Sep 6, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Air Force volleyball team claimed a 3-2 victory over Long Beach State on Friday, Sept. 6, during the opening match of the Bay Area Challenge in San Francisco. Facing a squad that is ranked 28th in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll, the Falcons downed the 49ers in 22-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-22, 15-11 sets for their first win of the season.
Senior Cami Richan set a new Air Force Division I record for service aces in a single match, with eight Highlighting Richan's performance was a span of five aces in six serves that helped secure the Falcons' second set victory. As a squad, the Falcons accounted for 14 service aces - a mark just two shy of the DI team record. Juniors Ayesha Hein and Emma Dridge both recorded a pair of aces, while classmate Hillary Keltner and sophomore Akokwe Clement each added one.
Sophomore Maggie Sherrill tied for the match lead with a career-high 18 kills, while Richan and Clement added 16 and 11, respectively. With nine kills on 18 swings and just one error, Hein posted a team-high .444 hitting percentage. She was one of four Falcons to hit over .375, as the team averaged .274 for the match. Keltner, who posted the Falcons' first solo block of the season, tallied a career-best 53 assists, while sophomore Rebecca Bates led the team with a season-high 12 digs.
"We are learning to play at a higher level," head coach Matt McShane said. "Long Beach State is a strong program and they have been a strong program for decades. Cami had a huge game. Maggie and Ayesha played really well and Hillary did a great job finding the hitters. Hitting .274 against a team this good is huge. We served and passed very well ... and didn't let them pass well. We have been working on those things in practice and today, we did them very well."
Air Force returns to action with a pair of road contests tomorrow (Sept. 7). The Falcons face San Francisco, the host of the Bay Area Challenge, at 11 a.m., before traveling to Moraga, Calif., to take on St. Mary's at 7:00 p.m.