Annalyse Schmitt Has Career Night Against Wyoming
Oct. 9, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Freshman Annalyse Schmitt recorded a career-best 14 kills as the Air Force volleyball team lost a close match to Wyoming in Mountain West Conference action on Saturday, Oct. 9, in front of a standing room only crowd at Falcon Court at East Gym. The Falcons played tough with the visiting 17-3 Cowgirls, falling in 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 sets.
Schmitt led all players on both sides of the net with 14 kills, while tallying her second solo block of the season. Senior Caroline Kurtz added 12 kills and a team-leading 13 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. She was also one of four Falcons to record a service ace, joining classmate Julia Hansen, fellow senior Jessica Hellmann and sophomore Maiya Perich. Hellmann also collected a team-leading 24 assists for her best single-match output of the conference season, while senior Nichole Stilwell claimed a team-high two blocks (one solo, one assisted).
"We're so close," head coach Matt McShane said following the match. "We're waiting for that tipping point. I was happy with our defense and our hitting. We seem to take turns playing, so we need to start being more consistent. I know it's frustrating for the players, but I know that we are going to win. Every week, we get better."
Air Force found itself down 6-1 to open the match. Wyoming doubled up the Falcons at the 14-7 mark and again at the 20-10 tally, but Air Force didn't quit. Sparked by a kill from Kurtz, the Falcons scored 10 of the next 15 points, including three straight scores with the Cowgirls at set-point. Kurtz and Schmitt combined for three kills during the Falcons' late run, while Stilwell put down a strike to give the Falcons' 20 points. A kill by Wyoming ultimately ended the set with a 25-20 win for the Cowgirls.
A kill by Hansen started the second set and the two teams traded points. Schmitt and Stilwell collected kills during the opening minutes, which saw the Falcons and Cowgirls tie at each of the first five points. Wyoming snuck ahead by two at 8-6, but Stilwell and Hansen quickly evened up the score at eight. Schmitt put down three straight kills, as Air Force took an 11-9 lead. Two more kills by the stellar freshman helped Air Force increase its lead to four at 14-10. Wyoming evened the set at 15 and increased its lead to 20-17, before senior Emily Frick put down a strike. Kurtz added a kill and service ace, but the Cowgirls went on to win the set by a 25-21 score.
Despite a service ace by Hellmann and a kill by freshman Cami Richan, the Falcons found themselves down 6-2 to start the third set. Schmitt and Stilwell added kills, while Perich added an ace, but Air Force found itself down 11-6. Air Force pulled within one at 11-10 behind a strong serving streak by senior Kelly Spencer. A kill by Hansen kept the Falcons within two at 14-12 and she added a service ace to help keep the score close at 17-14. Schmitt and Kurtz each added a pair of kill, but the final whistle sounded with Wyoming maintaining a 25-20 score.
The Falcons set a new East Gym attendance record, as 1,284 fans packed into Falcon Court. It is the second-largest crowd to ever watch an Air Force volleyball match on Academy grounds.
Air Force heads back out on the road next weekend for its final Mountain West Conference trip to the state of Utah. The Falcons will play BYU on Thursday, Oct. 14, in Provo, before heading to Salt Lake City for an afternoon match with Utah on Saturday, Oct. 16.