With a senior-dominated lineup, the Westerville North High School boys volleyball team expected to contend for another OCC championship.

With a senior-dominated lineup, the Westerville North High School boys volleyball team expected to contend for another OCC championship.

Three more victories would ensure that title, as the Warriors were 11-1 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before an April 26 match against Westerville Central. North defeated Central 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 on April 21.

North also has matches coming up against Olentangy Liberty on Thursday, April 28, and Dublin Scioto on Tuesday, May 3.

"You know how the saying goes, I'm not going to count my chickens before the eggs are hatched," coach Vicki Phillips said. "Scioto is certainly capable of squeaking one in on us and Liberty is a team which can give us a run for our money."

The Warriors, ranked ninth in the East Region poll last week, beat Scioto 25-19, 25-13, 25-13 on April 12 and Liberty 25-17, 25-22, 25-16 on April 5.

Seniors Alex Kirkpatrick, Jake Weeks, Maxx Barr, Christian Bruce and Michael Barnett have helped give Phillips her best start in four seasons.

"We're peaking at the right time," Phillips said. "We might've had our best game against Hilliard Bradley. It comes down to defense and passing for us. We've got some really good hitters and we're serving a little more aggressive this year."

North was down 2-1 against Bradley on April 18 before rallying in the final two games to win 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12. The Jaguars were ranked seventh in the Division II state poll last week.

•Central was 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Cardinal Division before playing North on April 26. It likely will be a factor in deciding a league champion with matches against Scioto on Thursday, April 28, and Liberty on May 5.

"I would love to see us play more as a team than individuals," first-year coach John Nguyen said. "I know it's been tough for our seniors because I'm the third coach they've had in four years. I wish I could have more time with them."

The Warhawks opened the season by winning three of their first four matches.

Central had lost three of its last four matches before facing North, including a setback to Worthington Kilbourne -one of the top teams in the East Region - 25-12, 25-21, 25-17 on April 20.

"We have seven seniors and the system has just been difficult for them," Nguyen said. "Getting them to be comfortable with it has been the hard part."

•South coach Chris Bielby has watched his group become more competitive in the OCC-Cardinal this season.

The Wildcats were 4-7 overall and 2-4 in the league before facing Liberty on April 26. They didn't win a league contest last season.

"I think there's a good chance we can get to .500," Bielby said. "We've already defeated two of the teams we have left on our schedule and Saturday (April 30) we look to do pretty well at the Thomas Worthington quad. It's no guarantee, but the guys know they can win those matches."

Junior outside hitter Tyler Ott has become a key player.

"He's really shown some leadership," Bielby said. "When we're in a pickle, we just send him the ball and he'll find a way to get it back over."