Sept. 23, 2006
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Sophomore Kristina Stewart and freshman Jocelyn Booker combined for 22 kills as the Air Force volleyball team dropped a three-game decision to New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 23, in Mountain West Conference action. The Falcons fell in straight 30-23, 30-28, 30-18 sets to the visiting Lobos.
Stewart led all players with 13 kills, while Booker connected on nine more. Booker also led the field with a .375 hitting percentage, connecting on nine of 16 with just three errors. Stewart topped the Falcons' roster with 12 digs, while freshman Jaclyn Fleming added another 10. Classmate Katie Batchelder accounted for a pair of service aces, while Booker and junior Rebecca Gerton teamed up for a team-leading two blocks.
Batchelder opened the scoring with a kill, but New Mexico quickly took a 3-1 lead. A service ace by Ellen Bina tied the score at three, but the Lobos responded with another run to draw their lead out to 13-7. Sophomore Jasamine Pettie came on strong in the middle of the first set, book-ending a Batchelder ace with a pair of kills. In fact, Pettie scored three of the Falcons' four points during that span to bring the score to 16-13. New Mexico used a four-point run to increase its lead, en route to the 30-23 win.
The Lobos struck first in the second set, but a trio of kills from Pettie and Gerton gave the Falcons the 3-1 lead. UNM tied the set at four and the back-and-fourth play began. The two teams traded points until a block by Stewart and Booker gave the Falcons a two-point advantage. An attacking error by New Mexico increased the Falcons lead to three, but the Lobos clawed back to deadlock the game at nine. Air Force retook the lead off of kills from Booker and Batchelder. Junior Kim Kallabis, who accounted for 24 assists on the night, also claimed a kill to keep the Falcons' lead at two. New Mexico took its first lead at the 18-17 mark, but a Gerton kill and a Kallabis ace gave Air Force the lead once again. UNM kept things close, tying the set at 21, 22 and 23, before the Falcons pulled out to a 27-24 behind a pair of kills from Booker. New Mexico rallied to take six of the next seven points to win the second set by a 30-28 margin.
New Mexico used four long serving series to decide the third game. Air Force found itself down 4-1 early in the set and was never quite able to recover. Four straight attacking errors by the Falcons gave New Mexico a 10-point lead at 18-8. Air Force used several UNM attacking errors to pull within six, but the Lobos served up seven straight points to earn the 30-18 win.
Air Force heads north on Thursday (Sept. 28) for a conference match-up with Wyoming, before returning to the Academy for three straight meets.