Falcons Drop Conference Match to New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Air Force volleyball team dropped a three-game match to New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M, on Friday, Nov. 5, in the final regular season road match of the year. The Falcons dropped the first two sets, 30-20, before falling in a heartbreaking 30-27 game to close out the match.
Errors by the Lobos gave the Falcons the first two points of the set, but the home team quickly tied things up. Air Force earned the next two points off a kill from senior Lamecca Jefferson (Beeville, Texas) and a block from juniors Kristin Hamlett (Escondido, Calif.) and New Mexico native Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas). New Mexico used several long serving series to take the lead for good, as the Lobos went on to win 30-20.
Air Force earned the first point of the second set, but was held scoreless for the next six tallies. A serve into the net by the Lobos halted the streak, but Hamlett posted a service ace to cut the deficit to three. The Falcons pulled within two, but New Mexico embarked on a 7-1 run to take control of the game. Sophomore Brittany Oligney (Katy, Texas) added a flurry of kills, but the Falcons fell 30-20.
The Falcons earned the first point of the third game and took an early lead backed by kills from Gallegos and Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.). Air Force led by as many as five (10-5), before the Lobos evened up the score at 10-all. The Falcons once again pulled out to five, behind kills from Hamlett and Kim Kallabis (Camino, Calif.). The duo also teamed up for a block at the 15-10 mark, but once again New Mexico matched the score at 15. From that point on, the two squads battled back and forth, neither team giving up a lead of more than two points, until New Mexico took the final three for the 30-27 win.
Hamlett led all scorers with 11 kills, while Oligney tacked on eight. Kallabis quarterbacked the team with 24 assists, while Jenalee Burke (Bakersfield, Calif.) collected 10 digs. Hamlett also added two solo blocks and tied with Gallegos for a team-best two assisted blocks apiece.
The Falcons return to action next weekend (Nov. 12-13), when they host San Diego State and UNLV at the Academy for the final matches of the regular season. Air Force will honor its three seniors -- Jefferson, Jenalee Burke and Molly White -- who will be playing in their final matches at the Cadet East Gym. Start time for both nights is 7 p.m.