Westland High School volleyball coach Bryan Webb feels his team has the potential to achieve success in the Central District.

Westland High School volleyball coach Bryan Webb feels his team has the potential to achieve success in the Central District.

The Cougars showed promise at times this season, but finished 5-17 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Central Division.

"I don't think we're a 5-17 team," Webb said. "I thought we were better than that. We went five games six times and only won two of them. Two or three points here or two or three points there could have really swung it around for us."

Westland faced OCC-Central rival Hilliard Davidson for the third time this season in the first round of the Division I district tournament, losing 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 on Oct. 16. The Cougars also lost to Davidson 27-29, 25-22, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12 on Sept. 18 and 22-25, 25-17, 25-12, 25-15 on Aug. 26.

"When we played Davidson at our place we lost to them, and I didn't think we played very well," Webb said. "I thought we could have beat them in the tournament. We knew their game plan, we knew what they were going to do and we worked on it in practice, and we couldn't execute on defense. The worst part about it was our effort was great. It was probably one of our best efforts all season, and normally when we put that good of an effort in good things happen."

Webb will lose seniors Halie McKenzie, Katie Krafft and Katelyn Beesler.

Beesler began the season as the team's libero, but was moved to setter when junior Leah Vertullo missed several matches with a back injury. Vertullo returned late in the season and is expected to handle the setting duties next fall.

McKenzie was second-team all-OCC and Beesler received honorable mention.

Webb also expects contributions next season from juniors Britney Mickens (outside hitter), Vanessa Rebollar (libero) and Chrissy Ervin (right side hitter), sophomore Kelsey Bowman (middle hitter) and freshman Jasmine Junkins (middle hitter).

"When I got here some of the girls were sophomores, so they're going to be seniors," Webb said. "It's my most talented class and I knew that even when they were sophomores. We should be much better next year than we were this year."

The Cougars finished eighth in the league behind Dublin Coffman (14-0), Davidson (10-4), Central Crossing (8-6), Upper Arlington (6-8), Hilliard Darby (6-8), Thomas Worthington (5-9) and Worthington Kilbourne (5-9). Before last Thursday, top-seeded Coffman and Kilbourne were the lone remaining OCC-Central teams alive in the district tournament.

After opening with 10 losses, Westland earned its first win 25-21, 20-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-13 over Kilbourne on Sept. 25. The other league win was over UA 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 14-25, 17-15 on Oct. 2.

Westland's other wins were over Franklin Heights 25-8, 25-12 in the Best of the South-Western Invitational on Sept. 27 and Zanesville West Muskingum 25-14, 25-14 and Logan 25-8, 18-25, 25-15 in the Karen Wohrer Invitational at Lancaster on Sept. 9.

"I wouldn't say I was completely fulfilled, but the last three or four weeks we sort of played how I thought we'd play the first two or three weeks," Webb said. "I thought we built on that."

At a glance

•Record: 5-17 overall, 2-12 (eighth) in OCC-Central

•Seniors lost: Katelyn Beesler, Katie Krafft and Halie McKenzie

•Key returnees: Chrissy Ervin, Britney Mickens, Vanessa Rebollar and Leah Vertullo