Air Force Unable to Hold Lead, Fall to Bryant in Five
Sept. 19, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Freshman Cami Richan had a strong debut as a member of the starting rotation, hitting at a team-leading clip of .538, but the Air Force volleyball team was unable to hold a 2-0 lead against Bryant. The Falcons fell in five to the Bulldogs at the West Point Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 19, in West Point, N.Y. Air Force fell 3-2 with full match scores of 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 11-15.
Air Force rolled out to a quick 5-0 lead to open the match. Senior Caroline Kurtz recorded a kill for the opening point, before assisting on a block with Richan. Fellow freshman Annalyse Schmitt also recorded a service ace during the Falcons' opening run. Kurtz and Schmitt added kills, but Bryant came back to tie the set at 10. Air Force retook the lead with an assisted block from Richan and Schmitt, before sophomore Preslee Maki tallied a pair of scores to open the set up at 14-11. The Bulldogs tied the score again at 15, but Air Force regained the advantage behind a pair of Bryant errors and a service ace by senior Kelly Spencer. Senior Nichole Stilwell, Kurtz and Richan added kills as the Falcons claimed the first set by a 25-23 score.
Bryant struck first in the second set, before Air Force rebounded to take a 3-2 advantage off of a kill from Richan. The freshman added another kill before classmate Josalynn Wise used a service ace to give the Falcons a 5-3 lead. Kurtz, Schmitt, Stilwell and senior Julia Hansen added kills, but Bryant came back to take a 12-10 advantage. Following an error by the Bulldogs, the Falcons scored the next four points to take the lead by a 15-12 margin. During that stretch, Kurtz and Richan each tallied a kill, while teaming up with Maki for a block. Maki also joined Hansen for a block as Air Force improved its lead to five at 18-13. Hansen tallied a pair of kills, before Schmitt and Stilwell recorded back-to-back kills and then teamed up for a block. Bryant scored the next three points, but Stilwell put down a kill that secured the 25-19 victory for Air Force.
The Falcons found themselves down 3-0 to start the second set, before Schmitt collected a kill to stop the Bulldogs' early run. Air Force earned kills from Richan, Stilwell and Kurtz, before Richan and Maki teamed up for a block to pull within one at 12-11. The Bulldogs used a 5-0 run to regain a sizeable advantage, before Richan and Spencer tallied kills. Despite several Air Force kills and an ace by Schmitt, the Falcons fell to Bryant 25-19.
Kurtz and Hansen each tallied a pair of kills as Air Force opened the fourth set down 7-5. Stilwell collected three scores and assisted on a block with Schmitt, as the Falcons tied the score at nine. Air Force took a 14-10 lead behind a kill from Kurtz and an assisted block from Hansen and Maki. Bryant scored seven of the next eight points to take a 17-15 lead. Stilwell helped the Falcons tie the score at 17, but the Bulldogs retook a 21-71 advantage. Stilwell and Schmitt added kills, but Bryant tied the match at two with a 25-20 victory.
Bryant opened the deciding set with a 7-4 advantage. Stilwell tallied a solo block and assisted with Schmitt on another, as Air Force pulled within one at 7-6. Following the midway point, Air Force took the lead at 9-8 behind kills from Schmitt and Kurtz. Maki and Kurtz added additional kills, but Bryant completed the comeback with a 15-11 win.
Kurtz and Stilwell each tallied a team-leading 14 kills, while Richan paced the team with a .538 hitting percentage. Connecting on eight of 13 attempts, while committing just one error, Richan recorded the team's best single-match hitting total of the season. Senior Jessica Hellmann led the team with 28 assists, while Wise added 21. Schmitt accounted for a team-high three service aces, while Maki paced the team with six assisted blocks. The team accounted for 22 assisted blocks. In addition to Maki's six stops, Richan and Schmitt collected four apiece with Stilwell added three.
The Falcons conclude non-conference action this afternoon at the West Point Challenge, when they face Hofstra at 2:30 p.m.