The last time the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys volleyball team reached a quarterfinal of the Division I state tournament, this year's seniors were freshmen.

The last time the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys volleyball team reached a quarterfinal of the Division I state tournament, this year's seniors were freshmen.

They intended to get there again this season, and they did.

"That was their goal as a team," said coach Glynda Rice, whose team will face Lakewood St. Edward at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hilliard Davidson in a quarterfinal. "It wasn't about just making it to state, but winning it, too. I don't think we've reached our peak yet. We just have to be consistent and take care of our own mistakes."

The third-seeded Wolves clinched their sixth East Region championship last Saturday at Dublin Scioto with a 25-12, 25-23, 27-25 win over Gahanna to improve to 24-3. Kilbourne had won two meetings during the regular season.

Other tournament victories were over Delaware 25-11, 25-9, 25-14 on May 21 in a regional semifinal and Westerville North 25-6, 25-8, 25-10 on May 17.

"(Gahanna) had definitely done their homework, and they knew our tendencies," Rice said. "We won it in three games, but they were far from easy games. They had some plays that we hadn't seen before. They showed determination for sure."

St. Edward, which was seventh in the final state poll, one spot ahead of Kilbourne, competed in the Wolf Open on April 11-12 but did not face the Wolves.

"They have a pretty good hitter who made our all-tournament team," Rice said. "They're typically the top team to come out of the Cleveland area. I like how we match up against them. They have some pretty good hitters, but so do we."

The winner will play in a semifinal at 2:30 p.m. Sunday against Centerville or Cincinnati St. Xavier. The championship match is 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

After falling to OCC-Cardinal Division champion Davidson 21-25, 30-28, 25-17, 22-25, 9-15 on April 22, Kilbourne enters the state quarterfinals as winners of its last 13 matches.

Davidson defeated the Wolves twice during the regular season to take the league championship at 10-0.

Thomas Worthington coach Chris Manganello expected a more experienced group to help the Cardinals become a more-competitive team in the OCC-Ohio.

He instead had to make do with a roster of nine after several key players decided not to return.

"We really had a roller-coaster year," Manganello said. "The first half of the season we really were just trying to get our footing. I told the guys that we were going to take our lumps and hopefully next year it will pay off."

Thomas finished at 5-17 overall after falling to Olentangy Liberty 26-24, 19-25, 16-25, 24-26 in the tournament opener. It was 1-7 in the league behind Gahanna (7-1), Hilliard Darby (6-2), Upper Arlington (4-4) and Dublin Coffman (2-6).

The Cardinals earned a victory after Darby had to forfeit two league contests for using an ineligible player.

Three seniors -- Steve Tatz (honorable mention all-league), Devin Fraz and Lauren Kat -- were on the roster.

Manganello realizes it won't be easy filling the roster for next season.

"It's going to be a big concern and we're always trying to figure out how we can get the word out," he said. "I thought we had a pretty successful senior night when we had some guys in the audience who were interested in seeing what it was all about."

Junior middle-hitter Nick Murden, who was honorable mention all-region and second-team all-league, is expected to return along with sophomore setter Shane Whitacre and sophomore Zach Weinrich, who can play a number of positions.

Murden led the Cardinals in just about every offensive category and average three blocks per game.

"It was an eye-opener this year with three guys who'd never played before," Manganello said.

"I think we'll be ready to go next year."