Brooke Westbeld’s volleyball skill set was never in doubt. She’s as good hammering a kill as setting up a Fairmont High School teammate. And she can sky: “I can touch the rim,” she said, “but, no, I can’t dunk.”
And now she’s a leader, too.
“I had to gain confidence in myself,” she said. “That was always kind of an issue. When I started really focusing on volleyball and training a lot and improving my skills all-around I really became confident in myself.”
The University of Dayton is confident Westbeld and West Liberty-Salem’s Jamie Peterson will help the Flyers maintain their lofty program status. Both seniors have committed to play at UD.
A 6-foot-2 setter, Westbeld is Fairmont’s single-season all-time leader in assists and kills (365) and also holds the record for most kills in a match (34). Last season Westbeld was the Greater Western Ohio Conference player of the year and the Firebirds MVP. In 21 games this season she has 101 kills and 329 assists.
Westbeld also has excelled for the Junior Olympic Cincinnati Elevation Volleyball Club. She was part of an Elevation team that qualified for the national 17 Open Championships at New Orleans in addition to being named to a couple of all-tourney teams this past summer.
Westbeld is a cousin of former Fairmont basketball standout and current Notre Dame sophomore Kathryn Westbeld. Brooke Westbeld chose UD over Virginia.
“The team is great and the coaching staff is phenomenal,” she said of the Flyers. “The fact that I get to stay close to home, I realized how important that was to me.”
She’ll major in engineering at UD. Fairmont (4-4) has won four straight after opening 0-4. The Firebirds host Springfield today.
Peterson, 6-foot-4, should break older sister Becca Peterson’s career kills mark of 1,229 this season. Jamie Peterson was honorable mention Division III All-Ohio as a junior and should be a three-time Ohio Heritage Conference first-team pick at the conclusion of this season.
Peterson also is a basketball standout for the Tigers.
Dayton was 30-6 last season in the debut of head coach Tim Horsmon’s return to coach the Flyers. UD won the Atlantic 10 regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Troy (13-0, North), Beavercreek (7-1, Central) and Lebanon (9-2, South) have separated from the rest of their Greater Western Ohio Conference divisional rivals.
Troy owns five-game defeats of Fairmont and Versailles. Beavercreek has won four straight matches after falling in three games at Lebanon, which has lost only to Mason and Fenwick.
Junior Zoie Franklin of Vandalia Butler leads the GWOC in kills (136) and assists (371).
• Waynesville (8-1) and Milton-Union (6-3) share the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division lead at 4-0. Bellbrook (9-2) owns the Southwestern Division lead at 5-0 and is the only team to beat divisional rival Eaton (10-1).
Bellbrook junior Abby Crotty leads the SWBL in kills (108) and assists (247).
• Fenwick (7-2) hasn’t lost since opening the season with setbacks at Centerville and Seton. The Falcons lead the Greater Catholic League North Division (4-0).
Junior Jayna Thompson is tops for Fenwick in kills (107) and assists (211).
• Tecumseh (10-1) and Springfield Shawnee (11-2) share the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Division lead, both at 3-0. Tecumseh hasn’t lost since the season opener against Troy. Graham (8-2) is best in the CBC Mad River Division (3-0).
Tecumseh senior Lindsey Nartker is tops in the CBC in kills (158) and assists (352).
• The volleyball seed meetings are Oct. 11. Sectional play begins on Oct. 19.