High school volleyball

No. 5 Bearcats pushed, but pass Falcons’ test

scopeland@heraldonline.comOctober 9, 2013 

Rock Hill's #13 Gracie Barnes looks to put the ball past the Falcon front line as the Rock Hill Bearcats host the Nation Ford Falcons in Region 3 volleyball - 10-8-13


The fifth-ranked Rock Hill Bearcats won all three games and defeated the Nation Ford Falcons 3-0 in Region 3-AAAA volleyball action Tuesday night at the Rock Hill gym.

The win improved Rock Hill to 8-1 in the region and avenged an earlier loss to Nation Ford. It remains tied for first place in the region with Northwestern. The loss dropped the Falcons to 7-2 in region play.

Rock Hill won the first game 25-20, claimed the second 25-18, and registered a 25-16 victory in the third game.

The Bearcats had to battle from behind in every game. Nation Ford took a 5-1 lead in the first game on a Jessica Kemp kill. Sutton Alexander sparked the Rock Hil comeback. She had three kills and a block in a 7-1 run that gave Rock Hill an 8-6 lead.

When Lexi Mitchell scored for Nation Ford it was tied at 16-all, but Rock Hill turned in a 6-2 run for a 22-18 lead and went on from there to win the opening game.

The Bearcats won the second game in much the same fashion. Nation Ford took a quick 3-1 lead. Rock Hill tied it at 3-3, and took the lead. Nation Ford fought back to tie it at 8-8. When Alexander scored on a block the Bearcats were up 9-8, and they never trailed again.

The Falcons jumped to a quick lead in the third game, but Rock Hill came back again. Alexander’s kill gave the Bearcats a 6-5 lead, and they never trailed again. A 10-3 run gave Rock Hill a 15-8 cushion. The closest Nation Ford was able to get the rest of the gave was 15-10 when Quin Sutphin scored on a kill.

“Sutton Alexander lit it up tonight,” said Rock Hill coach Cindy Elder. “I was worried about a let down after the big win last week, but once we got our composure we were alright.”

Getting the Bearcats ready for the rematch with Nation Ford was not a problem for the veteran coach.

“We had great motivation, because they beat us last time,” said Elder. “They have a good team, and some excellent players.”

Alexander finished with 15 kills and three blocks. Emily Russell added nine kills and three blocks. Gracie Barnes added nine kills and a pair of aces, while Christen Bragg had 36 assists.

“We had a plan, but we did not execute it like we wanted to do,” said Nation Ford coach Carrie Christian. “We have a very young team, and we are not out of the region race.”

The Falcons were led by Kemp, who had 10 kills and three blocks. Also turning in an outstanding game for Nation Ford was Ciara Heckaman, who registered five kills and two blocks.

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