Air Force Falls to Nationally-Ranked BYU
PROVO, Utah -- Unable to halt an undefeated opponent, the Air Force volleyball team dropped a three-game match to 16th-ranked BYU on Friday, Oct. 14, in Provo, Utah. Closing out the conference home-and-home slate with the Cougars, Air Force succumbed to its first three-game sweep since the opening weekend of league play. The Falcons fell 30-19, 30-26 and 30-14 to the host Cougars.
BYU tallied the first two points of the match, but a kill by Kristina Stewart (Glendale, Ariz.) helped the Falcons tie the score at two. The Cougars used a 7-1 run to bolster its lead, but Air Force received a key kill from Kristin Hamlett (Escondido, Calif.) to stay within five. Stewart dropped another kill and Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.) posted points on back to back plays with a kill and a solo block. Akers and Hamlett each added another kill to their tallies and Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.) also got in on the action with a kill of her own. Despite their efforts, Air Force fell to the Cougars, 30-19.
Stewart posted the first point of the second game with a kill. Air Force matched the score at three, but were stuck at that number while the Cougars rolled up six straight points. Just as quickly as the deficit began, Air Force pulled back to within three as Gallegos added another kill and a BYU attack went long. Hamlett and Akers also continued to put points on the board for the Blue and Silver. Akers once again earned points on back-to-back plays, collecting a kill and the Falcons' first ace of the evening. Shortly thereafter, Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) rang up another ace as Air Force continued to stay close to the Cougars. A tip from Hamlett allowed the Falcons to cross the 20-point plateau and a kill from Gallegos brought the Falcons within three. Stewart added another kill to cut the Cougars' lead to two, but BYU earned the final two to take the 30-26 win.
Air Force found itself in the early deficit, following a 7-1 run by the Cougars. Several out balls from BYU allowed the Flacons to pull within three at the 9-6 mark. BYU embarked on a long 11-1 run to cement its lead. With a kill at the 27-11 mark and again at the 29-14 mark, Stewart collected the only two kills of the third game for the Falcons. Kim Kallabis (Camino, Calif.) added an ace, but the Falcons fell 30-14.
Stewart led the Falcons with seven kills, while Akers, Gallegos and Hamlett each posted five. Gallegos led the team in digs with 12, while Siefken notched 22 assists. Akers, Siefken and Kallabis each rang up a service ace. Hitting proved to be the Falcons' curse this evening. After hitting .086 (22k-15e-81e) through the first two games, Air Force tallied just two kills (10 errors) on 28 attempts in the third for their lowest attacking of the season (-.009).
Air Force continues its conference road swing in Utah tomorrow night (Oct. 15), when it heads to Salt Lake City to take on Utah. The first serve is slated for 5 p.m., at the Crimson Court on the Utah's campus.