Falcons Drop Conference Opener to UNLV, 3-0
Sept. 24, 2010
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Air Force volleyball team opened the Mountain West Conference season with a 3-0 loss to UNLV on Friday, Sept. 24, in Las Vegas, Nev. Despite a match-high tying 12 kills from senior Nichole Stilwell, the Falcons posted consecutive losses of 25-15, 25-11, 25-16 to the host Rebels in their only match of the week.
UNLV jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead, causing Air Force to use an early timeout. Following the break, Stilwell put down a pair of kills, while freshman Annalyse Schmitt and senior Caroline Kurtz each added one. Trailing 15-7 at the second timeout, Stilwell and classmate Julia Hansen and Stilwell tallied kills to put the Falcons over the 10-point mark. The duo also teamed up for a block. Kurtz and freshman Cami Richan added kills, but the Falcons fell by a 25-15 score.
A kill by Richan was the lone offensive point for the Falcons to start the second set, as Air Force found itself down 10-5. The Rebels scored eight straight points to increase its advantage to 18-5. Stilwell accounted for a kill, before Richan and Schmitt teamed up for a block. Richan, Kurtz and Stilwell added kills, but Air Force dropped the second set, 25-11.
The Falcons scored the first two points of the third set, as Kurtz put down a kill and Richan earned a block with sophomore Preslee Maki. Richan added a kill, breaking up a 5-1 run by the Rebels. A pair of attacking errors by UNLV tied the set at five and back-to-back kills by Stilwell kept the Falcons within one at 8-7. UNLV scored the next six points before Stilwell and Kurtz stopped the run with a pair of kills. A score by Schmitt put the Falcons at 10, while Richan added another point. Hansen and Maki teamed up for a block and Stilwell added another kill, but UNLV completed the sweep with a 25-16 win.
Stilwell led the Falcons with 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .346. Richan, Hansen and Maki paced the team with two assisted blocks apiece. Freshman Josalynn Wise collected 10 assists, while senior Jessica Hellmann added nine. Senior Kelly Spencer posted the team's most digs with nine.
Air Force closes out a month-long road trip next weekend with a pair of Mountain West Conference matches. The Falcons will face New Mexico on Thursday, Sept. 30, in Albuquerque, N.M., before heading to Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 2, to take on TCU.