Marcie Truex saw constant progress in her Pickerington High School North boys volleyball team and wasn't ready for the season to end.

Marcie Truex saw constant progress in her Pickerington High School North boys volleyball team and wasn't ready for the season to end.

The Panthers finished 16-10 overall after losing to Hilliard Davidson 25-16, 25-27, 25-21, 25-22 in the second round of the Division I East Region tournament. They defeated Thomas Worthington 25-14, 25-17, 25-18 in the opening round on May 14.

"We had some injuries and found ourselves in a hole early, but we were able to finish strong with a winning streak to end the (regular season)," said Truex, whose team went 13-2 in its 15 matches prior to losing to Davidson. "We played hard and went out swinging."

The Panthers finished third in the OCC-Capital Division at 6-4, behind Mount Vernon (10-0) and Gahanna (7-3) and ahead of Hilliard Bradley (5-5), Delaware (2-8) and Pickerington Central (0-10).

North had five seniors in outside hitter Jesse Fausnaugh, setter/right-side hitter Jacob Kurga, outside hitter Sam Lambert, middle hitter Ben Schneider and utility player Danny Wajnryb. Fausnaugh was named first-team all-region and all-league and Lambert was honorable mention all-region and first-team all-league. Schneider was honorable mention all-region and second-team all-league.

"We had three seniors (Fausnaugh, Lambert and Schneider) who were four-year letterwinners and played year-round," said Truex, who completed her seventh season leading the program.

"They really helped us get back on track this season."

Expected to return for the Panthers are juniors Scott Conway (middle hitter) and Evan Shvach (utility player), sophomores Eli Lambert (setter) and Jimmy Martin (libero) and freshman James Klamo (outside hitter).

Conway made honorable mention all-league.

"We have a strong corps to build around and have some good j.v. players to fill in next year," Truex said.

Central finished 2-16 overall after losing to Hilliard Davidson 25-12, 25-16, 25-10 in the opening round of the Division I East Region tournament on May 14.

The Tigers finished sixth in the OCC-Capital at 0-10, behind champion Mount Vernon (10-0).

"Of the 11 players we had, eight of them had never played before, so we spent a lot of time teaching the game," said first-year coach Rachael Hanagan, who shared duties with another first-year coach, Greg Moore. "They were better by leaps and bounds from the first day of practice.

"We worked on blocking, serves, rotation and our serving accuracy went up a lot from the beginning of the year. We basically had to teach them everything about the sport."

The Tigers lose four seniors in outside hitter Jarrod Cunningham, middle blocker Nick Downing, outside hitter Kevin Grundey and setter Grant Holcomb.

All were three-year letterwinners except for Cunningham, who was in his first season with the program.

Downing and Grundey were named second-team all-league and Holcomb was honorable mention all-league. Grundey was honorable mention all-region.

"The seniors were basically assistant coaches who helped the other kids," Hanagan said. "They were really encouraging and very patient. They pretty much carried the team with their experience."

Expected to return are juniors Brick Bankes (opposite hitter) and Kevin Hill (middle blocker) and sophomores Hassan Farooqui (libero), Scott Hungerman (outside hitter), Toby Katz (opposite hitter), Nick Reade (middle blocker) and Xavier Robinson (opposite hitter).

"We're trying to get them into gym to play around in the summer to keep their skills up and some of them also are looking to go to camp," Hanagan said. "We will start in the weight room and with open gyms. These kids have some big shoes to fill from this year's seniors, so they will have to step up some before next season."