Falcons Drop Three-Game Set to South Dakota State
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force volleyball team dropped a three-match set to South Dakota State on Thursday, Sept. 22, in its first match of the season at the Cadet East Gym. The Falcons, who have played their previous six home matches at Clune Arena, dropped straight 30-24, 30-29 and 30-22 sets to the visiting Jackrabbits.
Sophomore Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.), who was celebrating her 20th birthday, opened the game with a kill. Classmate Kim Kallabis (Camino, Calif.) rolled off three straight serves, including an ace, and freshman Kristina Stewart (Glendale, Ariz.) followed with four serves and an ace of her own, as the Falcons pulled out to a 7-1 lead. Air Force kept the lead throughout the beginning half, but South Dakota State finally pulled within one at 16-15. The Jackrabbits held the Falcons at 18, while embarking on an 8-0 run of their own, en route to the 30-24 win.
Taking the 1-0 lead in the second set, the Jackrabbits held the lead throughout the game until Air Force took the lead at 23-22 with a service ace by senior Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.). The two teams battled back and forth for the next several points. A kill by sophomore Elizabeth Arrington (Bend, Ore.) put the Falcons at 29, but the Jackrabbits rallied the next five points to take the 31-29 game.
South Dakota State used several long serving streaks en route to the 30-22 win in the third set. The Jackrabbits pulled ahead to a 20-11 lead, but Air Force used six straight serves from sophomore libero Rebecca Gerton (San Leandro, Calif.) to pull within three at 23-20. Unfortunately for the Blue and Silver, that was as close as they could get as SDSU took the game.
Akers led all scorers with 13 kills, while adding three blocks (one solo and two assisted). Gerton posted 10 digs, while Kallabis led all players with three service aces. Senior Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) added 25 assists, while junior Tara Dunn (Bloomfield, Colo.) picked up her first career kill.
The Falcons continue action tomorrow (Sept. 23) night, when they host Utah in the Mountain West Conference opener. The first serve is slated for 7 p.m., at the Cadet East Gym.