Nov. 15, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Air Force volleyball team dropped a close 3-0 match to 10th-ranked Colorado State on Friday, Nov. 15, in Fort Collins, Colo. Air Force, which was facing its second top-10 team of the season, fell in straight 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 sets to the undefeated Rams.
Sophomore Akokwe Clement paced the Falcons with 12 kills, while classmate Maggie Sherrill added nine. Junior Hillary Keltner assisted on 35 of the team's 39 kills, while accounting for one of the team's four service aces. Sophomores Rachael Bradley Powers (two) and Rebecca Bates (one) added the remaining three aces, while leading the team in digs with totals of 13 and 12, respectively. Junior Ayesha Hein led the team with three blocks, including a solo stop.
"I think we played great tonight and came out better than (Colorado State) expected," head coach Matt McShane said. "We had a few breakdowns in the middle, but other than that we played very well. Our outsides carried the load and did a great job. We've also been working hard on defense and I think that it really paid off tonight.
The match opened with the two squads trading points, including the first of 10 ties on an equalizing kill by sophomore Taylor Parker. Hein recorded a solo block, while Clement and Sherrill put down kills that continued to even the scores. Another kill by Sherrill gave the Falcons their first lead (5-4), before the two schools went back to trading points. Colorado State pulled away from Air Force with a 7-2 run that put the score at 16-12 and eventually reached set-point (24-18). Air Force scored three straight points, including a kill by senior Cami Richan and an ace by Bradley Powers, before falling 25-21.
The Falcons came out strong in the second set, jumping out to an early 7-1 advantage. Clement scored a pair of kills during the run, while Bradley Powers earned her second service ace of the match. Colorado State eventually responded with a 9-0 run to take a 14-10 lead. Hein stopped the scoring streak with kill, while sophomore Raquel Rosas added a pair of scores. Clement scored three of the Falcons' next four points to bring Air Force back within two (19-17), while another kill from Sherrill kept the score at two (20-18). The Rams closed out the set with a 5-2 run to take the 25-20 win.
Air Force took the early lead in the third set, as kills from Clement, Hein and Sherrill helped the Falcons out to a 7-4 lead. The Rams pulled within one (7-6), but the Falcons followed with kills from Parker and Richan, as well as service aces from Keltner and Bates, to take a four-point advantage (12-8) The Falcons took a three-point margin (16-13) off of a block by Sherrill and Keltner, but CSU responded with five straight points to go up 18-16. Sherrill, Clement and Hein added kills, but Colorado State completed the sweep with a 25-21 victory.
Air Force returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 20, when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., to face New Mexico at 7 p.m.