Falcons Open Home Schedule Against UNLV

    Kelly Spencer
    Kelly Spencer

    Sept. 22, 2009

    After 14 consecutive matches on the road to open the 2009 campaign, the Air Force volleyball team finally gets the opportunity to play a match at home. The Falcons (8-6, 0-2) will host UNLV in Mountain West Conference action on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Academy's Clune Arena. The first serve will take place at 7:00 p.m.

    Match Notes 05: vs. UNLV Get Acrobat Reader

    Fans unable to make it to the Academy can follow every serve, kill and block at home. GoAirForceFalcons.com will be video-streaming all home matches this year. Fans can access the free service by clicking on the "watch" link on the Air Force volleyball schedule.

    HISTORY 101
    UNLV holds a 25-2 advantage over Air Force in the all-time series. The Falcons only victories over the Rebels came during the 1996 and 1999 seasons. Air Force won both contests, held at the Academy, by matching 3-1 scores.

    UNLV is 1-7 on the season and 0-1 in conference action, but the Rebels will host Wyoming on Tuesday, before travelling to the Academy. Two of the Rebels' first three matches were against top-10 teams, including eighth-ranked Florida and ninth-ranked UCLA. The only victory for UNLV was a 3-1 victory over Valparasio on Sept. 29. Cursty Jackson leads the Rebels' with 2.50 kills per set, while Kelsey Keeler averages 1.83 digs per set.

    The Falcons and Rebels each have one member of their team that hails from the opposing state. UNLV junior Sara Nehf is from Centennial, Colo., while Air Force senior manager Nicole Hartig is from Henderson, Nev.

    This will be a very quick week for the Falcons, as they have just one match in an 11-day span. Air Force opened the season with four matches in two days during each of the first three weeks, while playing two matches in three days over the past weekend.

    The Falcons defeated Utah 25-23 in the third set on Sept. 17 to claim its first "set" win over the Utes since Oct. 15, 2005. The 25-23 third-set win was only the fifth time in 24 matches that the Falcons have taken a game from Utah.

    The Falcons have taken to singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" whenever Caroline Kurtz scores for Air Force and the team's vocal chords have been getting a workout this season. The junior, who leads the squad in kills, aces and digs, is ranked in four of the seven Mountain West Conference per-game statistical categories. She is second in aces (0.44), fifth in both kills (3.14) and points (3.69), and ninth in digs (2.80). In addition, her 15 kills against Canisius is tied for the best three-set output in the league, while her five aces against both Louisiana-Monroe and Utah are tied for second.

    Air Force has two players ranked in three different conference stat categories. Caroline Kurtz (see above) leads a trio of teammates in aces, kills and digs. Maiya Perich is ranked seventh in service aces, with a 0.32 average, while Nichole Stilwell and Kelly Spencer are ranked 10th in kills (2.68) and digs (2.74), respectively.



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