Air Force Sweeps Navy for Season's First Win
Aug. 27, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Air Force volleyball team claimed its first win the 2011 season with an impressive 3-0 sweep of service academy rival Navy on Saturday, Aug. 27, in the final match of the Kristen Dickmann Invitational in Annapolis, Md. The win - in straight 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 sets - is the Falcons' first true road win since 2009.
"This was a huge success for our team," second-year head coach Matt McShane said following the match. "Navy is a great team and to defeat a service academy is a huge deal. I am extremely proud of the team. All eight freshmen stepped up, Ayesha and Maiya did a great job of leading the team and Claire really stepped up today."
Freshman Ayesha Hein put the Falcons on the board first, putting down a kill on the opening point. Air Force maintained the lead behind a pair of kills from sophomore Cami Richan and a block by freshman Lizzy Carpenter. Navy pulled within one at 8-7, but three kills from Hein helped push the Falcons' lead out to five. Richan and Hein posted a kill and service ace, respectively, as Air Force bolstered its advantage to 16-10. Navy pulled within three at the 18-15 mark, but sophomore Claire Bieber put down a pair of kills to spread the Falcons' advantage to five. The Midshipmen closed the gap to two at 23-21, but Richan put down a kill and Hein closed out the set with a service ace to give the Falcons the 25-21 victory - its first set win of the short 2011 season.
Navy scored the first two points of the second set, but a kill from Hein evened the set at two. The squads traded points, with a kill from freshman Hillary Keltner tying the game at 10. The Mids pulled out to a 12-10 lead, but Air Force responded with the next nine points. Freshman Emma Dridge tallied a pair of service aces, while Hein added a pair of kills. Richan and Keltner also added kills during that run, while Keltner and Hein teamed up for a block. Navy scored five of the next seven points (21-17), but the Falcons closed out the set with the final four points, in part from a kill from Richan and an assisted block form Carpenter and freshman Kristen Holt, to win the set by a 25-17 score.
Carpenter opened the scoring of the third set, but Navy took an early 10-7. The Falcons evened the score at 11, thanks to service aces from junior Maiya Perich and freshman Brooke Pottle. Pottle also teamed up with Hein on a block to keep the score tied at 12. Air Force edged out a two-point advantage, behind kills from Richan, Carpenter and Holt. Navy matched the score at 16 and again at 18, but Carpenter put down a kill and Hein and Bieber teamed up for a block to put the Falcons up 22-18. Navy again closed the gap to 23-21, but Bieber and Hein used kills to secure the 25-21 Air Force win.
Richan led all players with nine kills, connecting at a .263 clip (9 kills-4 errors-19 attempts), while Bieber added seven kills and Hein tallied six. Hein and Dridge each recorded three service aces, combining for six of the team's 10. Sophomore Josalynn Wise tallied 13 assists, while Keltner added 12. Defensively, Perich accounted for a team-best 11 digs, while Hein assisted three blocks.
The Falcons open the home portion of their schedule on Tuesday, Aug. 30, when they host in-state rival Northern Colorado at 7 p.m., at Falcon Court at East Gym.