Nov. 9, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Backed by a strong, balanced attack, the Air Force volleyball team claimed the program's first-ever victory over Boise State this evening (Nov. 9) at the Academy's Cadet East Gym. The Falcons, who were paced by strong performances from its middles, defeated the Broncos in 25-15, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22 sets.
Three Falcons hit over .400 in the match, as the squad combined for a .296 average. The Broncos had no answer for Air Force in the middle, as sophomore Taylor Parker hit at a career-best pace of .722, connecting on 13 of 18 attempts with no errors. Fellow middle, junior Ayesha Hein, added another 13 kills, while hitting .423 (13k-2e-26a). Freshman Collette Foster also hit over .400 on the night, recording a .429 average, with four kills on seven swings and one error during three sets of play.
Parker and Hein, who paced the team in blocks with four apiece (one solo, three assisted), were two of four Falcons to record double-digit kill totals in the match, as Air Force out-killed Boise State by a 62-49 margin. Sophomore Maggie Sherrill led the team with 16 kills, while classmate Akokwe Clement added 10. Sherrill added a solo block to her stat line, while hitting at a .364 clip (16k-4e-33a).
Four Falcons recorded service aces during the match, including Foster, who recorded her first collegiate ace on her first trip to the serving line. Senior Josalynn Wise, junior Emma Dridge and sophomore Rachael Bradley Powers also accounted for aces, while Bradley Powers (16) and classmate Rebecca Bates (10) paced the team in digs.
As a team, Air Force hit over .250 in all four sets, while out-hitting the Broncos by 138 points (.296-.158). The Falcons came out strong, holding Boise State to negative hitting in the first game, while posting their highest single-set average of a conference match (.407).
"Our hitting has been really good, but our defense was great tonight," head coach Matt McShane said. "I think that we took advantage of everything that (Boise State) gave to us. We had some things that we wanted to do and we were able to do those things much better. I'm incredibly proud of them. You get close, but then lose those last four or five points ... that starts weighing on you. A couple games tonight, it got close, but we were able to pull away and win against a very good team in our conference. I'm just incredibly proud and incredibly happy."
The win was the Falcons' first over Boise State, who had entered the match with a 7-0 all-time margin (6-0 as Mountain West opponents).
The Falcons begin a five-match road trip this week, when it travels to Wyoming and Colorado State. Air Force will take on the Cowgirls in Laramie on Thursday, Nov. 14, before heading to Fort Collins to face the 10th-ranked Rams on Friday, Nov. 15.