Falcons Fall to Northern Colorado in Final Non-Conference Match
Oct. 21, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team wrapped up non-conference action with a 3-0 loss to instate rival Northern Colorado at the Academy's Clune Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The Falcons dropped consecutive 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 sets to the visiting Bears. Air Force, which dropped to 8-13 on the year, finished the non-conference slate with an impressive 8-5 mark.
The trio of Caroline Kurtz, Nichole Stilwell and Michelle Harrington combined for 25 of the Falcons' 25 kills. Kurtz led the club with nine, while Stilwell and Harrington each added eight. Stilwell hit a team-high .438, connecting on eight of 16 attempts, while committing just one error. Harrington was close behind, hitting at a .429 clip (8k-2e-14a). Kelly Spencer recorded both of the team's service aces.
Three freshmen recorded the team's best totals in assists, digs and blocks. Dani Griffith, making her fourth start of the season, collected 16 helpers, while Maiya Perich recorded a team-best six digs in her first start of the season as the Falcons' libero. Preslee Maki paced the team with a pair of assisted stops.
Air Force found itself in a quick 4-1 hole to open the match, but quickly responded to tie the set at five off of Spencer's first ace. The Bears once again distanced themselves from the Falcons with a 15-9 lead, but Air Force responded with five of the next six points to pull within two at 16-14. The Bears used two long serving streaks to close out the set with a 25-19 victory.
In a reversal of roles from the first set, Air Force jumped out to a 5-1 advantage to start the second. Following a timeout, the Bears used an 11-2 run to take the lead. Air Force pulled within four at the 17-13 mark off of a kill by Stilwell, but UNC closed out the set to take the 25-17 win.
The third set featured some impressive hitting numbers, as both teams hit over .480 for the set. Northern Colorado hit .560 (16k-2e-25a), while Air Force connected at a clip of .483 (16k-2e-29a). The Bears took the 3-1 lead, but Air Force stayed within a point or two until the 14-11 mark. Northern Colorado extended its lead to six following a timeout, as it completed the sweep with another 25-19 score.
Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 24, when it opens the second half of Mountain West Conference play in Las Vegas, Nev. The Falcons will take on UNLV at 1 p.m., in Cox Pavilion.