LARAMIE, Wyo. – Sophomore Denise Ssozi, junior Abigail Miksch and senior Piper Heineck combined for 41 of the Air Force volleyball team’s 54 kills during a 3-1 loss to Wyoming on Friday, Oct. 27, in Laramie. Playing their second match in as many days for the first time since conference play began, the Falcons fell 21-25, 25-20, 12-25, 17-25 to the host Cowgirls at the UniWyo Sports Complex.
Air Force out-killed Wyoming by a 54-48 margin, as Ssozi and Miksch each tallied a match-high 14 kills and Heineck added 13 on .440 hitting (13-2-25). Heineck added a pair of assisted blocks, while Ssozi notched her fourth double-double of the season with the addition of 12 digs. Freshmen Jordan Daniels and Alex King paced the Falcons in aces (two) and digs (18), respectively, while junior Shanleigh Conlan tallied 47 assists – a total that matched her best single-match production of the year (Aug. 31, at Navy).
After Heineck opened the match with a kill, Wyoming scored the next six points to take an early 6-1 lead. Ssozi posted four kills during a 5-1 run that helped the Falcons even the score at 11. She tallied another kill and assisted with Heineck on a block to give Air Force its first lead (13-12) since the opening point. The squads traded the next five points, with Ssozi (14) and Heineck (15) producing the advancing points. Ssozi, Heineck and Miksch all added another kill, but Wyoming took the set by a 25-21 scores.
Heineck (one kill, one ace) and Miksch (two kills) helped Air Force take a quick 4-1 lead in the second set, while addition kills from Ssozi and freshman Kathleen Medill allowed the Falcons to double-up the Cowgirls at the 8-4 mark. Four straight points by Wyoming evened the set at eight and the two squads traded the next six points. After the Cowgirls took a three-point advantage (14-11), Medill, Miksch and Conlan put down kills to even the set at 14. A pair of scores from both Ssozi and Medill put the Falcons up two (18-16), while a Wyoming attacking error helped the Falcons reach the 20-point plateau (20-17). Miksch scored three of the Falcons’ final five points, as Air Force evened the match with a 25-20 victory.
Wyoming tallied five of the first six points in the third set, before quickly extending their lead to 10-3. Medill registered back-to-back kills and Miksch added a service ace during a 3-0 run by the Falcons (10-6), but the Cowgirls responded with a 7-1 run to go up by a 17-7 margin. A kill from Ssozi put Air Force in double figures (10-21) and Miksch added a pair of kills, but Wyoming took the set, 25-12.
Junior Lauren Heldt posted the Falcons first point in the fourth, as Wyoming took a fast 4-1 lead. Back-to-back aces from Daniels helped Air Force tie the set at four, but Wyoming doubled up the Falcons at 12-6. The Cowgirls pushed their advantage to 10 (19-9), before Miksch registered kills on consecutive plays at the 20-13 mark. Ssozi and Heineck added scores, but Wyoming took the set by a 25-17 margin.
Air Force is off from competition until next Friday (Nov. 3), when they host Fresno State at 6:30 p.m.