The Thomas Worthington High School girls volleyball team took care of business in the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament. Now it is looking for its second consecutive trip to a district final.

The Thomas Worthington High School girls volleyball team took care of business in the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament. Now it is looking for its second consecutive trip to a district final.

To get there, the fifth-seeded Cardinals have to beat seventh-seeded Westerville North in a district semifinal at 7:30 p.m. today at Licking Heights.

Though Thomas won a district title last season, there are so many new pieces on this year's team that coach Ed Marsman hasn't mentioned last year's tournament run to his players.

"We only have three kids back that played a lot on that team," Marsman said. "We haven't talked about it a lot. We've talked about the next match. We have such a different team than we had last year."

Through the first two rounds of the tournament, the Cardinals have focused on trying to exploit their opponent's defense and overwhelm their opponent with their offense.

Thomas opened the tournament with a 25-12, 25-13, 25-13 win over Watkins Memorial on Oct. 21.

Last Saturday, the Cardinals beat Teays Valley 25-10, 25-20, 25-16 improve to 19-5 overall.

North is 19-5 after beating Westland 25-10, 25-13, 25-18 in the second round last Saturday. The Warriors beat West 25-11, 25-10, 25-11 in the first round on Oct. 20.

North is led by middle hitter Caitlin Kusan, who is one of five Warriors to have more than 100 kills. She'll face a Thomas front line led by Monica Lanno and Sarah Smiley.

"They're big and they have a couple of nice middle hitters," Marsman said of North. "We just have to be consistent. We can hit the ball, so we have to do that well. We have to put a lot of pressure on Westerville North's defense so that it puts pressure on their offense."

The winner advances to a district final against third-seeded Pickerington North or Central Crossing at 3 p.m. Saturday at Licking Heights. The Panthers are 23-1 heading into their district semifinal against Central Crossing today, and the Comets are 12-12.

The district champion plays in a regional semifinal against Centerville or Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame on Nov. 4 at Hilliard Davidson.

•Kilbourne had its season end last Saturday with a 30-28, 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 loss to ninth-seeded Grove City in the second round of the district tournament.

The 11th-seeded Wolves, who opened the tournament with a 25-17, 10-25, 25-19, 26-24 win over eighth-seeded New Albany on Oct. 20, finished 16-8 overall.

Kilbourne went 9-5 in the OCC-Central Division to tie Thomas for third behind Dublin Coffman (14-0) and Upper Arlington (12-2) and ahead of Central Crossing (6-8), Hilliard Davidson (4-10), Hilliard Darby (2-12) and Westland (0-14).

The Wolves lose nine seniors in Riley Campbell, Erin Clippinger, Courtney Green, Cassie Grimm, Lynsie Mandt, Megan Marshall, Chelsea McClain, Darby McMullen and Kailee Reed.

"I'm not sure that we ever reached our potential," coach Meladee Hopkins said. "There were times where we looked pretty good. We didn't have a game where everybody played well."

Hopkins said there could be some shuffling in the lineup next season. Juniors Mary Francis-Gardner and Abby Hackworth most likely are going to take over as middle hitters, and freshman Haley Defibaugh is expected to get the first shot at setter. Juniors Brooke Barney and Carly Cameron are expected back as outside hitters.

At a glance

KILBOURNE

•Record: 16-8 overall, 9-5 (tied for third) in OCC-Central

•Seniors lost: Riley Campbell, Erin Clippinger, Courtney Green, Cassie Grimm, Lynsie Mandt, Megan Marshall, Chelsea McClain, Darby McMullen and Kailee Reed

•Key returnees: Haley Defibaugh, Mary Frances Gardner and Abby Hackworth