The Nation Ford Falcons won the fifth and deciding game to edge the Northwestern Trojans 3-2 in a crucial Region 3-AAAA volleyball match Tuesday night in the Northwestern gym.
The win for Nation Ford improved its record to 8-3 in the region, and avenged an earlier loss to the Trojans. The loss dropped Northwestern to 9-2. The Trojans are in second place in the region behind league-leading Rock Hill.
“This was a must win for us, and it was a great team effort,” said Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian. “We did a good job of passing and getting the ball to the middle tonight. With this win we are back in the race.”
Nation Ford won the deciding game 15-11. Northwestern jumped to a 6-3 lead on a block by Julia Panas, but the Falcons came back. When Jessica Kemp scored on a kill, Nation Ford led 10-9. Madison Martin’s block for the Trojans tied it at 11 all but the Falcons scored the final four points to win the match. Another Kemp kill gave Nation Ford a three-point cushion at 14-11 lead.
Northwestern won the first game 25-23. The Trojans rallied from a 16-13 deficit to tie the game at 23-23. They won the final two points to register the victory.
Nation Ford battled back to win the second game, 25-12. The Falcons broke a 5-5 tie with a 13-2 run to take an 18-7 lead. Northwestern never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Nation Ford won the third game, 25-20. The Falcons broke an 18-18 tie with three straight points for a 21-18 lead and went on to win the game.
The Trojans battled back and claimed the fourth game, 25-23. Northwestern trailed 17-15, but rallied behind a pair of kills by Ann Marie Johnson to tie it at 20. They took a 24-21 lead before sending the match to the fifth game.
“We really battled tonight,” said Northwestern head coach Andrea Corrigan. “We are down right now with the loss, but not out. At the end of the day we are only one game out of first place.”
Kemp led Nation Ford with 21 kills, including five in the fifth game. She also had two blocks. Ciara Heckaman had 10 kills and 10 blocks. Amy Snyder had 57 assists and Briley Prince had 30 digs.
Northwestern was led by Johnson, Martin, Julia Panas and Lauren Davis.
On Thursday, the Trojans play at Fort Mill while Nation Ford hosts York.