Air Force Downs Arkansas State in Four
Aug. 25, 2012
BHOUSTON, Texas - Backed by a career-high 27 kills from junior Cami Richan, the Air Force volleyball team defeated Arkansas State, 3-1, during the nightcap of the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 25. The Falcons, who improved to 1-2 on the year, defeated the Red Wolves (1-2) in 26-24, 16-25, 25-21, 25-15 sets.
Richan scored the Falcons' first point, but Arkansas State edged out to a 5-2 lead. Back-to-back kills from sophomore Ayesha Hein and freshman Felicia Clement brought the Falcons within one at the 5-4 mark. Hein and Richan added additional kills, while an attacking error by the Red Wolves evened the match at nine. The two squads traded points, with Clement and Hein adding points for Air Force. A kill from Richan evened the score at 14, while a score by sophomore Hillary Keltner deadlocked the set at 15. Air Force took its first lead of the set off of a bad attempt by Arkansas State. The two teams continued to trade points, with Richan and Clement each adding a pair of kills to help tie the score at 20. Additional kills from Richan tied the set at 22 and 23. With the Red Wolves at set-point (24-23), a kill from Richan sparked a three-point run by Air Force (which included another kill from Clement) to secure its first set win of the season at 26-24.
Arkansas State jumped out to a fast 9-3 lead to start the second set, before extending its lead to 14-5. Clement collected her second point of the Falcons' first six, while Richan added her first point of the set at the 14-8 mark. Following an Air Force timeout (17-8), Richan, Keltner and Clement helped the Falcons cut into the deficit, but the Red Wolves won the set by a 25-16 margin.
Despite ASU scoring the first three points of the third set, Richan and sophomore Lizzy Carpenter helped Air Force even the score at four. The Red Wolves regained the lead, but Richan scored three of the Falcons' next four points to put Air Force up 10-9. ASU used another run to take a 16-13 lead, but Carpenter and Clement put down scores to even the set at 16. Errors from the Red Wolves gave Air Force a 20-19 lead and Richan and Carpenter helped put the set away, as the Falcons won 25-21.
Air Force struck first in the fourth game, as Richan and Clement contributed to four of the set's first five points. Carpenter and Richan added kill and Keltner put up a block, as the Falcons took the 7-3 lead. Freshman Meg Bright added a score to put the Falcons up 15-10, while a 4-1 Air Force run (kills from Clement and Richan, block by Hein) extended its lead to seven (19-12). Richan scored three straight kills, to put the Falcons up by nine (22-13, while Bright, Richan and Clement put down kills to close out the set with a 25-15 victory.
Richan led all scorers with 27 kills, shattering her previous high of 17. She also accounted for a season-best .446 hitting average, connecting on 27 of 56 attempts, while committing just two errors. Keltner posted a career-best 46 assists, while adding 10 digs for her first double-double. With 15 digs, senior Maiya Perich paced four Falcons to double-digit dig totals. In addition to Perich and Keltner, junior Josalynn Wise had 13 and freshman Rebecca Bates had 11. Clement, who added 15 kills to the Falcons' line, posted a team-best four blocks (one solo, three assisted).
Air Force returns to Colorado next weekend, traveling to Greeley for the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic on Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The Falcons will face Oklahoma, North Dakota State and host Northern Colorado over the weekend at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.