USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to 24th-ranked Colorado State this afternoon (Sept. 30) at the Academy’s Cadet East Gym, falling in straight 21-25, 19-25, 19-25 sets. The loss dropped the Falcons to 7-11 on the season, while the Rams improve their record of 14-2.
In their first match against a nationally-ranked opponent, Air Force freshmen paced the squad in four statistical categories. Cambria Galloway hit at a team-best clip of .235 (8k-4e-17a) and shared the match-lead with eight kills, while Andi Ahlers recorded a team-high 14 assists and Kathleen Medill registered the team’s lone service ace. Junior Shanleigh Conlan, who added 11 assists for her fifth-double-double of the year, collected a match-high 12 digs, while senior Piper Heineck recorded a match-best seven blocks (all assisted).
Junior Abigail Miksch put down the first point of the match, but the Rams responded with nine of the next 11 points to take the early 9-3 lead. Medill and Miksch tallied back-to-back kills that stopped the run, while five straight points from the Falcons gave Air Force an 11-10 lead. Galloway put down a pair of kills during the run, while sophomore Denise Ssozi registered a kill and teamed up with Heineck for a block. The squads traded the next few points, while Heineck (13), Miksch (14) and Medill (15) accounting for equalizing scores. CSU took a two-point lead (17-15), but another Heienck/Ssozi block helped to even the score at 18. Colorado State tallied five of the next six points, en route to the 25-21 victory.
The Rams opened the second set with a 10-4 run, with Miksch (one) and Galloway (two) producing the Falcons’ only offensive points. Ssozi and junior Lauren Heldt added kills, but Colorado State extended its lead to seven at the 15-8 mark. Medill collected a kill and service ace to narrow the Falcons’ deficit to four (14-18), but the Rams responded with four of the next five points (22-15). Miksch teamed up for a block with Heldt and recorded a kill, but CSU took the second set by a 25-19 margin.
The Falcons struck first in the third set, as Miksch and Heineck teamed up for a block. The two squads traded the next six points, with CSU errors giving Air Force the lead at each phase. After the Rams took their first lead of the set at the 5-4 mark, Galloway put down a kill to even the score at six. A kill from Miksch helped Air Force retake the lead at 8-7, while kills from Medill (10, 11) and Ssozi (12) kept the scores tied. Colorado State broke the back-and-forth game with six of the next seven points to go up 18-13, but Heldt put down a kill and teamed up for a block (Heineck) to help Air Force pull within three (15-18). Heineck (kill) and Miksch (solo block) cut the score to two (19-17), but the Rams scored six of the final eight points to complete the sweep with another 25-19 victory.
After two weeks of playing at home, the Falcons travel to California for their first MW road matches of the season. Air Force will face Fresno State on Oct. 5, before playing San Diego State on Oct. 7.