Air Force Set to Play Five Matches in 10 Days
Rachael Bradley Powers

Nov. 19, 2013

The Air Force volleyball team, which closes out the season with five matches in 10 days, begins its busiest stretch of the season with three road matches. The Falcons will travel to New Mexico (Nov. 20), Nevada (Nov. 22) and Utah State (Nov. 25), before concluding the season at the Academy against Fresno State (Nov. 27) and San Jose State (Nov. 29).

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The Falcons will travel to three states for the start of their busy season-ending stretch of play. Wednesday's match will be held at Johnson Gym in Albuquerque, N.M., while Friday's contest will take place at Virginia Street Gym in Reno, Nev. Monday's match, a make-up of the contest that was postponed during the government shutdown in early October, will take place at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. All five matches will feature live stats, while video streaming will be available at New Mexico and Utah State, as well as the home matches with Fresno State and San Jose State.

Despite dropping a pair of road matches last weekend at Colorado State and Wyoming, New Mexico is currently 20-7 overall and 10-6 in the Mountain West. Nevada (3-25, 1-15 MW) picked up its first conference victory of the year last weekend, during a 1-1 homestand with San Diego State (won 3-2) and UNLV (lost 0-3). Utah State, currently 18-9 on the season and 11-5 in conference, will travel to UNLV and San Diego State this weekend, before returning home to host Air Force in the make-up contest. Fresno State (17-11, 11-5 MW) and San Jose State (8-19, 5-11 MW) will host Colorado State and Wyoming this weekend and travel to New Mexico prior to their respective visits to the Academy.

With the exception of New Mexico, which leads the all-time series with Air Force by a 30-3 margin, the upcoming span of matches features some of the conference's newer programs. The Falcons hold a winning record against Nevada (3-1), while Utah State (1-0), Fresno State (6-1) and San Jose State (4-0) all lead their respective series with Air Force.

Three members of the Falcons' roster will be returning to their home states during this road trip. Rachael Bradley Powers (Albuquerque) and Kristen Holt (Edgewood) both hail from New Mexico, while Cami Richan calls Highland, Utah, home. In addition, head coach Matt McShane served as an assistant coach for New Mexico for 13 years, while assistant coach Marc Swindle is a 1992 graduate of UNM and spent two seasons as a volunteer on the Lobos' coaching staff.

With five kills at Colorado State, Cami Richan moved into fifth on the program's Division I list for career kills with a current total of 889. In addition, Hillary Keltner used a 35-assist performance against the Rams to surpass the 1000-assist mark for the second straight year and move into fifth on the program's DI single-season list, while Emma Dridge accounted for six digs at CSU to debut in ninth on the team's single-season list with 265.

The Falcons tallied 62 points at 10th-ranked Colorado State on Nov. 15, marking the highest single-match total at Moby Arena since 2006. It also matches the program's highest total against the Rams in any venue since 2009.

With a #10 ranking in the AVCA Coaches' Poll, Colorado State was the second top-10 team that the Falcons faced this season. Air Force, which faced eighth-ranked Stanford in Arlington, Va., during non-conference play, is 1-4 on the season against teams earning a mention in the AVCA polls. The Falcons defeated Long Beach State when the squad was receiving votes in early September, before falling to St. Mary's (receiving votes), Stanford (#8) and Colorado State (#19 on Sept. 26, #10 on Nov. 15).

Air Force recorded a career-best 66 kills at Wyoming, surpassing its previous high of 63 that had stood since the five-set match with Long Beach State. Cami Richan led the way with 16 kills, while teaming with Maggie Sherrill (14) and Ayesha Hein (13) to combine for 43 of the team's strikes.

Air Force wraps up the busy conclusion to its season with a pair of home matches at Cadet East Gym. The Falcons will host Fresno State on Wednesday, Nov. 27, and San Jose State on Friday, Nov. 29. Both matches are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.



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