Falcons Fall to Gardner Webb in Straight Sets
Sept. 7, 2007
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - The Air Force volleyball dropped a 3-0 decision to Gardner Webb in its opening match of the GWU Runnin' Bulldog Invitational in Boiling Springs, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 7. As a team, the Falcons hit .136 and fell in straight 30-20, 30-22, 30-23 sets.
Senior Rebecca Gerton's overpass gave the Falcons their first point of the match. Freshman Kelly Spencer subbed in and served Air Force to a 4-3 lead. The two squads continued to trade points, neither giving up more than a one-point advantage. After tying the set at 12, the Bulldogs claimed the next eight points before a kill from sophomore Michelle Harrington stopped their streak. Classmate Katie Batchelder added an ace, but Gardner Webb went on to take the first game by a 30-20 margin.
GWU took the first three points of the second set before junior Kristina Stewart posted a kill to put the Falcons on the board. Gardner Webb doubled up Air Force with a 14-7 margin. With the youngest Air Force lineup of the season on the court, the Falcons pulled within three at 22-19, but the Bulldogs went on to take the second game by a 30-22 score.
Batchelder and freshman Nichole Stilwell blocked the Falcons to the first point of the third game. The two teams went back and forth, Air Force tying the set at seven with a kill that rolled along the net before finally dropping. Gardner Webb used an ensuing 12-1 run to cause the Falcons to call a time out. Stilwell added a solo block and several kills during the latter stages of the set. Freshman Jessica Hellmann served nine straight points to hold the Bulldogs at 27, while pulling Air Force to within five. GWU eventually took the set by a 30-23 advantage.
Stilwell led the Falcons with nine kills, three blocks and a .333 hitting percentage. Stewart and freshman Caroline Kurtz each added six kills, while tying to lead the team wit nine digs apiece. Senior Kim Kallabis and Hellmann split time at the setter position, tallying totals of 13 and nine, respectively.
Air Force continues action at the GWU Runnin' Bulldog Tournament tomorrow (Sept. 8) with matches against Davidson and North Carolina A&T. The Falcons will play at 10 a.m., and 3 p.m., respectively.