Falcons Swept by Central Arkansas
Sept. 11, 2009
CONWAY, Ark. - The Air Force volleyball team was swept by host Central Arkansas during its second match of the day at the 2009 Sugar Bear Classic in Conway, Ark., on Friday, Sept. 11. The Falcons fell in consecutive 25-16, 26-23, 25-22 sets to the home team at the Prince Center on the UCA campus. Air Force moved to 6-4 on the season, while Central Arkansas improved to 7-2.
Nichole Stilwell led the Falcons with 10 kills and a .474 hitting percentage. The junior, who added a pair of assisted stops, connected on 10 of 19 attempts, while committing just one error. Senior Michelle Harrington and junior Caroline Kurtz accounted for kill totals of eight and seven, respectively. In addition, Harrington had five assisted blocks, while Kurtz has one solo stop and 17 digs. Junior Jessica Hellmann assisted on 27 of the team's 36 kills, while Harrington, freshmen Maiya Perich and classmate Grace Konstanzer each tallied a service ace.
Central Arkansas took a 5-2 lead to start the set, but Air Force rallied to a tie the set at five. Konstanzer posted a kill and solo block, while Stilwell posted her second kill of the set. The Sugar Bears scored the next four points, but Konstanzer stopped the streak with a pair of kills. Air Force received kills from Harrington, Kurtz, Stilwell and freshman Maile Lolohea, but dropped the first set by a 25-16 margin.
Despite a pair of kills from Stilwell and individual kills from Kurtz, Harrington and junior Julia Hansen, the Falcons found themselves down 12-6 in the first half of the second set. Following an Air Force timeout, the Falcons used a 7-1 run to erase the deficit and take a 13-12 lead. Blocking was a key to the Falcons' run, as Hellmann assisted on a pair of stops and Kurtz added a solo block. In addition, Harrington added an ace and Stilwell posted a kill during that stretch. UCA regained its advantage, but Air Force tied it again at 18 and took a 21-19 lead off of a kill and an ace by Konstanzer. Air Force took a 23-19 advantage off of a kill by Kurtz, but Central Arkansas scored the final six points to take the 25-23 win.
Air Force took the early 4-1 lead, but Central Arkansas tied the set at five. Harrington posted a kill and assisted with Konstanzer on a block, while Perich served up an ace to guide the Falcons to a 9-5 lead. Air Force held the lead at 13-9, thanks to kills from Harrington, Stilwell and Kurtz , but UCA responded with an 8-2 run to take a 17-15 advantage. Harrington tallied a kill and assisted on a block with Hellmann to tie the set at 17. Central Arkansas pulled within match-point at 24-19, but Air Force continued to fight, scoring three straight points before ultimately falling 25-22.
The Falcons conclude action at the Sugar Bear Classic tomorrow (Sept. 12) with matches against Louisiana-Monroe (12 p.m.) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4:30 p.m.).