Aug. 28, 2007
The Air Force volleyball team hits the road this weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1), as it travels to New York for the Volley in the Valley Tournament, co-hosted by Army and Marist. The Falcons, who are 2-1 on the season after finishing second at the Air Force Invitational, will open the tournament against service-academy rival Army at 7 p.m. (EST) on Friday in West Point. Air Force will face Quinnipiac on Saturday at 11 a.m., in West Point, before closing out the tournament in Poughkeepsie against host Marist at 7 p.m.
Weekly Release 02: at Volley in the Valley Tournament (Aug. 31-Sept. 1)
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THE OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
Army, which is 2-0 after the first weekend of action, is 2-9 all-time against Air Force...the Falcons have never faced Quinnipiac, who will open their season this weekend...Marist, who is 0-1 against Air Force, split the opening weekend of play with a 2-2 record.
Three members of the Falcons' squad were named to the all-tournament team. Senior Kim Kallabis, junior Jasamine Pettie and sophomore Katie Batchelder were all awarded with plaques for their stellar performances over the three-match weekend.
WHAT A WEEKEND!
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Air Force opened the 2007 season with a 2-1 record in its first three matches. That is the Falcons best three-match opening since 2003, when Air Force also posted a 2-1 record. Ironically, the only loss during that stretch came from Portland State - the same team that defeated the Falcons this year.
For the past several years, Air Force has boasted at least one freshman in the starting rotation. This year, Nichole Stilwell
continued that Air Force tradition and shined in her collegiate debut. In the match against Chicago State, Stilwell led all participants with 12 kills. By committing just four errors on 25 attempts, Stilwell finished second on the team with a .320 hitting percentage.
STEPPING UP, STANDING OUT
Freshman Caroline Kurtz tied for the team lead in kills during the Falcons' three-game sweep of Bucknell. In just her third collegiate match, Kurtz hit .238, committing just five errors on 21 attempts. In addition to showing off a strong serve, she also added two digs and three assisted blocks.
IT'S NOT OVER...
Two furious comebacks highlighted Air Force's match with Bucknell, proving that the Falcons weren't stopping until one side of the scoreboard read "30" - and preferably the home side. In the first set, the Bison rolled out to a 26-20 lead, but Air Force used a 10-2 run to take the game. In the second set, Bucknell was just two points shy of a victory (28-23), before senior setter Kim Kallabis set the Falcons for seven straight points to take that victory.
After the first weekend of action, Air Force leads the conference in opponent hitting percentage, while ranking second in service aces. The Falcons' opponents hit just .106 over the nine-game span, which was the lowest percentage in the league. Air Force's 1.89 aces per game average was ranked second in the league.
MORE NEWS FROM THE CONFERENCE
In the conferences' individual statistics, sophomores Katie Batchelder and Michelle Harrington are tied for third in the league with matching 0.56 aces per game averages. Senior Kim Kallabis is ranked fifth with 10.56 assists per game, while Harrington's 1.11 blocks per game is ranked ninth.
TAKING CARE OF 'BIG BAD BASIC'
Freshman Emily Frick was named the female winner of "Big Bad Basic", the pugilist competition that signifies the end of Basic Cadet Training. Classmate Caroline Kurtz was a semifinalist in the competition. The 1200 incoming cadets concluded their two-week stay in Jacks Valley with the "Big Bad Basic" pugilist competition, as well as the "Sweepstakes" obstacle and assault course competitions.
While many have heard of the infamous "Freshman-15", Air Force has the "Freshman-14", recognizing the number of newcomers that joined the program with the new academic year. Backed by solid careers at both the prep and club levels, this promises to be a well-balanced class.
Kim Kallabis and Jasamine Pettie were selected as captains of the 2007 squad. They are the 10th pair of captains in the program's 30-year history. Kallabis served as captain last year, becoming the first non-senior to hold the captaincy outright since 1997.
WE'RE GONNA' BE ON TV
The Air Force volleyball team's Nov. 16 match at Wyoming will be televised by The Mtn. - Mountain West Sports Network. It will mark the first regular season television appearance for the Falcons.
FORMER FALCON RECIEVES PRESTIGIOUS HONOR
Former Air Force volleyball standout Lt. Col. Dawn Dunlop was one of 15 individuals selected to the prestigious White House Fellows program, the White House announced. Dunlop, a member of the Class of 1988, was one of three Academy graduates selected to the program for 2007-08.
Check back at GoAirForceFalcons.com all season for special features on the Falcons' volleyball team. Select Air Force players will be spotlighted throughout the season, as well as behind the scenes journals that take you off the court with the Blue and Silver.