Falcons Falter Against No. 21 Utah
Sept. 16, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Unable to overcome a hitting percentage of nearly .500 by Utah, the Air Force volleyball team dropped a three-game set to the 21st-ranked Utes on Saturday (Sept. 16) in Salt Lake City. Although the Falcons held a lead midway through the first game, Air Force dropped consecutive 30-18, 30-14, 30-14 matches to Utah at the Crimson Court.
Air Force kept Utah busy in the opening half of the first game. Sophomore Jasamine Pettie put down a kill to give the Falcons a 2-1 advantage. The Utes rolled off four straight points, but the Falcons quickly tied things up at five after a pair of service aces from junior Rebecca Gerton. Pettie teamed up for a block with freshman Hannah Sorber to keep the Falcons even with the Utes. Utah claimed the following point, but Air Force took three of the next four to reclaim the lead. More blocks by Pettie and Sorber gave the Falcons a two-point advantage at the 16-14 mark. Unfortunately for Air Force, Utah claimed 16 of the next 18 points to regain the lead and take the 30-18 win.
Freshman Danielle Mittelstadt posted an ace in the early-going of the second set, but Utah's power-hitting sent the Falcons into an early 14-5 deficit. Pettie and classmate Kristina Stewart each added a trio of kills and junior Kim Kallabis collected a service ace, but the Falcons succumbed to the 30-14 loss. The third game began the way the second set ended with a long scoring streak by Utah. Freshman Katie Batchelder earned a kill and an ace, but Utah used a 14-2 run to take the game by another 30-14 score.
Pettie lead the Falcons with four kills, as well as a team-best hitting percentage of .111 (4k-3e-9a). Kallabis earned a team-high eight assists, while Gerton led the Falcons with a pair of back-to-back aces. Freshman Jaclyn Fleming led the Falcons with 10 digs and Pettie topped the roster with four blocks (2 solo-2 assist).
After nearly a month on the road, the Falcons return to the Academy next weekend for a pair of Mountain West Conference match-ups. Air Force faces TCU on Friday, Sept. 22, and New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 23. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., in Clune Arena.