Akers and Stewart Lead Falcons over The Citadel
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- Backed by 22 kills from Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.) and Kristina Stewart (Glendale, Ariz.), the Air Force volleyball team took a 3-0 victory from The Citadel on Saturday, Sept. 17, during the second day of action at the All-Armed Forces Tournament. Akers' 12 kills and Stewart's 10 helped the Falcons' claim a 30-28, 30-20, 31-29 win over the Bulldogs in the two program's first-ever meeting.
Akers got the game off to a good start for the Falcons, putting down the first pass. Air Force advanced ahead, but The Citadel finally tied the game at 10 and started a familiar cycle. The Falcons again pulled ahead and the Bulldogs responded to knot the game at 18. The Citadel took the first lead of the game on the ensuing point and then began to take the lead. A service ace by Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) tied the game at 28 and a kill from classmate Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.) assisted the Falcons to a 30-28 win.
The opening points of the second game were closely contested, as neither team wanted to give up a big run. The Bulldogs closest margin during the game was two (11-9), but the Falcons prevailed. Six straight serves from sophomore Kim Kallabis (Camino, Calif.) -- including a pair of service aces -- led the Falcons to the 30-20 decision.
Air Force quickly found itself in a 4-0 hole to start the third set, but clawed back to match the score at 10. The Falcons took control of the game, but the Bulldogs refused to go quietly and pulled within one at the 20-19 mark. Air Force hit the 29-point mark first, but The Citadel rolled off four straight points to match the score. Two attacking errors by the Bulldogs helped the Falcons to the 31-29 win.
In addition to Akers and Stewart, Gallegos nearly hit a double-digit kill mark with nine. Siefken posted 25 assists in addition to seven kills and a team-best .385 hitting percentage. Siefken also registered 14 digs, to go along with 12 by Kallabis and 10 by Rebecca Gerton (San Leandro, Calif.). Kallabis served a match-best four aces, while Briana Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) assisted on a team-best five blocks.
Air Force returns to action this evening, when it hosts service academy rival Army at 7 p.m., in Clune Arena.