As the Westerville North High School boys volleyball team entered the Division I East Region tournament, senior Alex Kirkpatrick realized what was at stake - his final chance to reach a state championship match.

As the Westerville North High School boys volleyball team entered the Division I East Region tournament, senior Alex Kirkpatrick realized what was at stake - his final chance to reach a state championship match.

Kirkpatrick, the Player of the Year in the OCC-Cardinal Division, had played on three consecutive OCC champions, including this season when the Warriors went unbeaten in league play.

The 10-0 league mark helped the Warriors earn the fifth seed in the tournament, but they needed to get past fourth-seeded Gahanna to advance to a regional final for the first time.

"We fought really hard and every set was close, but in a game like that it comes down to who has the fewest errors and it was them," Kirkpatrick said. "Still, we don't have any regrets about the season."

Gahanna needed four games (25-21, 26-28, 25-22, 25-21) to eliminate North in a regional semifinal on May 18 and end the Warriors' season at 16-4 overall.

The Lions, who lost to top-seeded Hilliard Darby in a regional final on May 21, also handed North its first loss of the regular season.

"They found some of our weaknesses," coach Vicki Phillips said. "I think our confidence got down at times. We knew it was going to be a challenge, but I thought we could get through it. We talked about getting to a regional final at the beginning of the season."

North advanced to a regional semifinal with a 23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-17 victory over Delaware on May 14.

North won the OCC-Cardinal ahead of Olentangy Liberty (8-2), Westerville Central (6-4), Westerville South (3-7), Dublin Scioto (2-8) and Dublin Jerome (1-9).

Central finished 8-10 overall with a 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21 loss to Gahanna in a first-round tournament match on May 14.

South lost to Worthington Kilbourne 25-23, 25-8, 25-15 the same day to finish 8-12 overall.

Despite its loss in a regional semifinal, Phillips was pleased with North's season.

"It was the best finish ever for our program," said Phillips, who received the Coaches Achievement award for the East Region. "I told the boys not to hang their heads because they had a great season. No one can take those league championships."

Kirkpatrick and junior Evan McCoy earned second-team all-region honors for North. Senior Christian Bruce was honorable mention for North along with Central senior Ryan Willis and South junior Tyler Ott.

Those earning first-team all-league selections were Kirkpatrick, McCoy, Willis and Ott. Bruce, North senior Maxx Barr, Central senior Alex Ferrara and South sophomore Adam Bielby were named to the second team. Three others were selected as honorable mention in Central senior Christian Letizia, South senior Logan Michel and North sophomore Drew Hollobaugh.