Air Force Sweeps Canisius for Perfect Day
Aug. 29, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Backed by a trio of players with double-digit kill totals, the Air Force volleyball team swept Canisius this afternoon (Aug. 29) in the final match of the La Salle Invitational in Philadelphia, Pa. Junior Caroline Kurtz tallied 15 kills, while Michelle Harrington and Nichole Stilwell each added 10. The Falcons defeated the Griffins 25-20, 25-23, 25-21 to improve to 3-1 on the season.
The trio alone combined to outscore the Griffiths, 35-29, as Air Force rolled to the easy straight-set victory. Harrington hit .600 on the afternoon, connecting on 10 of 15 attempts with just one error.
Canisius tallied the first two points of the set, before Stilwell helped the Falcons to a 7-4 lead. Kurtz and classmate Jessica Hellmann added scores as Air Force extended its point total to 11-7. The Griffins went on a run to tie the set at 16, before freshman Grace Konstazner broke the tie with a kill. Classmate Maiya Perich served up a pair of back-to-back aces as the Falcons crossed the 20-point plateau. Konstanzer, Kurtz and Harrington combined for the team's final five points, as Air Force took the first set 25-20.
Six different Falcons registered a kill as the two squads traded points to tie the set at eight. Harrington, Stilwell, Kurtz, Hellmann and Konstanzer joined junior Emily Frick on the scoreboard, as the group kept the score tied at eight. Another kill by Harrington sparked a seven-point Air Force run, as it extended its lead to 15-8. Canisius responded and pulled within three, before eventually taking a 21-20 lead. Konstanzer served up her second ace of the set, while Harrington and Stilwell each contributed a pair of kills to the Falcons' 25-23 win.
Kurtz and Stilwell combined for three kills, but Canisius took an early 11-4 lead. Konstanzer and Harrington started Air Force's climb back into the game with a trio of kills, before three points by Kurtz brought the Falcons to within one. The Griffins regained an advantage, but Konstazer helped the Falcons reset the game at 20. A kill by Kurtz completed the third-set comeback, as Air Force won the set by a 25-21 margin.
Konstanzer and Perich each recorded a pair of service aces during the match, while Perich also led the Falcons with 12 digs. In addition to posting a team-high 35 helpers, Hellmann joined Harrington and Stilwell with a pair of assisted blocks.
Air Force returns to action next weekend (Sept. 4-5), when it travels up Interstate-25 for the Denver Invitational. The Falcons will host West Virginia, Southern Utah and Eastern Illinois, in addition to the host Pioneers.