Fort Mill Sports

Falcons swept out of playoffs in third round

NaFo junior Quin Sutphin (10) taps the ball back over the net during Tuesday's playoff match win over Mauldin at NaFo.
NaFo junior Quin Sutphin (10) taps the ball back over the net during Tuesday's playoff match win over Mauldin at NaFo.

The fourth-ranked Nation Ford Falcons were swept out of the 4A state volleyball playoffs by the third-ranked TL Hanna Yellow Jackets.

Nation Ford lost 3-0 (15-25, 23-25, 24-26) in the third round Thursday.

Both teams opened the first set in a close, back-and-forth battle with Nation Ford taking a slight edge.

Nation Ford went up 7-4, but the Yellow Jackets stayed on the attack to rally and tie at 7-7. TL Hanna then started to gain control of the match and scored four straight points before a Falcons time out.

The time out didn’t help much as TL Hanna kept the momentum through the first set. The Yellow Jackets took a 17-12 lead and was able to keep Nation Ford at bay for the remainder of the first set as the Falcons struggled to block TL Hanna’s shots.

Turning point

The second set started much like the first with both teams staying close. Nation Ford went up early, but TL Hanna used the home court to their advantage.

The Yellow Jackets were ferocious at the net and the Falcons struggled to block the ball.

Nation Ford took a 9-6 lead forcing TL Hanna into a time out. The Yellow Jackets stayed within striking distance of the Falcons and TL Hanna tied the second set at 15-15 before taking a 19-17 lead forcing the Falcons into a time out. From there, TL Hanna pulled away and won the set.

Critical

Now up 2-0, TL Hanna started the third set strong, scoring the first three points. Nation Ford, which was still struggling to get blocks, couldn’t gain any control and the Yellow Jackets went up 9-4 before a time out.

The Falcons rallied after the time out to tie the set at 9-9 and took the lead in scoring six straight points. TL Hanna took a time out, but the Falcons were able to keep control of the third set once play resumed going up 15-10.

Despite trailing, the Yellow Jackets started to creep back into the set, scoring six of the next 10 points to force a Falcons time out at 19-16. After the time out, TL Hanna solidly controlled the momentum and tied the set at 19-19.

Both teams traded points until TL Hanna scored four of the next five points to take the match.

Overheard

“Jessica (Kemp) played with a broken finger and we had to run a different line up and it threw them off,” said Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian. “We let things the other team did get to us. I am proud of them. They fought really hard.”

Box Score

TL Hanna 3, Nation Ford 0

Nation Ford 15;23;24

TL Hanna 25;25;26

Records Nation Ford 37-14-2; TL Hanna 38-9.

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