The struggle is real for the Nation Ford volleyball team, but the Falcons are hopeful it will be worth it in the long run.
At 9-13 this season, the Falcons are not used to being in this position, but head coach Carrie Christian knew the beginning of the season would not be easy.
“We set our schedule to be hard as possible to help in the long run,” Christian said. “I thought we would have come along more at this point. There are ones we regret and wish we had back. But this is making us better. It is challenging us.”
Nation Ford had just one match recently, as well as participating in the Tournament of Champions at Dorman. The Falcons lost to the Byrnes Rebels in three straight sets 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 in their only match of the week.
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In the opening game between the two, Byrnes started by going up 8-4 early and Nation Ford was never able to close the gap, despite staying within striking distance. The Falcons were able to pull within four again at 20-18, but could never gain the lead.
In the second set, Nation Ford played better and both teams traded points and stayed within two points of each other for much of the game. The Falcons were able to take an 11-8 lead, but Byrnes came back to tie at 11. Byrnes then started pulling away at 17-14 and pushed that lead to 21-15. The Falcons went on a 5-1 run to pull within two, but again could not get over the hump to get the win.
The third set again saw Nation Ford stay neck-and-neck with Byrnes for the majority of the game but once the it hit 20-20, the Falcons struggled to move ahead and close out the potential win.
Leading the way for Nation Ford in the Byrnes match were seniors Quin Sutphin with 15 kills and three blocks and Chanel Turner with a double-double resulting in 13 kills and 10 digs.
In the Tournament of Champions, the Falcons beat Lexington 26-24, 19-25, 15-12; but fell to Webb School out of Tennessee 26-24, 19-25, 13-15, Bishop England 20-25, 25-19, 10-15, Wando 16-25, 20-25, and St. Joseph 26-24, 25-20. Turner and senior Gwen Spencer were named to the All-Tournament team.
Coming up for Nation Ford is the start of Region IV play this week with a home match against Clover and they then travel to Rock Hill for a road match.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM