Oct. 31, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team picked up its first "set" victory over New Mexico since 2005 during a 3-1 loss to the visiting Lobos on Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Academy's Falcon Court at East Gym. Backed by a combined 24 kills from senior Caroline Kurtz (13) and freshman Annalyse Schmitt (11), the Falcons posted 13-25, 16-25, 25-22, 6-25 scores.
Kurtz added a team-leading 12 digs for her 21st double-double of the year, while Schmitt surpassed the 10-kill mark for the third consecutive match and the fourth time in the last six contests. Freshman Cami Richan added eight kills to the Falcons' total, as she matched her best kill output of the season.
Defensively, the Falcons accounted for three solo blocks, as Kurtz, Nichole Stilwell and Julia Hansen each recorded one. It was the most solo stops by Air Force since early September. Hansen assisted on a pair of stops as well, to pace the team with three total blocks. Fellow senior Kelly Spencer and sophomore Maiya Perich combined for 12 digs, while recording two of the squad's three service aces.
Senior Jessica Hellmann, who notched the other ace, posted a team-leading 31 assists for her second-best performance since early September and her fourth-highest total of the season.
Richan scored the first point of the match, but New Mexico scored the next three points. An attack error by the Lobos pulled Air Force within one (7-6), but New Mexico scored eight of the next nine points to take a 15-7 lead at the media timeout. Coming out of the break, Richan put down a kill, while Schmitt added a pair to put the Falcons at the 10-point mark. Kurtz and Hansen added kills, but the Falcons fell by a 25-13 score.
New Mexico struck first in the second set, but Air Force tied the set at seven behind kills from Schmitt, Richan, Stilwell and Kurtz. Air Force took the lead on the ensuing point, but the Lobos evened the score at eight and used two long serving runs to take a 17-9 advantage. Schmitt and Richan continued to add kills in the second set, accounting for the Falcons next three points. Kurtz added three kills and Hellmann recorded a service ace, but New Mexico won the set by a 25-16 margin.
The two squads traded points in the third set, tying the score at each of the first 12 points. Stilwell, Kurtz, Richan and Schmitt posted kills in the opening plays, while Spencer earned a service ace. With the score tied at 12, Air Force took a two-point lead behind a UNM error and a kill by Hellmann. A kill by Kurtz helped extend the Falcons' advantage to three (16-13), while Richan increased the lead to four (18-14). New Mexico tied the set at 19 and took the lead at 20, but Schmitt set down a kill to even up the set at 20. Perich's ace gave Air Force back the lead, but the Lobos responded with a kill at 21-all. Two attacking errors by New Mexico gave the Falcons the lead and a kill by Stilwell helped the Falcons to a 25-22 win. It was the Falcons' first "set" victory against New Mexico since Nov. 11, 2005.
New Mexico jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead to start the fourth set and never looked back. Stilwell claimed a pair of kills during the set, while Schmitt, Kurtz, Richan and Hellmann each added one, but Air Force dropped the final set by a 25-6 score.
The Falcons head out on the road this weekend, as they travel to Wyoming (Nov. 4) and Colorado State (Nov. 6) for a pair of conference matches.