Air Force Rally Falls Short to North Dakota State
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- Despite 27 kills from senior Kristin Hamlett (Escondido, Calif.) and a late game rally, the Air Force volleyball team was unable to complete the comeback, falling in five to North Dakota State on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Academy. The Falcons dropped the first two sets (30-27, 30-25) before rebounding to tie the match with wins of 30-22 and 30-27. Ultimately, though, the Bison took the 15-11 advantage in the fifth to claim the match.
Air Force got the scoring started, as Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) served up an ace. The Falcons maintained the early lead, although the Bison pulled it within two at the 17-15 mark. Both teams continued to score, but North Dakota State used six straight serves to match the score at 26, en route to the 30-27 victory. Hamlett opened the scoring of the second set with a kill. The two squads traded points until Air Force took a 15-10 lead, causing NDSU to call a timeout. North Dakota State quickly matched the score and took the lead and eventually claimed the game by a 30-25 margin.
The Falcons got down an early 4-1, but Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.) rolled off seven straight serves to pull Air Force out 10-8. The Bison tried to climb back, pulling within four at the 21-17 mark, but the Falcons hung on for the 30-22 win -- their first game win since defeating Utah in the third game on Oct. 15. Air Force struck first in the fourth game and the two teams traded points. NDSU took the lead, but Air Force climbed back to match the score at 22 and retake the lead. Hamlett and Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.) both scored for the Falcons during another serving streak from Gallegos, as the Falcons pulled within one point of the win. Despite the Bison tallying four straight points, Air Force took the game, 30-27.
North Dakota State took the first point of the fifth set and despite an early tie from the Falcons at the 4-4 mark, the Bison went on to claim the game 15-11.
Hamlett led all scorers with 27 kills -- matching the Mountain West Conference's best single-match output of the season (first set by Hamlett earlier this year). Akers and Gallegos also amassed double-digit kill totals of 14 and 11, respectively, while Siefken neared the mark with nine. In addition to a match-best 48 assists and four service aces, Siefken posted the match's best hitting percentage (.600) as she connected on nine of 15 attempts, while not committing a single error. Hamlett recorded seven blocks, including three solo stops, while Akers added in a pair of solo blocks and assisted on three others.
The Falcons return to action on Sunday (Nov. 6), as the resume MWC action with a 1 p.m. showdown with conference newcomer TCU.