Falcons Fall to South Dakota State in Four
Aug. 28, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team (1-1) dropped a four-set match to South Dakota State (2-0) during the second day of action at the 2010 Falcon Invitational on Saturday (Aug. 28) afternoon. After dropping the first two sets by 32-30 and 25-13 scores, the Falcons stopped the sweep with a 25-19 victory in the third game, before ultimately falling 25-14 in the fourth.
Senior Caroline Kurtz led all players with 16 kills, while classmate Nichole Stilwell added 12. For the second straight match, Stilwell paced the Falcons with a .391 hitting percentage, connecting of 12 of 23 attempts and committing just three errors. Fellow senior Jessica Hellmann claimed 24 assists, while freshman Josalynn Wise added 14. Senior Kelly Spencer paced the players on both sides of the net with 20 digs and freshman Caitie Campbell collected a pair of solo blocks for the second straight match to tie with Stilwell for the team lead in total blocks (three).
An over pass that ended as a kill for Spencer kicked off the match and Air Force quickly rolled out to the early lead, holding a13-6 lead at the midway point. During the opening stretch, Kurtz and Stilwell accounted for a pair of kills, while Campbell added another. Wise also recorded her second service ace in as many matches during that run. Stilwell and Kurtz continued to collect kills, as Air Force added to its tally. At set-point, Air Force held a 24-19 lead, but the Jackrabbits stormed back to tie the set at 24. Kurtz put down a strike to put the Falcons up one at 25-24, but South Dakota State responded with the next two points. The trend of trading scores continued, as both sides battled for that last point. In the end, South Dakota State rallied for the final pair of points and took the 32-30 win.
South Dakota State jumped out to the quick 6-2 lead to start the second set. During the match, Stilwell and classmate Julia Hansen each tallied a pair of kills, while Kurtz and Wise each added one. Kurtz also added a service ace, but the Jackrabbits defeated the Falcons by a 25-13 margin.
Stilwell put down a score to open the third, while two SDSU errors and a kill by Hansen gave the Falcons an early 4-1 lead. South Dakota State pulled within one at 5-4, but kills by Wise and fellow freshman Annalyse Schmitt , as well as an ace from Spencer, gave the Falcons a 9-5 lead. Following a timeout by South Dakota State, Stilwell and Hellmann collected a kill and ace, respectively. The Jackrabbits narrowed the Falcons' lead to two, but back-to-back kills from Kurtz helped spark another run by Air Force. With an 18-15 advantage, the Falcons received a pair of kills from both Schmitt and Stilwell to pull within set-point at 24-19. A kill by Hansen allowed the Falcons to avoid the sweep and force a fourth set.
After a tightly contested opening, the Jackrabbits pulled out to a 14-7 lead. A kill by Kurtz put the Falcons over the 10-point mark, but they were soon doubled up by South Dakota State (20-10), en route to the 25-14 loss.
Air Force returns to Falcon Court at East Gym this evening, when they face future Mountain West Conference opponent, Boise State, at 7 p.m.