Nation Ford’s Issa Cisse and Catawba Ridge’s Micah Collins battle for a ball during their match Thursday night in The Arena.

With only three wins on the year coming in to the end of their regular season, the Nation Ford boys’ volleyball team had nothing to lose. In doing so, they just might have punched their ticket to the playoffs.

Nation Ford, now 4-9 on the season, beat Catawba Ridge in five sets 3-2 (29-27, 25-19, 14-25, 22-25, 15-11) on the Copperheads’ senior night. Catawba Ridge fell to 18-8-1 overall on the season, but still could be a number one seed in the 4A playoffs.

Nation Ford head coach Tory Tysdal said the Falcons have been having more fun in practice and playing loose because they felt like the season was coming to an end.

“We were just having fun and didn’t do anything intense,” she said. “They played with more calmness tonight. It has been fun to watch them grow.”

The Falcons went up early winning the first two sets. Nation Ford opened the first set going up 9-5, while the Copperheads stayed close. Catawba Ridge was able to battle back and tie the set at 23, but the two teams continued to trade points until Nation Ford was able to edge ahead and get the win.

Catawba Ridge started the second set going up 5-1, but Nation Ford came back to tie the set at 5-5. From there, the Falcons started to pull away going up 13-8 after a Copperheads time out. Nation Ford was able to control the set despite Catawba Ridge staying within striking distance.

In the third set, Catawba Ridge was able to get off to the start they had been looking for by jumping out to a 14-6 start and was able to control the set from the opening serve to force a fourth set.

The fourth set was more of a battle between the two teams as the Copperheads started 5-2, but Nation Ford came back to take a 9-3 lead. Catawba Ridge would fight back to tie the set at 16 and the two teams would trade the lead multiple times before Nation Ford went up 21-18. The Copperheads were able to come back and tie the set at 22, before rattling off three straight points to tie the match at 2-2.

The final set was all Nation Ford as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead and never looked back. Catawba Ridge was able to pull within two at 9-7, but could never take the lead as the Falcons held serve and got the win.

Catawba Ridge head coach Ross Lisee gave credit to Nation Ford for a hard-fought match.

“We were coming off a high in winning the Region (3-4A) title last night (Wednesday),” Lisee said. “They just beat us. They were scrappy and played a good game.”

Boys’ volleyball playoffs start Monday, Oct. 23. Both teams should find out next week where they are seeded.

Oct. 12 Roundup

The Fort Mill boys’ volleyball team won two matches against Airport and AC Flora on the road Thursday. Fort Mill beat Airport 2-0 and AC Flora 2-1. The Jackets are now 13-12-2 overall on the season. Fort Mill has one more match scheduled on Monday, Oct. 16 against South Pointe to end the regular season.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep