With a 23-5 record, the Nation Ford Falcons are setting themselves up for another successful, long season.
Coming off back-to-back sweeps of Region 3-5A opponents Clover and Rock Hill, head coach Carrie Christian said she feels like her team is further along than last year’s 5A state championship team. Last season, Nation Ford went 46-7 overall, setting a school record for wins.
With the 23 wins so far this season, they are already halfway to their win total of last year. The Falcons are currently ranked No. 1 in the state in 5A.
“I feel like we are past where we were, and I feel like we are in a better spot, but I feel like we still have a lot of work to do,” Christian said. “That was our goal: to get back to where we were at the end of last season and then improve, and I feel like we are starting to improve.”
Nation Ford is also coming off a tournament at Dorman, where they went 6-2 overall. That competition tends to serve as a litmus test for the Falcons each year — and Nation Ford finished sixth.
“Seems like the Dorman tournament is always a good tournament for us,” she said. “We always seem to get better from it.”
With a 2-0 start to the region, the Falcons’ biggest challenger for the region title might be Northwestern. And despite how strong Nation Ford is, Christian said nothing is given.
“I never underestimate these teams,” she said.
Nation Ford has two more tournaments in the Southern Invitational in Georgia this month and then it’ll compete in the Wando Invitational in October.
Playoffs start toward the end of October, and the team’s biggest obstacle in the way of it repeating as state champion will most likely come from the Upper State — with Dorman, Mauldin and Blythewood. Christian said Wando would also be a challenge in the Lower State.
Nation Ford’s Sophie Fischer is continuing to make history as she is closing in on 2,000 kills for her career at the school. Emily Lammers is closing in on 1,000 kills as well for her career, and both seniors should hit those marks before the season is over.
“It’s a couple of big milestones,” Christian said.
The Falcons will next compete in the Southern Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28, and then they’ll be back home for matches against rivals Fort Mill and Clover Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 respectively.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM