Sept. 17, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Senior Jessica Hellmann had a strong night, but the Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to service academy rival Army on Friday, Sept. 17, at the West Point Challenge at the Black Knights' Christl Arena. Although Air Force continues to lead the all-time series with Army, the Falcons fell in straight 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 sets.
Hellmann collected her first double-double of the season, with 14 assists and 10 digs. She tied with freshman Josalynn Wise for the team-lead in assists, while holding the outright team-lead in digs. In addition, the senior also recorded the team's lone service ace.
Senior Caroline Kurtz paced all players with 11 kills, while classmate Julia Hansen accounted for a team-high hitting percentage of .294 (six kills-one error-17 attempts). Hansen was one of three Falcons to tally six kills, joining senior Nichole Stilwell and freshman Cami Richan. Hansen (0-2), Stilwell (1-1) and sophomore Preslee Maki (1-1) each recorded two blocks to pace the team.
Kurtz scored the Falcons' first three kills, as Air Force trailed the Black Knights by a 4-3 margin. Freshman Annalyse Schmitt added a kill as the Falcons evened the score at six. The two teams continued to trade points, assisted by kills from Stilwell, Richan and Maki. With the score tied at 11, Army used a 6-1 run to take the 17-12 lead. Air Force added a pair of assisted blocks (Stilwell/Hansen, Kurtz/senior Emily Frick), while Richan and Maki recorded kills, but Air Force fell to the Black Knights by a 25-19 margin.
Army scored the first three points of the second set, before Richan put down a kill. The Black Knights held a 10-4 advantage before Air Force tied the score at 13. Richan and Hansen added a pair of kills during the Falcons' run, while Stilwell, Kurtz and Wise also accounted for scores. Army retook the lead, but Air Force remained close, thanks to kills from Hansen, Stilwell, Frick and Kurtz. With the Falcons trailing by just two (21-19), the Black Knights used a 4-1 run to secure the 25-20 win.
Air Force found itself down 4-2 to start the third set, but burst back with a 13-2 run. Hellmann tallied her ace during that run, while the Falcons earned a combined five kills from Hansen and Kurtz. Maki also recorded her second solo stop of the season as Air Force took a 15-6 advantage. Stilwell added a kill and solo block, as the Falcons upped its score to 17-9. However, the Falcons were unable to maintain their advantage, as Army made a comeback in the second half of the set. The Falcons were outscored 16-4 in the second half, closing out the match with a 25-21 loss in the final set.
Air Force continues action at the West Point Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 19, at Army's Christl Arena. The Falcons will take on Bryant at 10 a.m., before closing out the tournament against Hofstra at 2 p.m.