Dublin Coffman High School boys volleyball coach Mark Saelzler is content with the progress his team has made with its serve-receive and defense, and he's pleased with its hitting and blocking.

Dublin Coffman High School boys volleyball coach Mark Saelzler is content with the progress his team has made with its serve-receive and defense, and he's pleased with its hitting and blocking.

But in order for the Shamrocks to finish with a winning record and receive a high seed for the Division I regional tournament, Saelzler said they must drastically improve their passing and serving.

"Our weakness has been consistently passing and setting the ball where it needs to be," he said. "I've really challenged our guys who are passing to do a better job of getting the ball to our setter, so he doesn't have to move as much to get it. And we're working with our setter to try to have him get into position to receive passes. That's the key for us right now."

Saelzler is hoping his squad will show improvement on Tuesday, May 3, at Worthington Kilbourne in an OCC-Central Division match. The Shamrocks lost to the Wolves 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17 on April 12.

Alex Meeks, Kort Rantala and Jack Schirmer have been leading Coffman in kills and Rantala has been its top blocker, Saelzler said. Saelzler is counting on those three players to block well against Kilbourne 6-foot-5 senior middle hitter Andy Wickizer.

"We played poorly against Kilbourne last time," Saelzler said. "We stood still and played with a lack of emotion. They weren't much better than us in that match, so I think it's possible that we've improved enough that we can beat them at their place. We need to play the way we did when we beat St. Charles (25-22, 25-18, 25-18 on April 4). Against St. Charles, our passing was good, our setter didn't have to move much and they couldn't stop us at the net. Their middle hitter hurt us last time, so we need to pick him up as much as possible."

•After losing nine of its first 12 matches, Scioto is focusing on improving its hitting.

"Defensively, we've been doing a decent job of getting our hands on a lot of blocks at the net," coach Doug Arden said. "But we need to improve on being aggressive at the net hitting-wise. We've worked a lot on being more aggressive with our serving and making our hitters more versatile at the net. We're learning to get into position to make plays. Now, it's just a matter of making those plays."

Sophomore setter/outside hitter Josh Ashwill is the team's only returning starter and is leading the Irish in kills, assists and aces.

"Josh has been our go-to guy and he's been phenomenal," Arden said. "Mason Matheny is doing a nice job with his passing. Chris Vogel is doing a nice job setting in his first year doing it. Colin Pierce has been a nice surprise for us at middle hitter, too."

The Irish are eager to avenge an OCC-Cardinal loss on Thursday, April 28, at Westerville Central. They lost 25-14, 20-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-7 on April 5.

"Westerville Central played consistent scrappy defense and we had some lapses," Arden said. "We need to pass better and cut down on our errors to turn the tables on them."

•With 10 first-year players on its roster, Jerome lost its first eight matches.

"We're still learning how to play the game," coach Katherine Fogg said. "But we're growing as a team and I'm seeing improvements every game."

Fogg said a lack of size also has been a problem for the Celtics, as 6-foot-6 junior middle hitter James Warvel is the team's only player who is taller than 6-foot.

According to Fogg, Griffin McKenna, Jacob Lipps and Chris Frey have been the leading outside hitters and Warvel and Alex Cathis are its top blockers. Blaine Hafner has played well defensively from the libero position, Fogg said.

"We just don't have the height, thickness and strength that a lot of our opponents have," Fogg said.

On Thursday, April 28, the Celtics will play host to Westerville South in an OCC-Cardinal match. They lost to the Wildcats 16-25, 18-25, 25-15, 25-18, 15-8 on April 5.

"We had a great match the last time, and I'm sure both teams have made improvements since then," Fogg said. "I just hope that we've improved more than they have so we can steal an OCC victory."