Air Force Earns Dramatic Sweep of Texas Southern
Sept. 16, 2007
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - Coming back from 12 points down in the third game, the Air Force volleyball team completed a three-game sweep of Texas Southern in the final match of the Lady Panther Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Prairie View, Texas. The Falcons easily defeated the Tigers by 30-16 and 30-17 scores in the first two games and then held off TSU to take the 31-29 win in the final game.
Air Force received three service aces from sophomore Katie Batchelder as the Falcons rolled to a 7-1 victory to start the match. Senior Morgan Dolan added a pair of back-to-back aces, as well, in the opening frame. Freshman Nichole Stilwell closed out the first set with two consecutive kills, as Air Force rolled to the 30-16 victory.
The second game began much like the first, as freshman Jessica Hellman posted a pair of service aces by the time the Falcons had reached seven points (7-2). Several impressive serving streaks from four athletes, guided Air Force to the 30-17 victory.
Texas Southern put the Falcons in a deep 16-4 lead to open the third game. Slowly, Air Force began to make its comeback, pulling within eight after back-to-back kills and an ace from sophomore Michelle Harrington. A kill by Batchelder brought the Falcons to within five at 28-23 and the Falcons held Texas Southern at 28, while they pulled within one behind another pair of Batchelder kills. TSU moved to game point, but an ace by Batchelder and a kill by junior Kristina Stewart gave Air Force the stunning 31-29 win.
Batchelder led all scorers with 18 kills, while Stewart chipped in 12. Senior Kim Kallabis assisted on 28 of the Falcons' kills, while Hellman and freshman Stephanie Stanford accounted for eight and five helpers, respectively. Batchelder tallied 17 digs, while junior Jasamine Pettie assisted on three blocks.
As a team, the Falcons accounted for 14 aces - just two shy of the Academy Division I record and the second-best output of the season. Batchelder put down four, while Stewart, Harrington, Dolan and Hellmann each added in a pair.
Air Force will resume Mountain West Conference action this Thursday (Sept. 20), when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., for a league match with New Mexico. The Falcons will then head to Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU on Friday, Sept. 21.