Oct. 17, 2011
The Air Force volleyball team opens the second half of the Mountain West Conference Season this week with home matches against Wyoming and Colorado State. The Falcons will host the Cowgirls during their annual PINK match on Thursday (Oct. 20) at 7 p.m., before hosting the Rams, who are receiving votes in the national coaches' poll, at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Match Notes 09: vs. Wyoming, vs. Colorado State
Both matches will be available via live stats and webcast on GoAirForceFalcons.com. Thursday's match will be the Falcons' annual PINK match, so fans wearing pink will receive free admission to the match and the first 300 fans will receive a commemorative "Pink Zone" tee-shirt. Saturday's match runs in conjunction with the second-annual Alumni Weekend.
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Wyoming is currently 14-8 on the year, finishing the first half of the conference season with a 4-3 mark. Wyoming split last weekend, as they dropped a 3-2 contest to TCU on Thursday and swept New Mexico 3-0 on Saturday. Jodi Purdy, who leads the Mountain West with 0.33 aces per set, is the Cowgirls' leader in kills per set with 3.63.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Colorado State is 13-4 on the year and 6-1 in the conference. They are currently receiving votes in the weekly coaches poll, after a 27-week run in the national rankings was snapped on Oct. 10. Last weekend, the Rams swept both New Mexico and TCU at home. Katelyn Steffan, the reigning MW Player of the Week, leads the conference with 4.12 kills per set, while Megan Ploudre holds a league-leading 1.49 blocks per set average.
Wyoming leads the series by a 28-5 margin. Air Force last won match in that series in 2003. Colorado State leads its series with Air Force by a 35-1 margin. The Falcons' only win over the Rams came in 1982.
Air Force is ranked second in the Mountain West in service aces, with a 1.28 per set average. Individually, Josalynn Wise is ranked tied for seventh overall (0.27) and fifth in conference matches (0.29) in service aces per set.
In addition to the Falcons' standings in ace production, Air Force players are listed among the league's top 10 in several other categories in terms of all matches. Maiya Perich is fourth with a 4.42 digs per set average and Hillary Keltner is eighth with 6.08 assists per set, while Cami Richan and Ayesha Hein are ranked ninth in kills (2.89ps) and points (3.19ps), respectively.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Hitting at a .385 clip against San Diego State (5k-0e-13a) on Oct. 13, Ayesha Hein recorded a hitting percentage of over .300 for the 12th time in 20 matches this season. Holding a season average of .281 (171k-59e-399a), Hein has hit over .400 in five matches and over .500 in three.
CAN YOU DIG IT?
With 287 digs in the first 65 matches of the season, Maiya Perich has blasted past her previous season-best (230), while climbing up the program's Division I single-season record book. Perich is currently ranked fifth on the program's all-time list and just one dig out of fourth.
ALL HANDS IN
With the exception of the two back row players, every member of the on-court squad has gotten a hand on at least one block. The Falcons, who have 10 solo stops and 124 assisted blocks in 65 sets, are led by Ayesha Hein's 42 total blocks (five solo, 37 assisted) and Kristen Holt's 27 total stops (three solo, 24 assisted).
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force heads back out on the road next weekend. First, the Falcons will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, for its final conference meeting with TCU at 7 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, Oct. 27. The match will be televised by TCU Student Productions and air live on The Mtn-MountainWest Sports Network. Air Force will then travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on New Mexico at 5 p.m. (MST) on Saturday, Oct. 29.