Sept. 16, 2013
After competing on the road for the first three weeks of the season, the Air Force volleyball team opens its home schedule this weekend with three contests. The Falcons being Mountain West action with a Thursday night matchup against New Mexico on Sept. 19, before hosting the annual Air Force Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 20-21).
NEW MEXICO MATCH INFORMATION
Air Force's home opener with New Mexico will take place at 6:00 p.m., inside Falcon Court at East Gym. Live stats and video will be available for free at GoAirForceFalcons.com. The Lobos are currently 8-1 on the year, following a sweep of Towson, Abilene Christian and Northern Arizona last weekend at the Lobo Invitational.
AIR FORCE INVITATIONAL INFORMATION
The Falcons will host five matches over the Sept. 20-21 weekend. On Friday, conference opponent Wyoming will travel to the Academy to take on UC Riverside and Utah Valley, book-ending a match between the two non-league schools. Following a day off from competition, Air Force will take on UC Riverside and Utah Valley to wrap up the season's non-conference slate. All matches will have GameTracker available, while Saturday's contests will be video-streamed on GoAirForceFalcons.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
10:00 a.m.: Wyoming vs UC Riverside
3:00 p.m.: UC Riverside vs Utah Valley
8:00 p.m.: Utah Valley vs Wyoming
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
12:00 p.m.: Air Force vs UC Riverside
6:00 p.m.: Air Force vs Utah Valley
SCOUTING SATURDAY'S OPPONENTS
UC Riverside, which will face both Wyoming and Utah Valley prior to Saturday's contest with Air Force, is 1-8 on the season. Last weekend at the Bankers Classic in Stockton, the Highlanders lost to host Pacific and San Jose State, before picking up its first win of the season during a 3-1 win over Winthrop. Utah Valley enters the Air Force Invitational with a 2-8 record on the year, but will face Weber State, UC Riverside and Wyoming prior to its match with Air Force. The Wolverines dropped three matches at its home tournament, with extra-set losses to Idaho State, UC Irvine and Utah.
New Mexico leads the all-time series with Air Force by a 29-3 margin, with the Falcons' last victory coming in 2003. Although UC Riverside hasn't faced the Falcons since 1993, when both schools were Division II members, the Highlanders lead the all-time series, 5-0. Air Force and Utah Valley have only faced each other twice, with a series tied at 1-1. The two programs last faced off during head coach Matt McShane's first season (2010), when the Wolverines took a 3-2 win from the Falcons.
Assistant coach Louella (Lovely) Maxwell was a freshman on the Air Force volleyball squad the last time Air Force and UC Riverside faced one another in competition.
DRIDGE DIGS UP A MILESTONE
Emma Dridge accounted for a career-high 32 digs against Army on Sept. 13, becoming just the second Division I player in Academy history to surpass the 30-dig mark in a match. The 32 digs against the Black Knights are just four shy of the program's Division I single-match record (36) that Maiya Perich set in 2011.
SETTING HIGH STANDARDS
With a #8 ranking in the AVCA weekly poll, Stanford is the highest-ranked team Air Force has faced at the Division I level.
AIR FORCE SINKS NAVY
The Falcons improved to 11-1 all-time against Navy following a thrilling 3-2 win in Annapolis on Sept 11. Four Falcons - Hillary Keltner (.562), Raquel Rosas (.400), Ayesha Hein (.320), Cami Richan (.306) - hit over .300 during the five-set match, while the team hit at a season-high .274 clip. Head coach Matt McShane remains undefeated (3-0) against the Mids.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
Air Force wrapped up its busiest stretch of the season on Sept. 13, playing seven matches in the span of a week. Following contests against Long Beach State, San Francisco and Saint Mary's in California on Sept. 6-7, Air Force traveled to Navy on Sept. 11, before facing Stanford, Army and Yale in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12-13.
WHAT'S ON DECK
With its non-conference season complete, Air Force will return to Mountain West action next weekend when Colorado State and Wyoming arrive at the Cadet East Gym for a pair of conference matches on Thursday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 28.