Falcons Travel To Weber State Invitational
COMING UP: The Falcons hit the road once again, traveling to Ogden, Utah, for the Weber State Invitational on September 9-10. The tournament, which features Northwestern State, Utah Valley State and host Weber State, will take place at the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber State.
YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: Although the two squads didn't face each other this past weekend, Weber State was at the Academy for the Falcon Invitational, finishing fifth - just one spot below the Falcons. WSU dropped matches to San Jose State and No. 10 Wisconsin, before sweeping Southeast Missouri State.
HAS IT REALLY BEEN A YEAR?: This will mark the second straight season that Air Force has met up with Northwestern State in a neutral-location tournament setting. Last season, the Demons took a hard-fought 3-2 victory from the Falcons at the Hibernia Bank Classic in Lafayette, La.
WEBER STATE NOTABLES: Weber State is 1-3 on the year, having gone 1-2 at the Falcon Invite...the Wildcats return five starters, including Kolbie Murphey - an All-Big Sky Honorable Mention...Air Force and Weber State are 1-1 all-time, with the Falcons' win coming in 1999.
UTAH VALLEY STATE NOTABLES: The Wolverines opened the season with a pair of 3-1 losses, but will travel to Boise State on Tuesday night...Jessica Endres leads the Wolverines with 21 kills..this will be the first meeting ever between Air Force and Utah Valley State.
NORTHWESTERN STATE NOTABLES: The Demons are 0-2, but lost four matches in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina...Whitney King leads the team with 20 kills, while Rachel Ford has a 7.75 assists per game average...Air Force and Northwestern State are tied 2-2 in the all-time series.
SHE MEANS BUSINESS
Sophomore Elizabeth Arrington had a stellar morning during the Falcons' match against Southeast Missouri State, as she posted a match-leading 23 kills. Her career-high outing was four higher than her entire freshman campaign. In addition, Arrington committed just three errors on 45 attempts for a match-best .444 hitting percentage.
THE ALL-TOURNAMENT DUO
Air Force senior Kristin Hamlett and sophomore Brooke Akers were named to the Falcon Invitational All-Tournament Team, following stellar performances over the three-match weekend. Hamlett averaged 4.69 kills per game, while tacking on 1.46 blocks a game and adding four aces. Akers put down 3.00 kills per set, hitting .261 for the weekend. In addition, she added 10 total blocks, including four solo stops.
Air Force's 30-25 win over Butler in the second set was the Bulldogs' first game-loss of the season. The team had recorded three straight sweeps prior to taking on the Falcons.
HELLO MOTHER, HELLO FATHER
This past weekend's Falcon Invitational marked the first time that Air Force was at the Academy over Parents Weekend during 10-year Penny Lucas-White's tenure.
ARE WE LOST?
After 10 years of action familiar confines of the Cadet East Gym, Air Force is playing six matches at Clune Arena this season. The Falcons 'borrowed' the new court from the men's and women's basketball programs for the Falcon Invitational (Sept. 2-3) and will use it once more when they host the All-Armed Forces Tournament in two weeks. Following the tournament season, Air Force will return to the East Gym on Sept. 22, when it welcomes South Dakota State to the Academy.
Senior Carly Siefken tallied a career-best 61 assists in the Falcons' match with Southeast Missouri State. The new mark is two better than her previous high of 59, which Siefken set just one week earlier at UNC-Wilmington.
THE ONES IN THE OTHER JERSEY
Sophomore Rebecca Gerton and freshman Ellen Bina have split time at the libero position for the Falcons during this young season. Since making her collegiate debut, Gerton tallied three aces and nine digs. Bina, a freshman who spent four years enlisted at Lakenheath AFB, England, working as a jet engine mechanic, recorded 43 digs and an ace.
OVERTIME -- VOLLEYBALL STYLE
Four of Air Force's six matches have surpassed the three-game mark. The Falcons have taken two matches to four sets and two others to five. Last season, Air Force concluded with 13 extra-set matches, which is just one shy of the Academy's Division I record.
Already this season, Air Force has recorded 25 solo blocks and 54 assisted stops. Kristin Hamlett has accounted for 13 of the team's solo stops -- which is already the 10th-best mark in Division I history.
WHO ARE YOU?
In six matches this season, Air Force has faced first-time opponents five times. The Battle at the Beach Tournament featured three new teams, while the Falcon Invitational matched up the squad with two new opponents. This weekend's Weber State Tournament will feature just one first-time foe (Utah Valley State), as the Falcons have faced both Weber State (1-1) and Northwestern State (2-2) in the past.
Seniors Rebecca Gallegos, Kristin Hamlett and Carly Siefken have started every match this season, along with freshman Kristina Stewart.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
For the fourth straight season, the Falcons featured a freshman in the season-opening lineup. Rookie Kristina Stewart was on the baseline for the squad's 2005 debut versus Xavier at the Battle at the Beach Tournament. Stewart recorded two kills, one assist and a team-best nine digs in her first game as a Falcon.
All six of the new additions to the travel roster made their inaugural appearance on the court in the Falcons' match with Xavier. In addition to Kristina Stewart, senior Briana Thomas earned a starting nod, while junior Tara Dunn and sophomore Rebecca Gerton also saw time on the floor, as well as freshmen Jasamine Pettie and Ellen Bina.
SHE GOT A BEACH TOWEL!
Senior Kristin Hamlett was named to the all-tournament team at the Battle of the Beach Tournament, receiving a beach towel "trophy". For the weekend, Hamlett recorded 65 kills in 11 games for a 5.91 per game average. In addition to hitting .381, she tallied seven aces, 20 digs and 11 total blocks. In fact, during the team's victory over South Carolina State, Hamlett led all scorers with 23 kills -- just one shy of the Bulldogs' entire kill total. This is the sixth all-tournament team selection of her career.
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
With a 5.25 kills per game average, Kristin Hamlett leads the conference by nearly a kill-per-game. She is also ranked fifth in the conference with regards to blocks (1.24), while classmate Carly Siefken is ranked third in the MWC with 11.38 assists-per-game.
THE LEADERS OF THE PACK
While senior Kristin Hamlett holds the title of 'team captain', fellow classmates Rebecca Gallegos and Carly Siefken will also be looked upon to guide this team in the new direction that they are taking. The different qualities that the three seniors possess will compliment each other both on- and off-the-court and help solidify the team.