Nov. 25, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - The Air Force volleyball team closed out a three-match road trip with a 3-1 loss to Utah State on Monday, Nov. 25. The Falcons, playing their third match in six days and their first-ever contest in Logan, won the opening set 25-21, before falling 20-25, 14-25, 14-25, to the host Aggies.
Sophomores Akokwe Clement and Maggie Sherrill paced the Falcons offensively, with respective kill totals of 14 and 13. Collecting 14 kills on 37 attempts and just four errors, Clement led the team with a .270 average. Senior Hillary Keltner recorded her 25th career double-double, as she recorded 35 assists and 11 digs. Defensively, sophomore Rebecca Bates paced the team with 16 digs, while Keltner, Sherrill and junior Ayesha Hein each tallied a pair of blocks.
"At times tonight, we played as well as we've played all year," head coach Matt McShane said. "At times, it was the best we've played all year."
A kill by Keltner opened the match, while Clement and Sherrill each added a pair of scores as the two teams traded points. Following a tie at seven, Sherrill and sophomore Taylor Parker put down kills during a 5-0 run by the Falcons that resulted in a 12-7 lead. Utah State scored three of the next four, but kills from Parker and senior Cami Richan helped Air Force maintain a five-point advantage (16-11).The Aggies pulled within two at 17-15, but Hein put down back-to-back scores to put the Falcons' lead at four (19-15). Sherrill and Richan each added another pair of scores, as Air Force won the set at 25-21.
Utah State scored four of the first six points, but kills from Clement evened the score at four and five, while a strike from Hein matched scores at six. The Aggies went up 9-7, but a kill by Keltner saw the Falcons tie the set at nine. A kill from Sherrill gave Air Force an 11-10 lead, but the Aggies responded with 8-1 run to go up 18-12. Clement scored Air Force's next three points, while a kill by Keltner brought the Falcons within four (20-16). Sherrill added another three kills, but Utah State took the 25-20 win.
Although Air Force struck first with kills from Sherrill and Richan, Utah State took a 7-4 lead. Clement added a kill to bring Air Force within one (8-7), but the Aggies used a 9-1 run to go up 18-7. Keltner and sophomore Raquel Rosas teamed up for a block and Richan added a pair of kills, but USU won 25-14.
Richan and Clement put down scores to start the fourth set, but Utah State doubled the Falcons up at 6-3. Another block by Keltner and Hein brought the Falcons within one (6-5), but Utah State slowly pulled away. A pair of kills by Richan broke up an 8-3 run that put the score at 18-11 in favor of the home team. Clement and Sherrill added kills, but Utah State closed out the set with a 7-2 run to secure the 25-14 win.
"Hillary ran our offense really well, but when we were put under pressure, we didn't serve and pass as well as we needed," McShane continued. "Over the past few matches, Akokwe has been hitting extremely well. We've been setting her a lot and she has responded with a lot of kills."
With its road schedule complete for the 2013 season, Air Force returns to the Academy on Wednesday, Nov. 27, to host Fresno State at 6 p.m.