Falcons Open Conference Play with UNLV, Fresno State
Sept. 18, 2012
The Air Force volleyball team opens Mountain West action this weekend with a pair of home contests at the Academy. The Falcons, in the midst of a seven-match homestand, host UNLV at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 20, before welcoming conference newcomer Fresno State to East Gym on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Both matches are slated to begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Single-match tickets are $5 ($2 youth), while season tickets are $25 ($10 youth). Live stats and live video will be available at GoAirForceFalcons.com.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
UNLV (7-5 overall) is coming off of 1-2 weekend. The Rebels fell to Miami and 12th-ranked Louisville, before defeating Middle Tennessee State. Madeline Westman is one of three players with over 100 kills on the year (118) also leads the team with 62 total blocks (10s-52a). UNLV has faced two former Air Force opponents, as it opened the year with 3-0 victories over CSU Bakersfield and The Citadel. UNLV leads Air Force 31-2 in the all-time series.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Fresno State is currently 7-5 on the year, but has one match (at Boise State on Thursday) before facing the Falcons on Saturday. The Bulldogs are coming off of a 2-1 weekend, losing to No. 17 San Diego and defeating UC Santa Barbara and Yale. Marissa Brand leads the Bulldogs with 161 kills, while Maci Murdock has accounted for 46 total blocks (2s-44a). Fresno State is 4-0 all-time against Air Force, which includes a 2-0 advantage as conference opponents (1996, Western Athletic Conference).
AIR FORCE QUICK HITS
-- The five wins to date this year are the most in a season during the Matt McShane era.
-- The two wins on Sept. 14 marked the first time since 2009 that Air Force went 2-0 on the same day.
-- In just one and a half seasons, Hillary Keltner has amassed 999 assists.
A LOOK AT THE CONFERENCE
Maiya Perich continues to lead the Mountain West, having amassed a 5.04 digs-per-set average during non-conference action. She has also paced the team to a 14.38 overall average, which is ranked fourth in the league. Hillary Keltner is ranked fourth in assists, with a 9.71 average, while Cami Richan holds the same ranking in kills (3.40 kps). Richan is also ranked 10th in the MW after four weeks with a 3.62 points average.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE
With eight double-doubles in the first 13 matches of the season, Hillary Keltner leads the Mountain West.
THE PERFECT DAY
Air Force swept CSU Bakersfield (25-15, 25-22, 25-22) and Norfolk State (25-11, 25-19, 25-14) on Sept. 14 to mark the first time since 2009 that the Falcons have won two matches on the same day during non-conference tournament action.
MAKING IT LOOK EASY
As a team, the Falcons hit a season-best .492 against Norfolk State, connecting on 36 of 63 attempts and committing just five errors. Hillary Keltner was a perfect four-for-four, while Ayesha Hein hit .600 (6k-0e-10a). Cami Richan (.583, 7k-0e-21a), Kristen Holt (.500, 3k-0e-6a) and Felicia Clement (.429, 8k-2e-14a) all hit above .400 for the match. The team's .492 average is the second-best single-match performance in the conference to-date.
THE SHERRILL SHOWCASE
Maggie Sherrill had a career night against Colorado on Sept. 13, tallying 15 kills, five blocks and her first collegiate service ace. Sherrill, who had 11 total kills prior to the CU match, more than doubled her previous high of seven.
WHAT A MATCH!
Air Force and Colorado hadn't faced each other since 2000 made up for lost time of Sept. 13, battling to a thrilling five-set match (35-37, 26-28, 26-24, 25-21, 12-15). The Falcons' 35 points in the opening set is a new program record (since moving to the 25-point scoring system in 2008), as is the 124 total points.
BY THE NUMBERS
Since moving to the 25-point scoring system in 2008, Air Force's 124 total points against Colorado broke the previous record of 116 that was set in the Falcons' five-set victory over Long Island in 2010. Air Force has scored more than 110 points on just three occasions, including the Long Island and Colorado matches. The 35-point first set broke the program standard of 30 that came against South Dakota State in 2010.
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE
Over the last decade, which includes the old 30-point scoring system, Air Force has only accounted for more than 124 points in a match on four occasions (132 vs. Centenary-2006; 126 vs. Chicago State-2007; 125 vs. Utah Valley State-2005; 125 vs. Marist-2007) and it has only scored more than 35 points in a set once (36 vs. Denver-2004).
WHAT'S ON DECK
The Falcons conclude their seven-match homestand on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when they host instate rival Denver in their final non-conference contest of the season. Air Force will then resume conference play on Friday, Sept. 28, when it travels to Boise State to face the Broncos.