Aug. 31, 2012
GREELEY, Colo. - With 25 digs against North Dakota State, Air Force senior Maiya Perich became the volleyball team's all-time Division I leader in digs on Friday, Aug. 31, in Greeley, Colo. Competing in the second match of the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic, the Falcons won the opening set with the Bison 25-19, but dropped the final three by 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 scores.
Perich finished the match with 25 digs, which brought her career total to 929. That mark broke Brooke Effland's mark of 925 that had stood since 1999. She also became the first Air Force player since 2003 to impact the program's Division I career record book.
Despite giving up the first three points to the Bison, Air Force roared back to score the next five. Freshmen Taylor Parker and Clement had a hand in all five Air Force points during the run. They combined for three kills and teamed up for one block, while Parker and sophomore Victoria Foster shared another block. Parker registered another kill, while sophomore Ayesha Hein tallied two to keep the Falcons up 8-6. Air Force continued to lead, behind kills from junior Cami Richan and sophomore Hillary Keltner. The Bison pulled the score within one at 11-10, but Foster and Parker added kills and teamed up for a block. Clement capped off another Air Force run, as its lead extended to five (15-10). Perich served up a pair of back-to-back aces, while a pair of NDSU errors extended Air Force's lead to eight (19-11). North Dakota State used a 7-3 run to pull within 22-18, but Parker and Richan teamed up for a block to help the Falcons claim the 25-19 win.
Richan and Clement scored the first two points of the second set, but North Dakota State used an 8-1 run to take a five-point lead (8-3). Clement used a kill to stop the Bison's run, while Richan and Hein teamed up for a block to cut into the deficit. (10-7). Richan scored the Falcons' next three points to bring the score within two (12-10), while freshman Maggie Sherrill added the next two. Hein and Richan tallied back-to-back scores (18-14) and teamed with Sherrill for the Falcons' next three points, but the Bison evened the match with a 25-18 victory.
Richan struck first in the third set, while sophomore Emma Dridge followed up with a service ace. The Bison evened the score at three, before a kill and service ace from Keltner allowed the Falcons to take a 7-3 lead. North Dakota State took the lead with a 6-1 run t was only broken up by a kill from Richan. Parker evened the set at nine, while kills from Hein tied the set at 10 and gave the Falcons a 12-11 lead. Keltner added another kill, while two by Richan kept the score tied at 15. NDSU used a 6-0 run to go ahead of the Falcons 21-15, before Air Force pulled back within four off of kills from Keltner and Hein. With the Bison at set-point, Hein put down a kill and Dridge rolled off three straight service aces to bring the score to 24-23. The comeback fell just short, as the Bison claimed the final point for the 25-23 win.
Air Force tallied the first point of the fourth set, as Hein put down a kill. Parker and Clement added scores to even the set at four and an out-of-rotation error by NDSU put the Falcons up 5-4. Two kills from Clement broke up a 7-2 run by the Bison, as they took an 11-7 lead. Hein added another kill, but another scoring run by the Bison put Air Force in a 19-13 deficit. Trailing 21-14, Hein, Parker and Richan recorded additional kills and Perich earned another service ace, but North Dakota State closed out the match with a 25-20 victory.
In addition to posting a match-best 25 digs, Perich also tied with Dridge for a match-leading, season-high four service aces. Hein led the team with 13 kills, while Richan collected 12. Hein also tallied a .481 hitting percentage (13k-0e-27e), while adding a team-high four blocks (all assisted). Keltner, who tallied one ace and assisted on 43 of the team's 51 kills, earned her third double-double of the year, as she added 14 digs to her stat total.
The Falcons conclude action at the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 1), when they face tournament host Northern Colorado at noon.