Despite six service errors and poor play early in its Division I East regional tournament opener against Dublin Coffman on May 14, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys volleyball team rallied to win the first set.

Despite six service errors and poor play early in its Division I East regional tournament opener against Dublin Coffman on May 14, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys volleyball team rallied to win the first set.

However, the Patriots continued to struggle with serving and poor starts in the remainder of the sets and lost 23-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 to finish 11-5 overall.

"We got behind four or five points to start each game, and even though we won the first game, it was too hard to have to try to consistently come back against Dublin Coffman again and again," coach Dave Hale said. "Our serving really hurt us. We had 11 errors in the first two games alone. And they were better passers than us. We just couldn't get the ball to our hitters very well."

The Patriots finished second in the OCC-Cardinal Division at 8-2 behind Westerville North (10-0) and ahead of Westerville Central (6-4), Westerville South (3-7), Dublin Scioto (2-8) and Dublin Jerome (1-9).

Liberty lost to North 25-17, 25-22, 25-16 on April 5 and 25-13, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20 on April 28.

But Hale said the Patriots made a lot of progress after finishing 7-13 overall and 4-6 in the OCC-Cardinal a year ago.

"Service errors and our passing really hurt us in our (second) loss to North, too," Hale said. "We didn't reach our goal of winning the OCC, but we improved greatly and our five losses were all to top 10 teams in our region."

Liberty will lose one senior in setter/outside hitter Brandon Kready, who was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.

Six players who started multiple matches are expected to return in juniors Nick Archer (6-7 middle hitter), Alec Charbonneau (6-2 outside hitter/setter), Phillip Cheesman (6-3 opposite hitter), Adam Pickard (libero), Tyler Shirey (6-6 middle hitter) and Chase Wagner (opposite hitter).

Archer was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region, Shirey was second-team all-league and Charbonneau was honorable mention all-league.

Hale was the OCC-Cardinal Coach of the Year.

"Brandon did a great job of leading us the last few years and he will be missed," Hale said. "We'll need to find a way to compensate for the loss of his leadership and skills, but we should be pretty strong next season based on who we have coming back."