Oct. 16, 2012
The Air Force volleyball team closes out the first half of the Mountain West season when it heads up the interstate for a pair of back-to-back matches at Wyoming and Colorado State. The Falcons will travel to Laramie, Wyo., on Thursday (Oct. 18), before concluding the week in Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday (Oct. 19).
Both matches are slated to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Wyoming match are $5 for adults and $3 for children, while admission at Colorado State is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Live stats and video will be available at www.wyomingathletics.com (Thursday) and www.csurams.com (Friday).
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Wyoming is 13-8 overall, but holds a 1-5 record in conference play. The Cowgirls are led by MW preseason player of the year co-selection Jodi Purdy, who averages 3.27 kills per set. As a team, Wyoming is ranked first in the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.135) and blocks (3.00), while holding a league leading 15.78 digs per set average in conference-only matches. The Cowgirls are coming off of a pair of 3-2 road losses at league leaders UNLV and Fresno State.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Colorado State, tied for second in the conference with a 4-2 record (11-6 overall), is coming off of a 1-1 weekend on the road. The Rams fell in five to Fresno State, before sweeping UNLV for its first win of the season away from Moby Arena. Dana Cranston, the co-pick for MW preseason player of the year, leads the team in kills (3.33), while posting the conference's best MW averages in aces (0.55) and points (4.59). Megan Ploudre leads the conference in blocks (1.59), while Brieon Page is hitting at a league-leading clip of .383.
A LOOK AT THE CONFERENCE
Maiya Perich is ranked second in the conference in digs per set (4.64), while Hillary Keltner is ranked fourth in assists with a 9.66 per set average. Cami Richan is ranked seventh (3.21), while Taylor Parker made her season-debut on the league's top-10 with a block average of 0.94 per set. In addition, Keltner continues to lead the conference in double-doubles with 13.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Several of the program's Division I records got an adjustment over the Oct. 11-13 weekend. Maiya Perich moved into third on the single-season digs list (353) and fourth on the career service aces list (87), while Hillary Keltner jumped from 10th to sixth on the single-season assist list (734).
The Falcons claimed two set victories over San Diego State on Oct. 13. It is the first time since 2010 that Air Force has taken a set from the Aztecs.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Hillary Keltner hit a match-best .615 against the Aztecs on Oct. 13, connecting on nine of 13 attempts with just one error. It is the fourth time this season that the sophomore has accumulated a hitting percentage above .600.
DEFENSE GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE
Libero Maiya Perich accounted for a kill against Nevada (Oct. 11) and San Diego State (Oct. 13). The score against the Aztecs marked her seventh career kill.
NOT SINCE 2003...
The Falcons defeated Nevada on Oct. 11 for its second conference victory of the season (Air Force also defeated Fresno State on Sept. 22). The two conference victories are the most in a single season since the program won four in 2003. In addition, the eight overall victories are tied for the most since 2003, while the five home victories are the most since that season as well.
So far this season, Air Force has equaled its total number of conference wins from 2004-11.
AIR FORCE DEFEATS NEVADA
Backed by a career-high 13 kills from Taylor Parker and a match-best three aces from Maiya Perich, Air Force claimed a 3-1 win over Nevada on Oct. 13. The win was the program's first over the Wolfpack, although it was only the second meeting between the two schools.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force opens the second half of the conference season at the Academy on Saturday, Oct. 27, when it hosts Boise State at 7 p.m.