Air Force Closes Home Stand With San Diego State, UNLV
COMING UP: The Air Force volleyball team looks to move to .500 in the conference as it wraps up an eight-match home stand, welcoming San Diego State and UNLV to the Academy this weekend. The Falcons will host the Aztecs on Friday (Sept. 30), before welcoming UNLV to the Cadet East Gym on Saturday (Oct. 1). The first serve is slated for 7 p.m., both nights.
SAN DIEGO STATE NOTABLES: The Aztecs split the opening weekend of Mountain West Conference action, falling 3-0 to Colorado State before taking a 3-0 win from Wyoming...they are currently 9-5 on the season...SDSU is ranked second in the conference in kills per game with 15.58...they are also ranked third in the league with 14.67 digs per game...Melanie Greene averages 3.61 kills per game to lead the team...freshman Alecia Waller tops the MWC with 22 service aces in 39 games (a 0.56 per game average)...San Diego State leads the all-time series with Air Force 15-1...the only Air Force win came in 1999, when the Falcons picked up a 3-1 victory.
UNLV NOTABLES: The Rebels are 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference after just one weekend of play...UNLV topped Wyoming in straight sets, before suffering a 3-1 loss to Colorado State...Maria Aladjova leads the squad with 3.55 kills per game...Las Vegas is ranked fourth in the conference with 14.52 digs per game, although opponents are hitting a league-high .263 against them...Jada Walker is ranked third in the conference with 4.14 kills per game and is one of just two MWC athletes to have cleared the 200-digs plateau so far...Melody Nua is second in the conference with 11.36 assists per game...the Rebels are 16-2 all-time against the Falcons...Air Force defeated UNLV 3-1 in 1996 and again in 1999.
SO CLOSE: Air Force nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in program history, as it took nationally ranked (then-No. 22) BYU to five games on Sept. 24. The Falcons picked up a pair of wins from the unbeaten Cougars before succumbing to the 3-2 loss. Included in that score was a 30-23 thumping of BYU in the third.
DOUBLE UP: Against BYU, with a career-best 10 kills, Briana Thomas quickly doubled her total season output, en route to a team-best .227 hitting percentage. Thomas put down 10 kills on 22 attempts, while committing just five errors.
SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE: Air Force has rallied together since captain Kristin Hamlett went down with an ankle injury during the Falcons' loss at Northern Colorado. Without her four kills per game average, Brooke Akers has stepped up with 59 kills in the last 14 games (4.21). In addition, Rebecca Gallegos and Kristina Stewart have both recorded over 25 kills and setter Carly Siefken has 15.
A SAD WEEKEND: Air Force picked up its first loss ever to service-academy rival Navy on Friday, Sept. 16, in a 3-1 defeat. On Saturday, Sept. 17, the Falcons rebounded to defeat The Citadel in straight sets, but dropped another 3-1 loss to Army. That loss was the first to the Black Knights since 1985 -- and just the second defeat ever.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TWOSOME: Carly Siefken and Brooke Akers were named to the all-tournament team for the All-Armed Forces Tournament. Siefken hit better than .300 in all three matches, recording 20 kills on 50 attempts with just two errors (.360 hitting percentage for the weekend). In addition, she posted 10.00 assists per set, three aces, 36 digs and four assisted blocks. Akers averaged three kills a game, while tallying five solo and eight assisted stops.
THE CURSE OF GREELEY: Things have not been particularly good for the Falcons since resuming their rivalry with Northern Colorado in 2004. Last year, then-freshman Brooke Akers broke her finger at the Butler-Hancock Hall -- an injury that kept her out of several matches. This season, Kristin Hamlett rolled her ankle just two points into the Sept. 23 match -- an injury that hindered her performance at the All-Armed Forces Tournament.