Oct. 11, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team claimed its second conference win of the season on Thursday, Oct. 11, with a 3-1 victory over Mountain West newcomer Nevada. With the 25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23 win, the Falcons earned their first-ever victory over the Wolfpack and improved to 8-11 on the year and 2-3 in conference action.
The two conference victories are the most in a single season since the program won four in 2003. So far this season, Air Force has equaled the program's total number of conference wins from the 2004-11 seasons combined. In addition, the eight overall victories are tied for the most since 2003.
Freshman Taylor Parker paced the Falcons with a career-best 13 kills, while classmate Maggie Sherrill added 11. Parker, who connected on 13 of 24 attempts, with just three errors (.417), was one of two Falcons to hit over .400 in the match, as sophomore Hillary Keltner recorded a clip of .429 (8k-2e-14a). Keltner collected her league-leading 13th double-double of the year, recording 36 assists and 11 digs, while adding a pair of service aces.
In addition to collecting a match-high three aces, senior Maiya Perich produced her best defensive total of the conference season, accounting for 18 digs. She and Keltner were two of three Falcons to record double-digit dig totals, as freshman Rachael Bradley Powers added a career-high 15. Parker also paced Air Force in blocks with three, while junior Cami Richan and freshman Felicia Clement each added two.
The Falcons received the first point of the match, but found themselves in an early 6-3 hole. Kills from Richan and Parker pulled Air Force within one (6-5), while another strike from Parker evened the set at seven. Parker and Richan teamed up for a block, while Clement put down a kill as the Falcons took a 9-7 lead. Two errors by the Wolfpack and another kill from Parker put Air Force up four (12-8). A service ace from Bradley Powers extended the Falcons' advantage to five, while a score by Keltner increased it to six (18-12). Richan and Parker accounted for two more kills, as the Falcons took the first set 25-18.
Air Force once again earned the first point of the set, while kills from Parker and Sherrill put the Falcons up 3-2. Nevada evened the set on the next point, but a kill from sophomore Ayesha Hein and two errors by the Wolfpack put Air Force up three (7-4). Keltner and Parker each put down a kill, but Nevada came back to tie the set at nine. Air Force retook the lead on the next point off of another Parker kill, but UNR earned the next two scores to go up 13-12. The two teams traded the next several points, including ties at 13, 14 and 15. With the score even at 15, Parker put down a kill to give the Falcons the go-ahead point and spark a 10-1 run to close out the set. Keltner served two aces during the Falcons' streak of seven straight points, while Clement tallied two kills and Parker added one. Holding a 23-16 advantage, Air Force captured the second set (25-16) behind kills from Keltner and Sherrill.
Coming out of the break, Nevada struck first and rolled out to an 11-4 lead. Despite a pair of kills from Sherrill, Parker and Richan, the Wolfpack doubled up the Falcons 14-7. Parked put down a kill on the ensuing play that sent Perich back to serve, with Air Force trailing 14-8. Following an eight-point span that included two service aces from Perich, a pair of kills from Sherrill, a block from Clement/Hein and a kill from Clement, Air Force led the set 16-14. Sherrill and Hein put down scores that kept the Falcons ahead, but Nevada responded to even the set at 19. Keltner used one kill to put the Falcons up 21-19 and another to even the score at 22, but three straight kills from Nevada's Janelle Batista allowed the Wolfpack to take the third set by a 25-23 score.
Like the third set, Nevada straight first and jumped ahead 7-4. Perich accounted for half of the Falcons' opening points, tallying her third service ace of the match and her first kill of the season. Kills from Keltner, Richan and Clement helped Air Force even the score at 10, while another score from Keltner put the Falcons up one (11-10). The Wolfpack tied the score at 14, but Air Force regained its advantage off of kills from Sherrill and Richan. Additional kills from Hein and Parker put the Falcons at the 20-point mark and up by five, but Nevada responded to cut the lead to one (21-20). A kill from Richan, accompanied by two UNR errors, put Air Force at match-point (24-21) and a score from Sherrill secured the Falcons the 25-23 victory.
Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when it hosts San Diego State at 7 p.m.