Dropping just one set, the Nation Ford Falcons breezed through their own tournament, the Nation Ford Invitational, going undefeated in pool play.
The 14-team tournament featured pool play to start with and then teams were divided into gold, silver and bronze brackets based on their record in pool play. The tournament also included teams from Indian Land and Fort Mill high schools and both made it into the gold bracket quarterfinals.
Fort Mill went 1-1 in pool play beating North Augusta and falling to Lexington. Indian Land went 2-1 beating Hilton Head and Boiling Springs, but losing to Nation Ford. The Falcons went 3-0 in pool play beating the Warriors along with Boiling Springs and Hilton Head all in straight sets in the best of three matches.
Nation Ford beat Northwestern in the quarterfinals 2-0 to move onto the semifinal to face Lexington. The Falcons ran into their only speed bump in the tournament against Lexington, falling in the first set 26-24, before coming back to win the second set 25-20 and third set 15-12.
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The win was a bit of revenge as Nation Ford was knocked out of the tournament last year by the Wildcats. The Falcons last won their own tournament in 2016.
In the finals, Nation Ford won 25-16 and 25-14 over Charleston’s Ashley Hall, again winning in straight sets.
“These girls have worked really hard and pushed themselves to another level,” said Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian.
Nation Ford is now 10-0 on the season, having come into the tournament with a 4-0 record.
Both Indian Land and Fort Mill didn’t fare as well once they reached the quarterfinals in the gold bracket. In the quarterfinals, Indian Land fell 2-1 to South Aiken and Fort Mill fell 2-1 to Ashley Hall.
In the early going of the season, Fort Mill is now 3-3 having beaten Gaffney and Stuart Cramer, while falling to Charlotte Country Day. Jackets’ head coach Gina Farley said her team is young and learning a lot as they go.
“All three matches for us in this tournament were tough,” Farley said. “They (the team) are progressing. They are fighting for points. We are very young in the backcourt.”
Up next for Fort Mill will be home matches against Covenant Day Aug. 28 and Weddington Aug. 29. For the Invitational winners, Nation Ford will now have a three-way match on the road at Spartanburg this week and will host a quad-match at home Aug. 30.