Falcons Suffer First Conference Loss to Nevada
Nov. 22, 2013
RENO, Nev. - Despite a career-best night from sophomore Akokwe Clement, the Air Force volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss to Nevada on Friday, Nov. 22, in Reno. The Falcons, who won the opening set 25-21, suffered their first loss to the Wolfpack as a conference opponent, when UNR took the next three sets by 25-20, 25-23, 25-19 scores.
Clement matched her career high, as she led all players with 18 kills. Classmate Maggie Sherrill and junior Ayesha Hein also accounted for double-digit dig totals of 13 and 11, respectively. Junior Hillary Keltner recorded her 24th career double-double after leading the team in assists (37) and digs (18). Sophomore Rachael Bradley Powers added 16 digs and teamed up with classmate Rebecca Bates for the team's two service aces. Hein also paced the team in blocks, with three assisted stops.
Although Clement put the Falcons on the board, Nevada took an early 7-2 lead. Several attacking errors by the Wolfpack helped Air Force pull within one (9-8), but it took until the 17-16 mark for the Falcons to take their first lead. Nevada retook the lead two points later, but Air Force used an 8-1 run to close out the set. Following a tie at 19-all, Clement scored a trio of kills, sophomore Taylor Parker and senior Cami Richan each added one and Bradley Powers tallied a service ace, en route to the Falcons' 25-21 win.
Air Force scored two of the first three points, including a block from Richan and Hein, but the Wolfpack used a run that gave them a two-point advantage at 8-6. Hein and Sherrill each put down a pair of kills, but Air Force found itself trailing by a score of 21-13. A kill by sophomore Raquel Rosas on the ensuing point sparked a 5-0 run by the Falcons, which included a Rosas/Clement block and a service ace by Bates. Hein added another kill, but Nevada took the set by a 25-20 margin.
Clement put down the opening point of the third set, as Air Force doubled up the Wolfpack early (8-4). The Falcons maintained their lead behind additional kills from Sherrill, Clement, Hein and Rosas. Nevada scored three straight points to take a 17-16 lead, before a kill from Sherrill helped the Falcons retake the lead at 18-17. Clement tallied a pair of kills and teamed up with Hein for a block during a 4-0 Air Force run that also included a block by Hein and freshman Colette Foster to put the Falcons ahead, 22-18. Despite the Falcons' late run, Nevada scored seven of the next eight points to take the 25-23 win.
The Falcons jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, behind a pair of kills from Clement, but the Wolfpack pulled within one (4-3) on the next three plays. Clement and Sherrill added kills, while Air Force put back a pair of blocks to go up three (10-7). Nevada evened the score at 13, while kills from Clement (14-13) and Sherrill (15-14) regained the lead for Air Force. Another kill from Sherrill evened the set at 16, but the Wolfpack closed out the set with a 9-3 run to take the 25-19 victory.
Air Force heads to Logan, Utah, on Monday, Nov. 25, to conclude the road portion of its 2013 campaign against Utah State. The match, a make-up date from early October, is slated to begin at 7 p.m.