BOISE, Idaho – The Air Force volleyball team opened its final full road series of the weekend with a 3-0 loss to Boise State this evening (Nov. 9) in Boise, Idaho. The Falcons fell to 5-10 in the Mountain West with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-11 loss to the Broncos (8-8).
Senior Piper Heineck, who accounted for two blocks to match the Academy’s Division I single-season record for total blocks (134), led the Falcons with seven kills on .545 hitting (7k-1e-11a). Freshman Andi Ahlers tallied 14 assists, while sophomore Denise Ssozi (11) and junior Sarah Hellman (10) registered double-digit digs. Freshman Mackenzie Robertson registered a team-best four blocks (all assisted), while junior Shanleigh Conlan rounded out the Falcons’ stat leaders with one service ace.
Despite an early solo block from Ssozi, Boise State doubled up the Falcons (6-3) in the opening points. Air Force responded as freshman Kathleen Medill put down a kill and teamed up with junior Abigail Miksch for a block to bring the Falcons within one (6-7). Heineck (two), junior Lauren Heldt (two), Miksch (one) and Ssozi (one) combined for three kills, but the Broncos pushed their advantage out to seven (22-15). Air Force scored the next three points off of a kill (Ssozi), block (Robertson/Heineck) and an ace (Conlan). Ssozi added one more kill and the Robertson/Heineck duo teamed up for another block, but Boise State took the opening set, 25-20.
Air Force nabbed the first two points of the second set, as Miksch posted a kill and Medill teamed up with Robertson for a block. The Broncos scored the next three points, before Miksch stopped their run with a kill. A score from Heineck gave Air Force a 6-5 lead, while her second score tied the set at seven. Additional kills from Ssozi and Miksch tied the score at nine, while a Medill/Robertson block and a Miksch kill brought the Falcons within one (11-12). Boise State scored 10 of the next 11 points to take a 10-point lead (22-12), before Heldt put down a pair of scores to halt the run. Heineck added one more kill, but the Broncos took the set by a 25-17 margin.
The Broncos opened the third set on an 8-1 run that forced Air Force into the early timeout. Boise State continued to increase its lead, pushing its advantage to 18-14. The Falcons subbed for a predominantly freshman lineup, as Robertson and Brynn Sulte accounted for kills. A score from Heldt put Air Force in double-digits, but Boise State completed the sweep with a 25-11 victory.
The Falcons close out this weekend’s road trip on Saturday (Nov. 11), when they travel to Logan, Utah, to face Utah State at 7:00 p.m. (MT).