Sept. 28, 2007
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Although sophomore Katie Batchelder tallied a match-high 11 kills, the Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Utah in Mountain West Conference action on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Academy. The Falcons posted 30-17 and 30-19 scores in the first two sets, before nearly earning the upset in the third game (30-27).
Utah pulled out to a 9-2 advantage and extended that to a 19-8 lead, despite kills from freshman Caroline Kurtz and junior Jasamine Pettie. The Utes allowed Air Force to get back into the game, as six attacking errors, two kills by Batchelder and an ace by senior Kim Kallabis brought the margin to just four (19-15). However, Utah scored the last seven points to take the first set by a 30-17 score.
The Utes once again claimed the early lead, but Air Force pulled within one at 6-5 behind a Batchelder kill. The two teams traded points, but Utah maintained its lead. The Falcons earned kills from several different players, but Utah took the game 30-19.
Kills from the sophomore class of Batchelder, Michelle Harrington and Jocelyn Booker gave the Falcons an early 4-2 lead in the third game. The junior class jumped in to bolster the Falcons' lead, as Pettie and Kristina Stewart added kills to make the score 8-4. Utah pulled the score within one, but Air Force regained its four-point lead off of another kill from Harrington. The Utes finally tied the set at 15 and took the ensuing 22-19 lead. The Falcons responded once again with a tremendous play, as Stewart stopped a Utah kill by digging the ball against the wall. Her diving pass to freshman Stephanie Stanford continued the action, which ultimately ended with a block by Kurtz and Harrington. Senior Rebecca Gerton tied the score at 22, by putting an ace down between two Utes. Utah regained the lead again and, although the Falcons pulled the game to within two at the 27-25 mark, took the final game by the 30-27 score.
Batchelder tied for the match-lead with 11 kills, while Kurtz and Harrington chipped in five and four, respectively. Kallabis (17) and Stanford (9) provided the majority of the Falcons' assists, while Gerton, who topped the team with eight digs, led all athletes on either side of the net with two aces.
The Falcons continue action at the Academy tomorrow (Sept. 29) night, as they welcome 23rd-ranked BYU to the Academy.