High School Sports

Nation Ford rolls over Seahawks for 3-A state title

LEXINGTON -- Championship runs aren't supposed to be that easy, but Nation Ford High School cruised to the Class 3-A state volleyball championship Saturday barely breaking a sweat.

The Falcons defeated sixth-ranked Hilton Head Island High School, 3-0, trailing only twice in the match while winning by scores of 25-13, 25-13 and 25-15.

Ranked number one for the majority of their playoff run, the Falcons didn't drop a set the entire five matches during the playoffs and haven't lost a set since Oct. 16 against Charlotte Catholic. Nation Ford (29-4) finished off the season with 15 straight wins.

At times during Saturday's match at White Knoll High School, Nation Ford looked as if it was putting on a clinic, aggressively outplaying the Seahawks (30-5).

"They are a good team," Nation Ford head coach Carrie Christian said of Hilton Head High. "But we have worked so hard, the girls wanted it so bad. This is incredible. This is the reason I came to Nation Ford. This is very satisfying."

The Falcons were led by senior captains Sara Bebeau, Shelia Walsh and Ally Lambert. Bebeau had 15 kills, nine digs and three aces. Lambert had six kills, nine digs and three aces and Walsh had 31 assists, nine digs and one ace.

Bebeau knew her team had to play their game and things would fall into place.

"This was our last chance at it," she said. "All of us were nervous, but we were also confident."

Nation Ford opened the first set with six straight points, and the Falcons knew right away the day was going to be special.

"After the first couple points, we knew the chemistry was going to be there," Lambert said.

Nation Ford's play at the net was key early, as they consistently blocked whatever the Seahawks tossed at them. The Seahawks didn't help themselves with shaky serving.

Things didn't get any better for Hilton Head High in the second set.

Nation Ford yet again opened up with six straight points, sparked by Bebeau's deep serves. Nation Ford started substituting players midway through the second set as they pushed the score to 19-6. The Seahawks took a timeout and began to play better, but the deficit was too great to overcome.

The final set was the most competitive, with several long volleys. Hilton Head High scored first -- the Seahawks' first lead of the entire match, but Nation Ford quickly rebounded to take a 6-2 lead. After that, the Seahawks were never able to get any closer than two points.

The Seahawks took a timeout, trailing 17-14. After the timeout, Lambert strung together five straight Nation Ford points to push the lead to 22-14 and put the Lady Falcons on the verge of the school's second team state title -- the first for a girls team.

"This was our main goal," said Lambert.