Air Force Falls in Four to San Diego State
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force volleyball team dropped a four-game match to San Diego State on Friday (Sept. 30) in Mountain West Conference action. Despite three players with double-digit kill totals, the Falcons fell 25-30, 30-32, 31-29, 24-30 at the Academy.
Air Force opened the game on a 4-1 run, but the Aztecs came back to pull the score within one. Air Force continued to hold the lead, but San Diego State kept it close. Senior Kristin Hamlett (Escondido, Calif.) picked up her first point after missing several matches with an ankle injury. The Aztecs tied the set at 14, but senior Briana Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) set down a kill to give the Falcons back the lead. SDSU tied things once more at 25 and scored the next point for their first lead of the set. The Aztecs continued to score, taking the next four points and the 30-25 win.
Sophomore Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.) earned the first two points of the second set, recording by a kill and a solo block. Again the Falcons took the lead, but the Aztecs stayed close. San Diego State tied the set at 21, but Akers and freshman Kristina Stewart (Glendale, Ariz.) teamed up for a block to retake the lead. Another tie ensued, but this time San Diego State took the lead on the following point. The two teams traded points for the remainder of the game, neither relenting on the score. Finally, once the score had passed 30, San Diego State claimed the final two points for the 32-30 win.
The third set started as the first two ended -- with the squads trading points. San Diego State took the lead at 10-6, but the Falcons climbed back to tied the score at 13. Contributing during the rally was a pair of kills by freshman Jasamine Pettie (Baton Rouge, La.) and an ace by Stewart. The score tied several more times until Air Force took a two-point lead at 20-18. The Falcons extended their lead to four points, but a 6-0 run by SDSU put the Falcons down once more. A service ace from sophomore Rebecca Gerton (San Leandro, Calif.) tied the game at 29 and Air Force earned the next two points for the hard-fought 31-29 win.
San Diego State took the early lead in the fourth game -- a lead which they held throughout. Air Force pulled within one at the early 8-7 mark, but several San Diego State runs secured the 30-24 victory for the Aztecs.
Senior Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.) led the Falcons with 14 kills, while Akers was right behind with 13. Pettie, whose 10-kill night was a career-best outing, led the Falcons with a .471 hitting percentage -- committing just two errors on 17 attempts. Senior Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) recorded 46 assists, while Gerton added 15 digs. Akers also picked up a pair of solo blocks (and assisted on six others) as the Falcons produced a season-best 13 team blocks. Stewart tied for a match-best three service aces.
Air Force wraps up an eight-match home stand tomorrow night (Oct. 1), when it hosts UNLV in Mountain West Conference action. Game time is slated for 7 p.m., in the Cadet East Gym