With one week left in the regular season, the Northwestern and Nation Ford volleyball teams are battling for second place in Region III and a home-court playoff match.s
The Trojans got the best of Nation Ford last week, winning 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 21-25, 21-25) and putting both teams at 7-3 in Region III play with two games left.
Northwestern will take on Rock Hill, then 10-0 Gaffney – which has a lock on the Region III title – and Nation Ford will play Clover and Rock Hill.
Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian said the Falcons still need to raise their game.
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“We have to clean up some things,” Christian said. “We are trying to keep improving. Our defense is getting better and better.”
Nation Ford was led against Northwestern by Jessica Kemp, with 14 kills and four blocks, and Quin Sutphin, who had 12 kills, four aces, six digs and two blocks. Clarissa Bates added 34 assist and eight digs.
Earlier in the week, Nation Ford beat York handily 3-0 (25-6, 25-16, 25-16).
Nation Ford went up 5-1 in the first set against York and never looked back, pushing the score to 8-1 before forcing York into a timeout.
Nation Ford then used spot-on serving and strong returns to go up 15-2 before another York timeout.
In the second set, York battled with Nation Ford early. The Falcons went up 4-2 but York came back to tie at 5.
Nation Ford went up 11-8 but York stayed close the majority of the game.
In the third set, Nation Ford went up early but York rallied tp keep the score close. Nation Ford went up 10-3 to start, then pulled away after a York timeout to make it 17-8 before getting the win 25-16.
The Falcons were led by 12 kills and six aces from Sutphin and seven kills, two aces and four digs from Chanel Turner in the win against York.