FORT MILL --
A fifth-place finish in its own tournament Saturday was how the Nation Ford Lady Falcons volleyball team finished a busy week.
Nation Ford improved to 14-7 on the season after placing fifth in the Nation Ford Invitational Saturday. The 12-team tournament was an all-day occurrence that included teams come from as far away as Charleston and North Augusta.
Charlotte Latin won the tournament by beating Porter-Gaud, a team out of Charleston.
The Lady Falcons went 1-3 in the tournament, beating Covenant Day, but falling to Blythewood, Porter-Gaud and Rock Hill.
“I would love to have the close loses back, but I am happy we are still improving,” said Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian.
Fort Mill also participated in the tournament and finished 10th after losing in the Silver bracket finals to Northwestern.
Fort Mill head coach Melanie Jaehnen isn’t happy with how her Lady Jackets are playing.
“We are very up and down,” Jaehnen said. “We are missing consistency in our passing game. We need to work on it and trust our teammates will be where they need to be.”
Fort Mill went 2-3 in the tournament beating Spring Valley and Covenant Day, but falling to Northwestern, North Augusta and Charlotte Latin.
Junior Liza Walker made the All-Tournament team for the Lady Jackets and senior Gaby Lacorata made the team for Nation Ford.
Earlier in the week, the two rivals – Nation Ford and Fort Mill – clashed in their first meeting of the season. Nation Ford came out on top defeating Fort Mill 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17).
“We didn’t pass well, but a lot of credit goes to our setters,” Christian said.
In the first game, Fort Mill jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and controlled the pace of the set, but failed to keep the momentum.
The Lady Jackets pushed things to 14-6 before a Nation Ford time out, but then allowed the Lady Falcons to rally and pull within four at 19-15. Nation Ford then pulled within one at 23-22 making Fort Mill call a time out. The time out didn’t help and the Lady Jackets couldn’t regroup as Nation Ford scored the next three points to take the opening set.
In the second set, the teams matched each other early point-for-point, but the Lady Falcons started pulling away at 10-5.
Fort Mill struggled with its passing and made several mistakes as Nation Ford went up 20-13 before closing it out with a 25-17 win.
The third set was much like the second as each team stayed within striking distance, but the Lady Falcons would again go on a small run enough to move things in their direction as they would score 10 of 11 straight points after a 5-5 start for both team.
That swing put the score at 15-6 and Nation Ford kept pulling away at 21-13 before finishing it with a similar 25-17 score.