Todd Ebright doesn't measure the Thomas Worthington High School boys volleyball team's success solely on wins and losses.

Todd Ebright doesn't measure the Thomas Worthington High School boys volleyball team's success solely on wins and losses.

The third-year coach has been pleased with the Cardinals' progression despite the fact that they were 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Hilliard Davidson on April 24.

"We've made huge strides," Ebright said. "We walk onto the court expecting to compete. We may not win all the time and we play some real good teams in our league, so some of the scores may not look competitive. But we're heads and shoulders above where we've been in terms of competing."

The Cardinals won consecutive league matches against Upper Arlington (25-21, 25-15, 26-24 on April 10) and Dublin Coffman (18-25, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16, 15-9 on April 12) to move to 4-3 overall, but then lost back-to-back league matches to Worthington Kilbourne (25-23, 25-19, 25-16 on April 17) and Hilliard Darby (25-10, 25-10, 25-21 on April 19) to fall back below .500.

"Kilbourne was the better team that night and Darby is one of the best in the state," Ebright said. "We've been much more consistent at getting the ball up this season. The teams we're losing to are getting it up and putting it down immediately."

Ebright noted the play of senior setter Ben Metersky and junior libero Shane Barnovsky.

"Ben has been doing really well and putting the ball where we expect it to go," Ebright said. "Shane's passing has been spot-on, really amazing. He has helped our whole defense improve by throwing his body around. He also makes a huge difference on his jump serve, and he's serving at 90 percent. He's a small guy who has a big presence on the floor."

The play of senior Tate Greuling, a right-side hitter and backup setter, also has impressed Ebright.

"He's got good hands and really rips the ball," Ebright said. "Teams have struggled with his serve, too. He's confident and he has made a difference as the backup setter. In previous years, we've relied on one guy to set it. He gives us a cushion."

Wolves beat Cards to end losing streak

The win over Thomas snapped a four-match losing streak for Kilbourne.

The Wolves lost to Darby 25-10, 25-13, 25-20 on April 12 before going 0-3 in their Wolf Open on April 13 and 14, losing to Watterson 25-16, 26-24, 25-19, Fairfield 25-22, 25-17, 25-22 and Westerville North 25-22, 25-23, 25-18.

"It was good to get a win and, more important, good that we played well (against Thomas)," coach Glynda Rice said. "It's always good to be successful against our rival and sister school. We took care of our game and thus had less unforced errors."

Kilbourne was 7-9 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Upper Arlington on April 24. The Wolves will play host to Hilliard Davidson in a league match on Thursday, April 26.

Rice said her team is showing improvement and will be challenged by Davidson, as well as in a home tri-match with Mount Vernon and Kettering Fairmont on Saturday, April 28.

"We've got some tough matches coming up," she said. "We are a bit behind the pace of improvement that we envisioned at the beginning of the season. However, we are still improving. The improvement could accelerate at any time."

Rice said she would like to see better ball control, which includes passing and serve reception. The return of junior middle blocker Grant Hartman from injury has helped.

"(Hartman) has been improving his game offensively and defensively," Rice said. "Cole Kuepfer, Jared Singer, Jacob Bloom, Cody Kuepfer and Alex Rayis have also been working hard to improve their performances."