Air Force Ends Skid with Sweep of TCU
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- With a 3-0 sweep over Mountain West Conference newcomer TCU, the Air Force volleyball team snapped a 17-match winless streak on Sunday, Nov. 6, at the Academy. The Falcons took the first two sets 30-23 and 30-24, before holding off the Horned Frogs by a 31-29 margin in the third game to pick up their fifth victory of the season. The victory was also the Falcons' first in conference action since a sweep of Wyoming to close out the 2003 season.
The Falcons held the Horned Frogs to negative hitting in the first two matches, en route to an overall match total of below .000. Meanwhile, backed by four Falcons hitting better than .300, Air Force rolled to a .210 overall percentage that was highlighted by a .345 outing in the second.
Senior Kristin Hamlett (Escondido, Calif.) led the Falcons with 16 kills, while sophomore Brooke Akers (Desert Hot Springs, Calif.) added in 13. The duo's 29 combined kills was just five shy of the Horned Frogs' 34 total. Hamlett recorded a double-double, as she also led the team with 11 digs, while Akers topped the team with four solo blocks (and two assisted stops).
Sophomore Kim Kallabis (Camino, Calif.) also tallied double-digit digs for the Falcons, recording 10, while senior Carly Siefken (Beaverton, Ore.) picked up 30 assists and three aces. In addition, Siefken led the team with a .400 hitting percentage, as she connected on four of 10 attempts, while committing no errors.
Air Force earned the first point off of a TCU attacking error, but the Frogs quickly rebounded with the next point. Several ties followed, as neither team was willing to give up a substantial lead. Another TCU attacking error gave the Falcons a 10-9 lead -- a lead which they never relinquished. Air Force used several strong serving series to control the game, highlighted by five straight serves from Kallabis. The Frogs pulled within three at the 25-22 mark, but Air Force finished strong, as Hamlett closed out the 30-23 victory with three straight kills.
Another kill by Hamlett opened the scoring in the second, but TCU rolled off eight straight points for the early 8-1 lead. Akers stepped up to the line with the Falcons down 13-9 and proceeded to serve Air Force into the 15-13 advantage. Akers recorded an ace during the run, while Siefken put down a kill and Hamlett teamed up with classmate Briana Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) for a block. TCU tied the game at 19 and again at 21,but Air Force maintained their lead and Siefken served up a pair of aces to close out the 30-24 Air Force win.
Another ace by Siefken started the third game and the Falcons stormed out to an 11-3 lead. Freshman Ellen Bina (Orion, Ill.) was at the line for six straight serves during the run, recording her fifth ace of the season. Kills by Rebecca Gallegos (Las Vegas, N.M.) and Jasamine Pettie (Baton Rouge, La.) also contributed to the Falcons' advantage. TCU used six straight serves of their own to help take the 17-16 lead. A kill by Thomas tied the score and again the two teams traded points. TCU seemed ready to claim the third set, holding a 29-26 advantage at game-point, but Kallabis served the Falcons out to the 31-29 win behind a kill and a block from Akers.
The Falcons close out the 2005 home season next Friday (Nov. 11) with a 7 p.m., showdown with New Mexico in Mountain West Conference action. Air Force will also recognize its five seniors prior to the competition.