FORT MILL — Key serves by Nation Ford senior Briley Prince in the third and fourth sets of the opening round of the AAAA volleyball playoffs pushed the Lady Falcons to a 3-1 win over Gaffney.
Nation Ford, a No. 2 seed, will travel to top-seeded Lugoff-Elgin Thursday for a second-round match.
The Lady Falcons won the opening set 25-22, but fell in the second set 22-25, before closing the match out in the third and fourth sets with wins of 25-17 and 25-21.
“We finally got a few blocks and we were hitting our zones,” said Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian. “I was nervous because they are so much like South Pointe. They (Gaffney) are frustrating to play.”
Leading the way was Prince, who had 15 digs as well. Senior Amy Snyder had eight kills and 29 assist and sophomore Jessica Kemp had nine kills and three blocks. Senior Olivia Tawse had six kills and three blocks as well.
In the third set, with the match tied a set apiece, Nation Ford went on a 7-1 run with Prince serving to make it 22-13. The Lady Falcons would go on to win the set 25-17 and swing the momentum to Nation Ford’s favor.
Nation Ford opened the first set with Gaffney going on a 6-3 run to start. Gaffney kept the momentum going to go up 8-5, but the Lady Falcons rallied to tie things at 8-8.
From there the Lady Falcons took the 12-9 lead. But Gaffney kept pace, despite Nation Ford taking a 15-12 lead.
Gaffney would rally to tie it at 16 before Nation Ford took a time out. The Lady Falcons would come out of the time out and go on a 4-1 run to take a 20-17 lead.
Gaffney would tie the set at 22, before Nation Ford would go on for the 25-22 win.
The Lady Indians bounced back in the second set to go up 4-1 from the start. Nation Ford would then tie things at four, before Gaffney would go on a slight run to make it 8-4 forcing a time out from Nation Ford.
After the timeout, Nation Ford would tie the match at 10, but Gaffney would again go on a run to go up 15-11. The Lady Falcons would again be forced to regroup with a time out, which helped as they went on a 6-2 run to tie the set at 17.
Gaffney would again regroup and go up 22-18 before closing the set out at 25-18.
The third set saw Nation Ford bounce back to start 4-2, but the Lady Indians would tie things up at 5-5.
The Lady Falcons didn’t panic, but would go on a run of its own scoring six straight points to go up 13-7. Gaffney would make a run of its own, but Nation Ford would keep a 15-12 lead. From there, Prince would take over and push the Lady Falcons lead to 22-13.
The win pushed Nation Ford to a 2-1 lead over Gaffney. From there, Gaffney again started hot in the fourth set, but another Lady Falcons rally made it 6-4.
It was about that time, Prince came back around to serve and Nation Ford made another run to extend their lead to 13-6 forcing a Gaffney timeout.
Nation Ford’s play at the net improved as they got key blocks and pushed the lead to 17-8. Just when they thought they had put Gaffney away, the Lady Indians rallied pulling within six at 21-15.
The Lady Falcons took a timeout to regroup and Gaffney stayed strong as they went on a 6-2 run. However, the run wasn’t enough as Nation Ford closed the match out with a 25-21 victory in the set.