Air Force Holds On To 3-1 Victory Over FDU
Aug. 29, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Air Force volleyball team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 3-1 at the La Salle Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 29, in Philadelphia, Pa. After taking the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-17, the Falcons watched the Knights win the third set by a score of 25-20. Air Force responded with a 25-20 victory of its own to secure the match and move to 2-1 on the young season.
Highlighted by three service aces from junior Caroline Kurtz, the Falcons rolled out to an early 5-1 advantage. Air Force never trailed in the set, capitalizing on several FDU miscues. Freshman Grace Konstanzer added a pair of kills to keep the Falcons ahead. Air Force stretched its lead to six, before a kill by junior Nichole Stilwell and an errant serve by the Knights gave Air Force the 25-19 victory.
It was a juniors-only lineup that started the second set. Fairleigh Dickinson took an early 7-4 lead, but a pair of points from Emily Frick, including her first collegiate service ace, pulled the Falcons within one at the 8-7 mark. Senior Michelle Harrington put down a kill that tied the set at 10, before the Falcons used a pair of blocks to take a 12-10 lead. The Knights retook the lead at 15-14, but Air Force went on two scoring runs to earn the 25-17 victory.
Air Force took an early 5-4 lead behind a kill from Frick and the first of two service aces from freshman Maiya Perich. Classmate Dani Griffith recorded a kill to break up a long scoring run by the Knights, who took a 16-10 advantage into the midway point. Kurtz and Konstanzer joined junior Jessica Hellmann and Harrington in recording kills, but FDU halted the sweep with a 25-20 win.
The fourth set started with a kill from Kurtz, but Air Force quickly found itself in a 5-2 hole. An ace by junior Kelly Spencer was bookended by kills from Konstanzer and Frick, as the Falcons climbed back into the set to tie the score at 10. A Kurtz kill gave the Falcons the lead at 13-12 and a pair of FDU errors helped the Falcons extend their lead to three. Kurtz and Konstanzer each added another pair of kills, as the Falcons claimed the fourth set by a 25-20 score.
Kurtz tied for the match lead with 12 kills, while Harrington hit at a .421 clip (9-1-19) to lead all players. Hellmann, in her first start of the season, accounted for 24 of the squad's 35 assists, while Stilwell recorded four assisted blocks. Kurtz, who scored three service aces, also paced the Falcons with 13 digs for her second double-double in as many matches.
Air Force wraps up the 2009 La Salle Invitational this afternoon (Aug. 29), when it faces Canisius at 1 p.m. (EST).