Falcons Fall Short in Comeback Bid against UTPA
Sept. 14, 2007
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - Despite a furious comeback in the third and fourth sets, the Air Force volleyball team dropped a five-game decision to Texas Pan-American at the Lady Panther Invitational in Prairie View, Texas, on Friday, Sept. 14.After dropping the first two sets by 30-23 and 30-26 scores, the Falcons rallied to take the next two games (30-28, 30-26), before dropping the final game by a 15-7 score.
Juniors Jasamine Pettie and Kristina Stewart tallied kills in the opening minutes of the first set, but Texas Pan-American quickly doubled up the score by a 12-6 tally. Behind kills from Stewart and sophomore Michelle Harrington, the Falcons tightened the score. Freshmen Jessica Hellmann and Caroline Kurtz added kills that pulled the Falcons to within four (23-19). Freshman Nichole Stilwell and sophomore Jocelyn Booker posted kills and Kurtz added an ace, but Air Force fell to the Lady Broncs by a 30-23 score.
Harrington posted a block, while Stewart and Booker added kills to give the Falcons' an early 4-2 lead to start the second set. UTPA took the lead at 5-4, but Air Force scored the next six points behind the strong serving of senior Rebecca Gerton to go up by an 11-6 margin. UTPA took the lead, but two kills and an ace from Kurtz tied the score at three separate occasions. Stewart added another pair of kills, but Pan-Am took the game by a 30-26 margin.
Air Force tallied the first point of the third game and rolled ahead to a 10-4 lead behind kills from Stanford, Harrington and Kurtz, as well as an ace by Harrington. The sophomore added another pair of kills and assisted on a block, as Air Force kept a 16-14 lead. UTPA pulled within one four different times, but the Falcons responded every time behind kills from Stilwell and Kurtz. Pettie and Harrington added kills and an ace by Booker put the Falcons' at game point. Air Force held off a 3-0 run by the Lady Broncs and took the victory off of a kill by Stewart.
With a pair of kills, Kurtz tied the third game at four. Aces by Stanford, in addition to kills by Stilwell and Booker, gave Air Force an 8-4 lead. Backed by kills from six different Falcons and an ace by Kurtz, the Falcons stretched their lead to 23-15.UTPA responded with five straight points to close the gap, but Stewart added a pair of kills to keep Air Force with a sizable advantage. Kurtz forced a fifth game with a kill to give the Falcons a 30-26 win.
Texas Pan-American put the Falcons in an early 6-1 hole to start the final game. Air Force earned kills from four different players, but it was denied the comeback as UTPA took the game by a 15-7 score.
Air Force remains at the Lady Panther Tournament for a pair of matches on Saturday, Sept. 15. The Falcons will face host Prairie View at 1:30 p.m., before facing off with Texas Southern at 5:30 p.m.