ThisWeek Staff Writer

Despite winning OCC Division championships the past four seasons after hiring coach Kris Kern, the Pickerington High School North girls volleyball team didn't win a Division I district title until dominating Hilliard Davidson 25-17, 25-12, 25-14 on Saturday at Licking Heights.

"So this feels pretty great," senior Audrey Sanders said. "Each year, we kept getting closer, and now we've got one. It's awesome."

The second-seeded Panthers improved to 25-3 overall and play top-seeded Dublin Coffman in a regional semifinal on Wednesday at Davidson.

"They played very, very well," said Wildcats' coach Betty Cameron, whose team finished 18-8. "They didn't make many mistakes and that just didn't leave a lot of room for error on our part."

The outcome was never really in question. The Panthers, who lost in the district finals a year ago and in the semis the previous four seasons, looked strong from start to finish as Kern won a district title at a fourth school. The others came at now-closed Columbus Wehrle, Lancaster and Pickerington Central, in his only season there.

Saturday's victory also was the 575th of Kern's career.

"We scouted (Davidson) four times and when you give our staff four opportunities to do that, well, we played very well," Kern said. "My assistants, they've done a tremendous job. And this is the best team I've ever coached."