Air Force Concludes 2008 Season at UNLV
Nov. 22, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The 2008 season of Air Force volleyball came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 22, with a 3-0 loss to UNLV in Las Vegas. The Falcons, who lost in straight 25-18, 25-15, 25-11 sets, finished the year with a 5-24 overall record and a 0-16 slate in Mountain West Conference action.
Sophomore Nichole Stilwell led the Falcons with seven kills, while junior Michelle Harrington added six. Harrington, who connected on six of 18 attempts with only two errors and paced the Falcons with a .222 hitting percentage, was one of two Falcons to hit a positive average.
Stilwell and senior Jasamine Pettie teamed up for the Falcons' assisted stop, while sophomore Caroline Kurtz recorded the team's lone service ace. Fellow sophomore Stephanie Stanford collected a team-leading 12 assists and classmate Kelly Spencer, getting her first start of the season at libero, led the team with seven digs.
Air Force scored early and often in the opening stanza, drawing out a 5-1 lead over the host Rebels. Harrington posted the team's first kill, while Kurtz tallied her ace during that stretch. UNLV used a 6-1 run to take a 7-6 advantage, but back-to-back kills from Stilwell gave the Falcons back the lead. The Rebels scored nine of the next 11 points, with the exception coming off of kills from senior Kristina Stewart and junior Katie Batchelder. Air Force earned points from Stilwell, Pettie and Stewart, but fell 25-18.
The second match started with three straight UNLV points, but Air Force kept the score at 6-4 with attacking errors by the Rebels. Harrington tallied the squad's first offensive point at 13-6 and added another. Stilwell and Kurtz collected kills, but the Falcons lost by a 10-point margin (25-15).
Stilwell shined in the opening of the third stanza, assisting on the block and earning a pair of kills, as Air Force claimed an early 3-1 lead. The Rebels took the lead at the 4-3, but a UNLV serve into the net tied the score at four. Kurtz gave the Falcons back the lead on the ensuing point. UNLV used several long scoring streaks to bolster its advantage to 16-8 before Air Force called a timeout. Stewart and Kurtz put the ball on the floor with kills during the final minutes, with Kurtz's kill putting the Falcons past the 10-point mark. The Rebels served the final five points to take the 25-11 win.