Falcons Fall to Utah Valley in Straight Sets
Sept. 9, 2011
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Utah Valley during its first match of the Falcon Invitational on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Academy. Sophomore Cami Richan and freshman Ayesha Hein combined for 19 of the Falcons' 29 total kills, as Air Force fell in straight 25-16, 25-13, 25-22 sets.
"We hit .235 in the third set and that's encouraging," head coach Matt McShane said. "We just need to learn how to finish. There are positives out there, but we just need to learn to finish."
Richan paced the Falcons with 10 kills, while Hein connected on nine of 15 attempts and committed just one error for a match-leading and season-best .533 hitting percentage. Hein, freshman Emma Dridge and junior Maiya Perich each record a service ace, while Perich tied for the match lead with 11 digs. Freshman Hillary Keltner recorded 15 assists, while classmate Kristen Holt posted a season-best three blocks (all assisted).
Sophomore Claire Bieber put the Falcons on the board first, tallying a kill on the opening point. Despite kills from Hein, Keltner and Richan, the Wolverines doubled up the Falcons at the 10-5 mark. Hein and Richan helped Air Force cut into the deficit (13-10), but Utah Valley regained a five-point advantage at the 17-12 mark. The Wolverines used a 5-0 run to go up 23-13, before freshman Brooke Pottle put down her first collegiate kill. Perich recorded her service ace, but Utah Valley claimed the 25-16 win.
Freshman Lizzy Carpenter used a kill to give the Falcons the first point of the second set and Beiber put Air Force up 2-1. Utah Valley scored the next two points before Keltner tied the set at three. The Wolverines went ahead again, but Air Force remained close, behind a pair of kills from Richan and a block from Holt and Carpenter that tied the set at seven. A kill from Hein kept the Falcons within one at 10-9, but Utah Valley scored the next seven points to go up 17-9. Hein added another kill and teamed up on a block with Richan for a pair of Air Force points (17-11). Hein and Keltner added another block, but Utah Valley used another run to secure the 25-13 victory.
Richan scored first in the third set and a pair of kills from Hein helped the Falcons go up 4-2. Dridge served four straight points for Air Force, including her ace, as the Falcons took an 8-4 lead. Hein added an ace (10-5), while Richan posted a pair of scores, including one that doubled up the score at 14-7. Bieber put down a pair of back-to-back points, giving the Falcons an 18-10 advantage. Hein, Richan and Bieber all added kills to go up 22-14. However, the momentum somehow shifted and Utah Valley served out the set to hold off the Falcons for a 25-22 win.
Air Force returns to action at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning, when it hosts South Carolina Upstate, who fell in four to Northern Arizona during the first match of the Falcon Invitational.