her back for three more years. Having her grow will be one of the best parts about the team going forward."

With Eubanks in the lineup, the Raiders switched from a 5-1 attack to a 6-2, with junior Jessie Alianiello and freshman Alexa Jeffers serving as the setters.

Others expected to return are junior outside hitter Mackenzie Snare, sophomore outside hitter Nia Coleman and sophomore middle blockers Loegan Brzezinski and Kaylin Davison.

"With a younger team, there's not a lot of experience," Day said. "We hadn't played together a lot, so we just didn't mesh well together because a lot of them are younger than most of us."