Aug. 31, 2010
GREELEY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to instate rival Northern Colorado on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion in Greeley, Colo. In its first road match of the year, the Falcons fell to the Bears in straight 25-23, 25-18, 25-19 scores. The loss moves the Falcons to 1-3 on the year, while Northern Colorado evened its record to 2-2.
Senior Nichole Stilwell scored the first point of the set and a pair of attacking errors by UNC gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead. A pair of kills by fellow senior Caroline Kurtz helped the Falcons out to a 5-2 lead. Northern Colorado replied with five of the net six points to take a 7-6 lead. Freshman Annalyse Schmitt put down a kill to tie the set and Air Force regained the lead on the ensuing block by Schmitt and Stilwell. Senior Julia Hansen recorded her second ace of the year and another kill by Schmitt helped the Falcons increase their lead to 11-8. Air Force maintained the lead with the help of kills from Stilwell and freshman Josalynn Wise, but the Bears came back to tie the set at 23. Following a controversial call at set point, Northern Colorado pulled out the 25-23 win.
Stilwell put down the first kill of the second set and a pair of scores by Kurtz brought the Falcons with one at 4-3. Air Force remained down one at 7-6, before the Bears pulled their advantage out of 14-9. Senior Kelly Spencer served up an ace, while Stilwell added a kill to pull within two at 16-14. Stilwell added a solo block, while Kurtz and sophomore Preslee Maki collected kills. The Bears claimed six of the last seven points, broken up only by Maki's kill, to win the set 25-18.
The Falcons found themselves in an 8-1 deficit to start the third set. Hansen recorded three kills for Air Force, as they cut the lead to five at 12-7. Schmitt and Kurtz teamed up to help lower the Bears' advantage to three (13-10). Stilwell and Kurtz each added a kill, before Air Force went on a 5-2 run. Schmitt was a part of four of the Falcons' five points, as she collected a pair of kills and assisted Stilwell on back-to-back blocks. Senior Emily Frick added the Falcons' fifth point, as she notched her second career service ace. Stilwell added another kill, but Northern Colorado completed the sweep with a 25-19 win.
Kurtz led the Falcons with nine kills, while Stilwell and Schmitt added eight and seven, respectively. Stilwell and Schmitt also led the team in blocks, as Stilwell tallied five total stops (one solo, four assisted) and Schmitt accounted for four (all assisted). Wise, earning her first start as the Falcons' setter, accounted for a career-high 24 assists, while Spencer paced the team with 11 digs.
Air Force returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 2, when it faces Fresno State in a neutral site match in Orem, Utah. The Falcons will also face Utah Valley on Friday, Sept. 3, while in the Beehive State.