Falcons Gear Up For MWC Championships
After a short one-day turnaround following its last road trip, the Air Force volleyball team heads to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2005 Mountain West Conference Championships (Nov. 22-26). The Falcons, who finished the regular season with a 5-27 mark (1-15 MWC), are the ninth-seed in and will face off with eighth-seeded TCU in the play-in game at 7 p.m., on Tuesday (Nov. 22). The winner will advance to the MWC quarterfinals on Thursday (Nov. 23) to face top-seeded BYU at 4 p.m.
TCU NOTABLES: The eighth-seeded Horned Frogs are currently 15-17 on the season and 3-13 in the conference...Talaya Whitefield and Mirelle Hampton are ranked one and two in the Mountain West Conference (league-games only) with respective averages of 0.56 and 0.42 aces per game...in addition, Whitefield is ranked second with 2.91 digs per MWC game...TCU tops the conference in service aces, as the squad averages 2.23 aces per game, with five individuals in the top-10...in the first meeting between the two schools, TCU claimed the 3-1 win over Air Force in Fort Worth...Air Force returned the favor at the Academy, picking up a three-game sweep for its first conference victory since the 2003 season...the all-time series between the two programs is tied at two.
BYU NOTABLES: The top-seeded Cougars will await the winner of the Air Force-TCU game...BYU has just two losses on the season (23-2) although both losses came at the hands of conference opponents (Utah and Colorado State)...the Cougars are currenlty ranked 16th in the AVCA national rankings...Chelsea Goodman and Erica Lott are currently averaging over four kills per game, with Goodman holding the advantage at 4.34 kpg...three Cougars are tallying over one block per game...Lindsey Evans leads the team with 3.16 digs a set, while two others manage over two...Air Force nearly upset the then-undefeated Cougars on Sept. 24 - taking them to five games before eventually succumbing 15-11 in the final set...in the two programs' second meeting, BYU handily defeated the Falcons in three-straight sets...the Cougars hold a 16-1 all-time advantage over the Falcons.
SETTING A SEASON MARK: Brooke Akers posted the best single-match hitting percentage of the season (.619) in the Falcons' three-game loss to Wyoming. Connecting on 14 of 21 attempts, while committing just a single error, Akers recorded the team's best single-match hitting percentage of the season at .619.
AND A 'LITTLE BIT' MORE: At just 5-5, Kim Kallabis recorded her first career solo block at Colorado State on Nov. 19, just minutes after tallying her first assisted block of the season. Going up against one of the hardest hitters in the league, Kallabis claimed her first solo block.
AIR FORCE SNAPS THE SKID: With a 3-0 sweep over TCU, the Falcons snapped a 17-match winless streak on Sunday, Nov. 6. 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. The victory was also the Falcons' first in conference action since a sweep of Wyoming to close out the 2003 season.
REACHING A MILESTONE: With her first kill of the San Diego State match on Oct. 29, senior Kristin Hamlett broke into the Air Force Academy's all-time top-10 list with 1,097 career kills. Since that time, she has climbed the list with 1,166 kills. Hamlett, who is currently 10th, after surpassing Brooke Effland (1996-2000) on the list, is one of just two Division-I athletes on the all-time list - Delavane Diaz (2000-03) currently resides in 6th-place with 1,468 kills.
MARKING UP THE RECORD BOOKS: Brooke Akers and Kristin Hamlett are marking up the Division I single-season blocking records at a dizzying rate. The duo, who has accounted for 65 of the team's 86 solo blocks so far this season, is currently ranked second and third on the program's single-season solo block list. Akers is second with 33 - just seven solo stops shy of the record - while Hamlett is third with 32. In addition, they twosome is ranked third (Akers-65) and sixth (Hamlett-63) with assisted blocks, and second (Akers-98) and fouth (Hamlett-95) in total stops.
ECLIPSING THE PEAK: Senior Carly Siefken became just the fourth setter in Division I history to surpass 1,000 assists in a single season. Helped by a recent 41-assist outing against New Mexico, Siefken is currently fourth on the list with 1,057 helpers.
MARKING UP THE RECORD BOOKS II: In addition to the assists and blocking records that have been changed over the course of the season, several other moves have been made in the Division I record books. Carly Siefken is ranked fifth with 254 digs on the year, while Rebecca Gallegos is eighth with 227. Kim Kallabis moved in seventh on the single-season service ace list with 34 on the year. Gallegos (seventh-919), Brooke Akers (eighth-843) and Kristin Hamlett (ninth-841) have all made their way into the single-season attempts list, while Akers and Hamlett moved into the top-10 single-season kills list with 348 (sixth) and 318 (10th), respectively.