The Air Force volleyball team opens the Mountain West season this week with a pair of home contests at Cadet East Gym. The Falcons will host Nevada at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 21, before facing San Jose State at high noon on Saturday, Sept. 23.
FOLLOW ALONG FROM HOME
Live video and stats will be available for all matches. Links to both are available on the team’s schedule page at GoAirForceFalcons.com
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
The Falcons’ weekend opponents will face each other in Reno on Tuesday, before making their respective trips to the Academy later in the week. Nevada enters the conference season with a 2-10 record, while San Jose State holds an 8-3 mark. The Wolf Pack wrapped the non-conference portion of their season with a 0-3 slate at their home tournament, falling to Sacramento State (1-3), Missouri (2-3) and Pepperdine (1-3). In their final weekend of the non-conference season, the Spartans dropped home matches to ninth-ranked Kansas (1-3) and Idaho (0-3), before sweeping tournament co-host Santa Clara.
Air Force is 5-6 all-time against Nevada and 4-7 in its lifetime series with San Jose State, although the Falcons hold even records with both squads since the Wolf Pack (5-5) and Spartans (4-4) joined the Mountain West. Air Force last defeated Nevada in 2014 and picked up its last victory over San Jose State in 2015.
Thursday’s match will feature discounted tickets for Academy permanent party members and Kid Force recognition, while Saturday’s contest will include a special $3 hot dog, popcorn and drink offer.
STAT BLAST ... NON-CONFERENCE EDITION
Three Falcons finished the non-conference season listed among the top of the Mountain West in their respective statistical categories. Denise Ssozi was listed third in both kills (3.94) and points (4.39), while Piper Heineck was ranked fourth in blocks (1.21) and sixth in aces (0.33). Shanleigh Conlan rounded out the trio with top-10 rankings in assists (ninth, 8.29) and aces (10th, 0.29).
SSOZI NAMED TO NORTHERN COLORADO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Denise Ssozi earned her second all-tourney nod of the season on Sept. 16, when she was selected to the all-tournament team of the Hampton Inn and Suites Northern Colorado Classic. During the Falcons’ 1-2 weekend, the sophomore collected 38 kills, 24 digs, four blocks, three assists and two service aces.
THE YOUNG WILL LEAD
Against Arkansas Pine Bluff on Sept. 15, the Falcons’ starting rotation featured five freshmen and one sophomore. With a lineup that included Andi Ahlers, Kathleen Medill, Kelly Motes, Mackenzie Robertson, Denise Ssozi, Brynn Sulte and libero Alex King, Air Force won the opening set by a 25-16 margin. The Falcons tallied 14 kills to the Golden Lions’ eight, while hitting over 300 in the set (.314) and keeping their opponents at negative hitting (-.027).
WHAT’S ON DECK
Air Force remains at the Academy next week, when it faces a pair of Front Range foes in conference contests at Cadet East Gym. The Falcons will host Wyoming on Thursday, Sept. 28, before closing out the homestand against nationally-ranked Colorado State on Saturday, Oct. 30.