The Thomas Worthington High School boys volleyball team snapped a 12-match losing streak by beating Willoughby Andrews Osborne Academy 25-20, 25-19 in the Maroon & Gold Tournament on April 26 at Stow-Munroe Falls.
The Cardinals won their season opener, beating Licking Heights 22-25, 25-12, 18-25, 25-20, 15-12 on March 25, but lost their next 12 matches, including their first match in the Maroon & Gold Tournament. After losing to Medina 25-11, 25-18 in the tourney opener, they beat Andrews Osborne Academy before falling to Stow-Munroe Falls 26-24, 25-19 in their last match of the event.
The Cardinals lost to Hilliard Bradley 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 on April 28 in an OCC-Ohio Division match and were 2-14 overall and 0-8 in the league before playing Upper Arlington on April 29.
"I certainly would like to have more wins, but with such a young and inexperienced group, we are where I thought we would be," coach Scott Ebright said. "Each match I see growth. I see individual players passing better, blocking better and making smarter decisions. However, we still make rookie mistakes because of a lack of experience and playing the game against such high-level competition."
The Cardinals did not have their full lineup until April 21 because of injuries. Ebright lauded the play of Michael Bee (outside hitter/setter), Sam Blanke (middle blocker/outside hitter), Liam O'Connor (middle blocker), Lance Ward (outside hitter) and Jacob Strohl (setter).
Thomas will play its league finale Thursday, May 1, against visiting Dublin Coffman before concluding the regular season with matches Friday, May 2, at Westerville Central and Saturday, May 3, against Coffman, Whetstone and host Pickerington Central.
Wolves eye chance to win league title
Kilbourne entered the week with an opportunity to earn at least a share of the OCC-Cardinal title, as it was tied with Olentangy Liberty for first in the league at 9-1.
The Wolves faced Westerville South in an OCC-Cardinal match April 29 and conclude league play Thursday, May 1, at home against Westerville North. They beat North 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23 on April 8.
Liberty played Dublin Scioto on April 29 and face Dublin Jerome in its league finale May 1.
The Wolves, who were 10-9 overall before playing South, split their two league matches against the Patriots, winning 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 17-15 on April 9 and losing 25-17, 25-21, 25-16 on April 17.
Liberty entered the week 14-1 overall.
Kilbourne lost to DeSales 25-9, 25-17, 25-19 on April 28 after splitting two matches April 26, losing to Watterson 25-21, 25-19 and beating Upper Arlington 25-12, 22-25, 25-12.
"We are pleased with our league play, but we are working to improve at all levels still," coach Glynda Rice said.
"Illness is hitting the team, but we are working to be healthy to finish the season.
"Recently, I've seen improved play by middle blocker Alex Travick and libero Dillon Castelli. We're still getting strong contributions from (the rest of the players)."