To get to a Division I district final for the first time in two seasons, the sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne High School girls volleyball team has the daunting task of beating second-seeded Pickerington North.

To get to a Division I district final for the first time in two seasons, the sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne High School girls volleyball team has the daunting task of beating second-seeded Pickerington North.

The match is today at Licking Heights.

In a similar scenario a year ago, a second-seeded North team defeated an unseeded Kilbourne 25-18, 25-13, 25-13 in a district semifinal.

"It's the same team in the same round, but I defiantly feel like we're better this year," said Jenn Neumeyer, whose team won a second round game against Pickerington Central 25-15, 25-9, 25-11 last Saturday to improve to 16-8 overall. "We're all a lot closer than we were last year. Our playing is more cohesive."

Kilbourne has won five of its last six matches, including a first-round match against Dublin Jerome 25-12, 25-14, 25-19 on Oct. 22.

The key for the Wolves has been balancing aggressive play with unforced errors. Coach Meladee Hopkins said after last Saturday's win that her team has played significantly better this season in games in which it can limit the amount of unforced errors.

But at the same time, she's asked that her players continue to play more aggressive.

"I would rather us be aggressive rather than sending free balls at (the other team) and handing them something they can attack with," Hopkins said. "I'm not going to be mad about them being aggressive."

North has been able to overwhelm its first two district tournament opponents. The Panthers easily defeated Whetstone 25-7, 25-11, 25-13 in a first-round match Oct. 22, before doing the same to Watkins Memorial 25-9, 25-15, 25-11 in the second round last Saturday.

Two of North's three losses came Sept. 19. The Panthers fell to top-seeded Dublin Coffman 25-16, 25-17 and 18-25, 25-21, 25-16 to a Hartley team that was a Division II state semifinalist last year. The third loss was to Big Walnut 25-21, 25-22, 25-22 on Oct. 15.

"At the next level, the teams that are going to win are going to be the ones that are more aggressive," Chelsea McClain said. "That's what we're trying to do."

The winner plays at 3 p.m. Saturday at Licking Heights in a district final against fifth-seeded Hilliard Davidson or Newark.

Davidson, which defeated Hilliard Darby 25-16, 25-16, 25-23 last Saturday to improve to 17-7, also beat Mount Vernon 25-15, 14-25, 25-19, 25-19 in the first round Oct. 21.

Davidson defeated Kilbourne both times the teams met in league play. Kilbourne lost 25-20, 25-12, 25-10 on Sept. 10 and 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 20-25, 16-14 on Oct. 6.

Newark, which had a first-round bye, beat eighth-seeded Dublin Scioto 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 last Saturday in the second round and improved to 15-9.

The district champion advances to play at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal against Dublin Coffman, Teays Valley, Upper Arlington or Watterson.

Coffman entered last Tuesday's district semifinal match with Teays Valley 24-0. Teays Valley was 11-13 before last Tuesday.

UA was 17-8 before last Tuesday's district semifinal match with Watterson. Watterson was 14-9 before last Tuesday.

The regional semifinal winner plays a 2 p.m. Nov. 7 against Gahanna, Olentangy Liberty, Thomas Worthington or Westerville Central.

•Seventh-seeded Thomas played third-seeded Liberty in a district semifinal last Wednesday.

The Cardinals advanced to play Liberty after beating Marysville in the first round 25-15, 25-27, 25-18, 25-23 and then defeating Lancaster 25-22, 25-22, 27-25 last Saturday.

The win over Lancaster was Thomas' eighth in nine matches.

"I'm really proud of our team that we've been able to get this far," said Kyla Anderson following the win over Lancaster.

"This is the furthest we made it since I've been here. I'm a pretty positive person and we just need to stay positive and keep pushing."

Thomas' program peaked in 2006 with a trip to a district final. Since then, the Cardinals have failed to make it past the second round. They lost in the first round last year.

Coach Ed Marsman credited the team's demeanor as well as its ability to finish games strong as reasons why Thomas was able to return to a district semifinal.

"These kids don't get too high or too low," Marsman said. "We sometimes get irritated because they're not cheering for each other enough, but they stay calm and they've been doing a good job finishing. When a game gets into the 20s, they find a way to finish it."

The winner of last Wednesday's district semifinal plays Saturday at 1 p.m. at Licking Heights in a district final against fourth-seeded Westerville Central or Gahanna.

The district champion plays at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal at Hilliard Davidson against Centerville or Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame.

The winner of that contest plays at 2 p.m. Nov. 7 at Davidson in a regional final against Dublin Coffman, Teays Valley, Upper Arlington or Watterson.