Nov. 26, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team concluded the 2010 season with a tough, hard-fought 3-1 loss to Mountain West Conference opponent UNLV on Friday, Nov. 26, at the Academy's Falcon Court at East Gym. Air Force took the first set 25-20, claiming their first "game" win over the Rebels since 2005, before falling in 25-23, 29-27 and 16-25 sets.
Senior Caroline Kurtz paced the Falcons with 20 kills and 16 digs to collect the 24th double-double of her career. It was also the fourth time this season that she has tallied at least 20 kills. Freshman Annalyse Schmitt and senior Emily Frick also posted kill totals in double digits, as Schmitt accounted for 11 and Frick added a season-best 10. Senior Jessica Hellmann posted her second-highest assist total of the season, as she recorded 49 of the team's 53 helpers.
Frick also paced the squad with an impressive .409 hitting percentage, as she connected on 10 of 22 attempts, while committing just one error. Highlighting Frick's outing was a .750 performance (6k-0e-8a) in the first set.
Defensively, three Falcons accounted for double-figure totals in digs. Behind Kurtz's 16, senior Kelly Spencer and sophomore Maiya Perich each added 13. Spencer and Perich also teamed up to record the squad's two service aces. Schmitt paced the Falcons with a pair of blocks, including one solo stop.
Air Force got on the board first as Kurtz put down a kill. A pair of additional strikes from Kurtz and classmate Julia Hansen allowed Air Force to jump out to an early 3-1 lead. UNLV evened the set at five and took the lead on the ensuing point, but a kill from Frick tied the score at six. Air Force retook the lead with Perich's service ace and increased its lead to four at 11-7. Schmitt and senior Nichole Stilwell recorded kills during the Falcons' run, while Stilwell and Hellmann teamed up for a block. Back-to-back kills by Kurtz helped Air Force maintain its four-point lead (15-11). Hansen and Frick added kills to increase the Falcons' advantage to 17-12 and a kill by Kurtz inched the lead up to six (22-16), Kurtz added another pair of kills, while Frick put down the final strike to secure the Falcons' 25-20 victory.
A kill by Hellmann opened the scoring of the second set, but UNLV took the lead four points later. Kurtz put down a kill to even the score at three, but the Rebels took an early 7-4 advantage. Three kills from Schmitt, as well as one from Frick, helped the Falcons tie the set at nine. UNLV went back ahead, but Spencer's service ace evened the score at 11. Kurtz added another pair of kills, as Air Force went ahead 17-14. UNLV once again came back, tying the score at 20 and taking the lead on the next point. Schmitt matched the score with a kill and the two teams traded the next several points, matching scores at 22 and again at 23. The Rebels ultimately claimed the final two scores and evened the match with a 25-23 win.
Despite a set-opening kill from Stilwell, UNLV jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Air Force. Kurtz stopped their run with a kill, but the Rebels continued to lead by four (14-10). Kurtz, Frick and Stilwell put down kills, as Air Force began to close the gap. Schmitt brought the Falcons within one at 17-16, and a kill by Kurtz kept the Falcons within one at 18-17. An attacking error by UNLV evened the score at 18 and Kurtz helped Air Force got up one at 20-19. The two squads traded points, deadlocking scores from 20 to 27. Schmitt added a pair of kills during that time, while Kurtz and Hellmann each added one. Air Force always struck first during the final plays, but was unable to put the game away. With the score even at 27, UNLV claimed the final two points to take the set 29-27.
The final set saw UNLV jump out to a quick 5-0 lead, before Kurtz put down a kill to stop the run. Hansen and Stilwell also added kills, but the Rebels doubled up the Falcons at 12-6. UNLV continued to maintain control of the set, despite kills from Hellmann and Kurtz. Schmitt added a pair of back-to-back kills in the final plays, but UNLV claimed the fourth set by a 25-16 margin.
The Falcons concluded Matt McShane's first season with a 4-25 overall record and a 1-15 mark in Mountain West Conference play.