The Dublin Jerome High School boys volleyball team has a program-record 29 players this season.

The Dublin Jerome High School boys volleyball team has a program-record 29 players this season.

What the Celtics don't have is much experience.

Junior setter Tommy Keller is the only starter to return from last season, when Jerome finished 3-13 overall and lost to second-seeded Watterson 25-17, 25-12, 25-17 in the first round of the Division II East Region tournament. Junior outside hitter Matt McCarty is the only other returning letterwinner.

The Celtics entered the week 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. They opened April 2 with a 25-16, 25-10, 25-19 loss to Watterson and fell to Westerville Central 25-23, 25-21, 25-18 on April 3 and Scioto 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 on April 4 in league matches.

"This is the largest team we've ever had and also one of the least-experienced groups of players we've had," eighth-year coach Katherine Fogg said. "Our guys have the basic fundamentals down, but this is a brand-new team with little varsity experience, so we've still got a lot of learning to do."

Expected to be key contributors are juniors Jon Francis (defensive specialist), Mitch Hunt (setter), Trent Jones (defensive specialist), Oakley Katterheinrich (setter), Luke Neff (outside hitter/middle hitter), Tommy Scott (defensive specialist) and Dane Winiesdorffer (middle hitter), sophomore Peter Moseley (middle hitter) and freshman Jon Shih (defensive specialist).

"Most of our players are pretty evenly matched, so we'll see who develops into starting roles as the season goes on," Fogg said. "We have a fun, enthusiastic bunch of boys who are eager to learn. A lot of them are friends who enjoy playing together, and that will help us get through the hard times so that we keep improving."

Last season, Jerome went 3-7 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Westerville South for fourth, behind Olentangy Liberty (10-0), Scioto (7-3) and Westerville North (7-3) and ahead of Westerville Central (0-10).

The league also includes Worthington Kilbourne this season.

"We're working on building chemistry as our guys get acclimated to the varsity level so we can do the best we can with what we have," Fogg said.