Sept. 26, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to undefeated Colorado State on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Academy's Cadet East Gym. Taking on the 19th-ranked Rams in conference action, the Falcons fell in 25-20, 25-19, 25-16 sets.
Senior Cami Richan led the Falcons with seven kills and a solo block, while junior Ayesha Hein added six kills and a team-leading .545 hitting percentage (6k-0e-11a). Classmates Hillary Keltner and Emma Dridge led the team in assists (25) and digs (11), respectively.
"It used to be that I'd tell the team we're getting better," head coach Matt McShane said. "But I was never really sure that we could win. Now, we're getting better and we could win every match we're playing. At some point, we're going to figure out how to win matches. Clearly, we're skilled enough."
After giving up the first point, Air Force used a kill by sophomore Raquel Rosas and a pair of CSU errors to take a 3-1 lead. Kills from Richan, Hein, sophomore Akokwe Clement and classmate Maggie Sherrill helped the Falcons maintain the advantage, until Colorado State evened the set at eight and took the lead on the ensuing point. Three straight points off of kills from Richan, Clement and Hein gave Air Force the lead back (11-9), and another short run at the 17-15 mark behind another Rosas kill and Richan's block forced Colorado State into calling a timeout. The Rams came out of the break with a 7-0 run, en route to a 25-20 victory in the first set.
The Rams continued the momentum of the opening set into the second, taking a fast 11-4 lead. Sherrill collected three kills as the Falcons cut into the Rams advantage. A kill by Keltner helped bring Air Force within two (16-14), while a strike by Hein retained the two-point margin at the 17-15 mark. Richan added another kill, but Colorado State used a final scoring run to take the set 25-19.
The teams traded points to start the third set, with Air Force earning points from Clement, Richan, Keltner and Hein. With the Rams leading 13-10, Colorado State scored five of the next six points to extend its advantage to 18-11. Sherrill added a pair of kills, but the Rams completed the sweep with a 25-16 win.
"Our passing broke down badly tonight, but there have been matches where passing has kept us in the match," McShane continued. "The first two games we hit .229 and .412, which is great, but we got aced eight times and they had 10 more swings than us. Usually that doesn't happen. Usually, teams don't get that many more swings than us."
The Falcons return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, when they host Wyoming at 6 p.m.