Air Force Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker to New Mexico
Nov. 1, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The comeback fell just two points short for the Air Force volleyball team, as it dropped a heartbreaking 17-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-19, 14-16 decision to New Mexico in Mountain West action on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Academy.
After dropping the first two sets, the Falcons responded with back-to-back wins to force a deciding set. Air Force started strong in the final game, but New Mexico chipped away at the Falcons' lead before ultimately taking the tight, two-point victory.
As a team, Air Force had a strong night at the net, accounting for a season-best 30 blocks (all assisted). Seven different Falcons put a hand on a block, with sophomore Ayesha Hein led the way with a season-best matching total of eight. Freshman Taylor Parker added sixth, while junior Cami Richan tallied five. Air Force also had a strong night defensively from senior Maiya Perich, who tallied 17 digs. Perich was one of two Falcons to post double-digit figures in digs, as junior Josalynn Wise added 10.
Hein and Wise combined for five of the team's seven service aces, while freshman Rachael Bradley Powers added the additional two.
Freshman Felicia Clement paced the Falcons with 16 kills, while Richan added 15. Parker, who tallied her second-highest single-match performance of the year with nine, hit at a match-best .412 clip (9k-2e-17a). Richan's 15 kills highlighted a strong night by the junior, as she hit .382 after committing just two errors on 34 swings. Sophomore Hillary Keltner matched her second-highest assist tally of the year, as she assisted on 48 of the team's 55 total kills.
The Falcons claimed two `set' wins over the Lobos for the first time since 2003, while marking just the fourth time since that season that Air Force has earned any game wins against its opponent from Albuquerque.
Air Force returns to action next week, as it heads back out on the road for a pair of competitions. The Falcons will visit San Diego State for the last time as conference opponents on Nov. 8, before traveling to Reno, Nev., for the first time on Nov. 10.