Air Force Takes a Set from TCU in 3-1 Loss
Oct. 31, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Backed by 36 combined kills from Grace Konstanzer, Nichole Stilwell and Caroline Kurtz, the Air Force volleyball team took a set off of TCU during a 3-1 loss to the Horned Frogs on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Academy. The Falcons' 25-23 victory in the third set is their first "set" win in conference action since Sept. 17 and their first at Clune Arena this season.
Hitting over .200 for the second straight match, Konstanzer led all players on both sides of the net with 15 kills. She also added 10 digs for the first double-double of her career. Stilwell added 11 kills and a team-best .286 hitting percentage (11k-3e-28a), as well as a team-leading three blocks. Kurtz accounted for 10 kills and 11 digs, accumulating in her eighth double-double of the season.
The trio combined for 36 of the team's 45 kills.
Junior Jessica Hellmann came in off the bench to lead the Falcons with 22 assists, while recording one of the team's two service aces. In her second consecutive match as the squad's starting libero, freshman Maiya Perich tied for a match-lead with 17 digs.
The first set was all TCU, as the Frogs jumped out to a 15-5 advantage. Kurtz gave the Falcons their first offensive point, with a kill at the 15-6 mark and another kill by Stilwell put the Falcons into double digits. Senior Michelle Harrington tallied the final three Air Force points, but TCU took the set by a 25-15 score.
Air Force took a 5-2 lead to start the second set, behind kills from Kurtz and classmate Julia Hansen, as well as Hellmann's ace. With a 4-0 run, TCU slipped ahead at the 10-8 mark. Air Force remained close and pulled within one at several points, but the Frogs took the second set by a 25-20 score.
The Falcons garnered the early advantage in the third set, taking an early 7-3 lead behind another strong serving sequence from Hellmann. The Frogs tied the set at nine, but Air Force regained its advantage with another kill by Hansen. TCU once again tied the set at 15 and took a late lead at the 20-18 mark. Kills from Stilwell brought the Falcons within one at the 20-19 and 21-20 marks, while a kill by Konstanzer tied the set at 22. Another pair of kills from the Falcons' freshman helped Air Force secure its first set win over the Frogs since 2005.
Backed by a pair of kills from Konstanzer, Air Force took a 5-2 lead to start the fourth set, but TCU tied the set at five and quickly doubled up the Falcons 14-7. Konstanzer added one final kill, but Air Force fell to the Frogs by a 25-11 deficit.
Air Force heads back out on the road next Thursday (Nov. 5), as it heads to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Colorado State at 7 p.m.