Air Force Falls in Four to San Diego State
Nov. 13, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team dropped 3-1 Mountain West Conference match to travel partner San Diego State on Friday, Nov. 13. After winning the first set by a 25-19 margin, the Falcons dropped the final three sets by 25-11, 25-18, 25-22 scores. Junior Caroline Kurtz recorded her eighth double-double of the season, as she led the Falcons with 11 kills and 15 digs.
Kurtz collected 11 of the team's 47 kills, while senior Michelle Harrington and junior Nichole Stilwell added totals of nine and eight, respectively. Classmate Julia Hansen led the team with a career-best hitting percentage of .267, as she connected on seven of 15 attacks, while committing just three errors. In addition to recording a service ace, fellow junior Jessica Hellmann was the team's leading assister, as she recorded 33 of the squad's 46 helpers.
Stilwell guarded the net, collecting three single-handed stops. Harrington and Hansen teamed up for a pair of assisted stops. Freshman Maiya Perich, the team's starting libero got a hand on 13 balls, as she and Kurtz combined for 28 of the team's 53 digs.
The squads traded points in the opening set, led by a pair of tallies by Hansen. Air Force took the narrow 7-6 lead, while it quickly extended to 13-9 after back-to-back kills from Kurtz. The Falcons maintained the advantage, widening its advantage to five at the 17-12 mark. San Diego State pulled within three, but a kill by Harrington stopped the Aztecs' run and a kill by Stilwell secured the Falcons' 25-19 victory.
Air Force was unable to use the momentum of the first set victory, as San Diego State raced out to a 16-5 lead. With a kill, Hansen provided the Falcons' only offensive point of the first half. Freshman Dani Griffith tallied a kill for the Falcons' sixth point, while several Aztec errors helped the Falcons reach the 10-point mark. Harrington added another kill, but Air Force fell 25-11.
Five straight attacking errors by SDSU allowed the Falcons to start the third set with a 5-1 advantage. The Aztecs quickly responded to take an 8-6 lead. Junior Emily Frick collected a kill to pull the Falcons within one (8-7) and Harrington put down a kill that tied the set at 10. The two teams traded the next several serves, until San Diego State finally pulled ahead at the 17-15 mark. Harrington added a pair of kills, but the Falcons fell by a 25-18 score.
San Diego State took the early lead, but Air Force responded to tie the set at seven. Frick put down a kill to even the set at 10 and spark an Air Force run. Junior Kelly Spencer served up an ace, while Hellmann put down a kill before Frick added another strike to give the Falcons a 13-10 lead. Air Force maintained its lead until the Aztecs evened the score at 17 and took the lead on the ensuing point. A kill by Griffith pulled the Falcons within one (21-20), but the Aztecs completed the comeback with a 25-22 win.
The Falcons close out the 2009 season at the Academy next week, as they host BYU (Thursday, Nov. 19) and Utah (Saturday, Nov. 21) in Mountain West Conference action.