Sept. 19, 2011
The Air Force volleyball team opens the 2011 Mountain West Conference season this weekend with a pair of road matches at 20th-ranked Colorado State and Wyoming. The Falcons start league action in Fort Collins, Colo., taking on the Rams at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 22. Air Force will then head north to Laramie, Wyo., where they will face the Cowgirls in a 1 p.m. matchup on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Match Notes 05: at No. 20 Colorado State; at Wyoming
Both matches will be video streamed and have GameTracker access. Thursday's match will be available at www.csurams.com, while Saturday's contest can be found at www.wyomingathletics.com. Tickets for the match at Colorado State are $6 for adults and $4 for children, while admission for the Wyoming match are $5 (adults) and $3 (children).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Colorado State is currently 6-3 on the season and ranked 20th in the AVCA Coaches' Poll, after losing two of its last three matches. Wyoming is 9-5, after posting a 3-1 record at the College of Charleston Invitational last weekend. The Cowgirls will face conference newcomer Boise State on Sept. 22, before taking on the Falcons.
Colorado State leads the series with Air Force by a 34-1 margin ... the Falcons' only win over the Rams came in 1982. Wyoming leads the series by a 27-5 margin. Air Force last took a match from Wyoming in 2003.
HOME SWEET HOME
Claire Bieber will be playing in her hometown on Thursday night, as the sophomore grew up in Fort Collins and attended Fossil Ridge High School. Bieber made her collegiate debut last year at Moby Arena.
Air Force was ranked 28th out of 322 programs for service aces per set in the first set of NCAA standings that was released on Sept. 13. In addition, Air Force continues to lead the Mountain West with 1.50 aces per set. In addition, Josalynn Wise and Ayesha Hein are tied for first in the league's single-match standings with their respective four-ace outings against Northern Colorado and Bowling Green.
In addition to the Falcons' standings in ace production, Air Force players are listed among the league's top 10 in other categories. Maiya Perich is ranked third with 4.59 digs per set, while Hillary Keltner is ranked eighth with 6.57 assists per set. Ayesha Hein is ranked fourth in hitting percentage (.343) and sixth in both kills (3.14 per set) and points (3.77 per set).
HEIN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
For the fourth straight week, Ayesha Hein was named to an all-tournament team, this time claiming honors at the Aggie Invitational. Over three matches, Hein recorded 27 kills and a .279 hitting percentage. She also added three digs and six total blocks, including one solo stop. She posted double-figures in kills during both the Seattle (11) and Hofstra (10) matches, while hitting a match-best .450 (10k-1e-20a) against Hofstra.
FALCONS HIT AT A SEASON-BEST .302 CLIP
Air force hit a season-best .302 during the loss to Seattle on Sept. 16, connecting on 42 of 96 attempts and committing just 13 errors. Kristen Holt paced the Falcons with a season-best .600 hitting percentage, accounting for six kills on 10 attempts and no errors. Megan Clary (.333, 5k-1e-12a) and Ayesha Hein (.318, 11k-4e-22a) each hit over .300 on the day. Both defensive specialists - Emma Dridge and Maiya Perich - went a perfect one-for-one, recording their first kills of the season.
Air Force is the youngest team in the country, as 93.7% of its roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores. The Falcons edged out Buffalo (92.8%), as those were the only two programs in the nation to feature a roster with at least 83% of its team in either their first or second-year of competition.
FALCONS ON FACEBOOK
The Air Force volleyball team is on Facebook! Just type "Air Force Falcons Volleyball" in the search box and become a fan today for the most up-to-date information on the volleyball program.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force returns to the Academy to begin a three-match homestand next week. The Falcons will host New Mexico at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 29, before opening the month of October against TCU at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 1.