Oct. 26, 2009
The Air Force volleyball team returns to the Academy this weekend for a pair of Mountain West Conference matches. The Falcons will host their first annual "PINK" night on Thursday, Oct. 29, as they take on New Mexico at 7 p.m. Air Force will then host TCU in a Halloween match on Saturday (Oct. 31) afternoon at 1 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on GoAirForceFalcons.com.
Match Notes 10: New Mexico; TCU
NEW MEXICO QUICK HITS
New Mexico split last weekend's matches, sweeping Wyoming and falling in a hard-fought five-set match to No. 25 Colorado State. Taylor Hadfield leads the Lobos with a 2.78 kills-per-set average - a mark ranked eighth in the conference. Ashley Rhoades (1.07) and Anna Lehne (1.05) average over one block per set and are both ranked in the league's top-10.
TCU QUICK HITS
The Horned Frogs are coming off of a 2-0 weekend that including a sweep of 25th-ranked Colorado State at home. Kourtney Edwards leads the conference with a .379 hitting percentage, while Megan Munce paces the league with 0.45 aces per set. Edwards has hit over .700 during a pair of matches, including a .789 performance (15k-0e-19a) in the Frogs' first meeting with Air Force this year.
New Mexico holds the all-time series lead over the Falcons, winning 22 of the last 24 matches. Earlier this season in Albuquerque, the Lobos swept the Falcons by 25-7, 25-22, 25-20 marks. TCU holds a 10-2 advantage against Air Force, although the Falcons' last conference win came against the Horned Frogs in 2005. At the beginning of October, the Frogs defeated Air Force in straight 25-23, 25-10, 25-18 sets.
Junior Nichole Stilwell had no problem finding the Rebels' floor on Oct. 24, as she posted kills at a match-best clip of .625. Stilwell connected on 11 of 16 attempts, while committing just a single error. The average is the second-highest on the team, falling just shy of Michelle Harrington's .667 (10k-0e-15a) performance on Sept. 24, which ironically also came against UNLV.
FALCONS FINISH 8-5 IN NON-CONFERENCE ACTION
With a 3-0 loss to Northern Colorado on Oct. 21, the Falcons wrapped up non-conference action with an 8-5 mark. It is Air Force's best non-MWC record since finishing 10-5 during the 2003 campaign. The Falcons' 2009 slate of 8-5 is the third-best non-conference mark in Division I history, falling only behind the 2003 and 1999 (12-2) seasons.
LET THE YOUNGSTERS LEAD
With four freshmen in the Falcons' starting rotation, the UNC match on Oct. 21 marked the youngest starting lineup for Air Force this season. Grace Konstanzer (20th start of the season), Maiya Perich (eighth), Dani Griffith (fourth) and Preslee Maki (third) received a spot in the Falcons' rotation, while Perich made her collegiate debut as the team's starting libero. Three of the Falcons paced the team in their respective statistical categories, as Griffith collected 16 assists, Perich dug up six balls and Maki recorded two blocks.