Nov. 5, 2012
After spending the last month playing along the Front Range, the Air Force volleyball team heads west this weekend for a pair of conference matches. The Falcons will travel to San Diego State for the final time as a Mountain West opponent on Thursday, Nov. 8, before making their first appearance ever at Nevada on Saturday, Nov. 10.
MATCH INFORMATION: SAN DIEGO STATE
Thursday's match, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (PST) at Peterson Gym, will be the final Mountain West meeting between Air Force and San Diego State, as the Aztecs will be leaving the MW at the end of the academic year for the Big West. Tickets are $5 (cash only) and are available at the entrance to the gym 60 minutes prior to the start of the game. Parking is $1/hour in Parking Structure 5.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
San Diego State took over sole possession of the conference lead, after a 3-1 defeat of Fresno State on Nov. 3. The Aztecs are currently 9-3 in the conference and 18-7 overall. The Aztecs are coming off of a 2-0 week that saw 3-1 victories over UNLV and Fresno State. The team currently leads the league in kills (13.90 per set), while ranking third in assists (12.65) and blocks (2.54).
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
The Falcons had their three-match home win streak snapped by San Diego State during the programs' first meeting this season (Oct. 13). Air Force fought back from a 2-1 deficit (9-25, 25-21, 22-25) to even the match in the fourth set (25-23), before falling 4-15 in the deciding set. Felicia Clement lead the Falcons with 14 kills, while Taylor Parker collected a team-leading six blocks.
MATCH INFORMATION: NEVADA
The 1 p.m. (PST) match on Saturday will mark Air Force's first-ever appearance in Reno. The Falcons and Wolfpack have faced each other just two previous times - at the Academy earlier this year and in Moraga, Calif., for a neutral site match in 1996. Tickets, which are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors, are available one hour prior to the start of the game at Virginia Street Gym.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
Nevada is 4-21 on the year and 1-11 in Mountain West action, although record will change, as the Wolfpack host Boise State on Thursday night. Nevada is coming off of a 0-2 weekend, falling in three to both Fresno State and UNLV. Nevada is ranked fifth in the conference in both blocks (2.30) and service aces (1.19).
LAST TIME THEY MET
Air Force claimed their second conference win of the season after defeating Nevada 25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23 on Oct. 11. Taylor Parker paced the Falcons with 13 kills, while Hillary Keltner recorded her league-leading 13th double-double of the year with 36 assists and 11 digs.
PERICH BREAKS OWN DIGS RECORD
With her final dig on Nov. 2, Maiya Perich set a new Academy Division I record for digs in a single season (401). The tally bettered the previous mark of 400 that she set last year. The senior, who became the first DI Falcon to account for 400 digs in a season last year, also holds the Academy DI marks for career digs and single-match digs.
PUTTING UP SOME BIG NUMBERS
Ayesha Hein matched the team's best blocking total of the season, as she recorded a career-best matching eight stops against New Mexico, while Hillary Keltner matched her second-highest assist total of the season with a 48-helper performance. Hein also recorded a season-best three service aces against the Lobos, which ties the second-highest single-match performance on the team this season. As a team, the Falcons set a new season-best tally with 30 blocks (all assisted).
BY THE NUMBERS
The 105 total points scored against New Mexico is tied for the sixth-highest single-match total in Academy history (since 25-point scoring began in 2008). The Falcons avoided a sweep by the Lobos for just the fourth time since the end of the 2003 season (17 total matches). The Falcons also took sets from New Mexico in 2010 (1-3) and 2005 (1-3, 1-3).
FALCONS DROP HEARTBREAKER TO NEW MEXICO
The Falcons' comeback fell just two points short, as Air Force dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to New Mexico on Nov. 1. Air Force overcame a 0-2 deficit with back-to-back wins in the next two sets to force a deciding fifth game, which ultimately ended with a 16-14 win by New Mexico.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The Falcons close out their home slate next weekend, as they take on Colorado State and Wyoming. Air Force will host the Rams at 6 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 15, before closing out the East Gym season against the Cowgirls at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Falcons will honor senior Maiya Perich prior to Thursday's match.