Nation Ford’s Chelsea Gilmore drives the ball over the net during the Falcons match against Blythewood Thursday. Photo by Rob Upton

The Nation Ford Falcons improved to 2-0 in Region 3-5A with a sweep of the Blythewood Bengals Thursday night.

Nation Ford won 25-10, 26-24, 25-12 as they improved to 8-6 overall. While their record might not be that impressive as in year’s past, Falcons’ head coach Craig Brown purposely made a tough non-conference schedule. According to Max Preps, Brown said, Nation Ford has the hardest strength of schedule in the state. He said he feels it will pay off in the long run.

“We played really tough out of conference matches,” he said. “I know these girls can handle it mentally.”

That tough schedule and mental preparedness showed as the Falcons got off to a good start in the first set going up 20-8 and never looked back.

The second set was a lot more competitive as Brown adjusted his lineup some and Blythewood also made some adjustments.

Nation Ford went up 8-4 in the second set, but the Bengals came back to tie the match at 9-9. The Falcons would go on another run and go up 19-16, but Blythewood would tie the match at 19-19 and then 23-23 before taking a 24-23 lead and forcing the Falcons to take a time out.

“We can’t take anyone for granted,” Brown said. “Sometimes you never know what walks through that door.”

After the timeout, Nation Ford came out to score three consecutive points to take the second set and go up 2-0 in the match.

The third set was all Falcons as they would start 5-0 and then go up 12-3 forcing the Bengals into a time out. Nation Ford would cruise to a 17-8 lead and then 22-9 before closing the match out.

Up next for Nation Ford is a tournament at Dorman this weekend.


The Nation Ford girl’s tennis team got a 4-2 win over Spring Valley in Region 3-5A play to improve to 4-0 in conference. The Falcons got wins at No. 3-5 singles and No. 2 doubles. Winning for Nation Ford was Ava Baldino 6-1, 6-1; Isabella Neff 6-2, 6-3; and Eva Arnautovic 6-2, 6-0. Alex Brenner and Ansley McDonald won 6-4, 6-3 in doubles.

The Catawba Ridge girl’s tennis team won 6-0 over South Pointe to improve to 5-1 in Region 3-4A play and 6-3 overall. Winning for the Copperheads was Lilly L’Esperance 6-1, 6-2; Katherine Koehl 6-0, 6-1; Mallory McCart 6-3, 6-1; Ava King 6-0, 6-2 and Nala Uter 6-0, 6-0. Sydney Biggers and Gracyn Root won 6-0, 6-1.

The Fort Mill girl’s tennis dropped to 2-2 in Region 3-5A play falling 4-2 to Clover Thursday night. Winning for Fort Mill was Emily Rimmer 6-3, 6-2 and Kendall McCarty 6-2, 6-7, 10-8.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep