Oct. 13, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team had its three-match home win streak snapped on Saturday, Oct. 13, with a five-set loss to San Diego State. The Falcons fought back from a 2-1 deficit (9-25, 25-21, 22-25) to even the match with a 25-23 victory in the fourth set, but fell by a 15-4 margin in the deciding set with the visiting Aztecs.
Freshman Felicia Clement paced the Falcons with 14 kills, while sophomore Hillary Keltner led the team in both assists (31) and hitting percentage (.615, 9k-1e-13a). Freshman Taylor Parker, one of four Falcons to earn a solo block in the match, paced Air Force with six total blocks, while classmate Rachael Bradley Powers collected a pair of service aces. Senior Maiya Perich, who accounted for her second kill in as many matches, collected a team-high 19 digs.
The opening set was all San Diego State, as the Aztecs used several long scoring streaks to take the early advantage. Freshman Maggie Sherrill collected the first two points of the set for the Falcons, but the Aztecs took a fast 8-2 lead. Keltner added two kills and junior Cami Richan collected another, but SDSU pulled its lead to 14 (19-5). Air Force earned three points in a four-point span with two kills from Clement and another from Sherrill, but San Diego State took the set 25-9.
Air Force scored the first three points of the second set, backed by a Clement/Parker block and a Perich kill. Clement, Sherrill and sophomore Ayesha Hein put down kills to double up the Aztecs at 6-3, but the visitors evened the score at six. The two teams traded the next five points, before Air Force gained a three-point lead off of three straight attacking errors by the Aztecs. Freshman Rebecca Bates recorded a service ace to give the Falcons a four-point lead (12-8), but SDSU pulled within one at the 13-12 mark. Clement sparked a 6-2 run for the Falcons that including a pair of back-to-back aces from Bradley Powers, kills from Keltner and Richan, and a solo block from Parker. San Diego State again cut the lead to one (19-18), but the Falcons scored their next three points off of blocks (two from Richan/Parker, one from Parker/Clement) to go up 23-19. Clement and Sherrill recorded the team's final two kills, as Air Force evened the match with a 25-21 win.
A kill from Clement helped the Falcons to a fast 3-1 lead and additional kills from Sherrill and Hein, as well as a service ace from sophomore Emma Dridge, pushed Air Force's lead to 7-2. Richan scored back-to-back points for the Falcons with a kill and a solo block, while scores from Keltner, Parker and Clement gave Air Force a 13-8 advantage. San Diego State held Air Force scoreless during an 8-0 run that saw the Aztecs take the lead at the 15-13 mark. Keltner scored a pair of kills that helped the Falcons pull within one (17-16), but SDSU again improved its lead to four at 22-18. Richan and Parker added kills, while two straight attacking errors by the Aztecs brought Air Force back within two (23-21). A solo block from Keltner held the Aztecs at set-point (24-22), but SDSU claimed the final point for the 25-22 victory.
After surrendering the first point of the fourth set, Air Force jumped to a 3-1 lead behind a kill from Parker and a block by Sherrill and Hein. San Diego State tied the set at three and the two squads traded points that included six tied marks before the set reached 10. Clement, who collected a pair of kills during Air Force's first 10 points, tallied another kill that gave the Falcons an 11-10 lead. Sherrill earned a solo stop during a quick run by the Falcons that gave Air Force a 14-11 lead. Keltner, Richan and Clement added kills, but the Aztecs tied the set at 18. Clement scored a pair of kills that broke an 18-18 tie and a 19-19 tie and added another that helped the Falcons to a three-point lead (23-20). Keltner put the Falcons at set point (24-21), while Hein scored the final kill (25-23) to even the match at two.
San Diego State scored the first nine points of the final set, with Parker putting down a kill to stop the Aztecs' run. Keltner added another kill, but the Aztecs took the set 15-4.
The Falcons close out the first half of the conference season next week, as they head north to face Wyoming on Thursday (Oct. 18) and Colorado State on Friday (Oct. 19).