USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force volleyball team claimed its first 3-0 sweep of the season this afternoon (Sept. 21), as it downed UC Riverside in straight 25-17, 25-19, 25-22 sets at the Academy’s Cadet East Gym. The Falcons, whose previous wins came during five-set matches, improved to 1-1 at home and 3-9 overall.
Sophomore Akokwe Clement led the Falcons with 12 kills, while senior Cami Richan added 10. With a .444 hitting average, Richan was one of five Falcons to hit over .400 in the match, as the squad accounted for a season-high .375 average. Juniors Ayesha Hein hit a team-best .455 (7k-2e-11a), while Hillary Keltner (3-1-5, .400), freshman Collette Foster (3-0-5, .600) and sophomore Taylor Parker (2-0-3, .667) also had strong attacking performances.
Keltner recorded 39 of the team’s assists, while Hein paced the team with four total blocks, including a solo stop in the first set. Junior Emma Dridge, who collected a match-best 11 digs, was one of three Falcons to record a service ace, joining Hein and sophomore Rebecca Bates.
Hein and Richan got the match started with a block, while kills from Richan and Clement helped Air Force jump out to a quick 6-2 lead. After pulling within two at the 7-5 mark, UC Riverside remained close to the Falcons throughout the middle portion of the set. The Highlanders pulled within one at 15-14, but Hein put down a kill that started a 10-3 run by Air Force to cement the game. During the Falcons’ late-game run, Hein put down a pair of kills and recorded a block, while Richan and Clement combined for three straight points off of kills. A pair of errors by UCR secured the 25-17 victory for Air Force.
The Highlanders struck first in the second set, before a kill by Hein evened the score at seven and back-to-back Hein/Richan blocks gave Air Force the lead. Richan and Clement put down kills, as the Falcons extended their lead to six (16-10). Parker recorded a kill on the first play following her sub-in to keep the Falcons’ lead at six (18-12). UC Riverside scored the next three points to cut its deficit to 18-15, but a pair of kills from Foster, who was making her East Gym debut, reinstated the Falcons’ advantage. Foster added one more kills, as Air Force took the set 25-19.
Hein, Richan, Clement, sophomore Raquel Rosas and classmate Maggie Sherrill combined for six of the Falcons’ first seven points, as Air Force took a 7-4 lead to open the third set. UC Riverside used a run of its own to tie the set at nine, before taking the lead at the 11-10 mark. Richan, Rosas, Keltner and Sherrill added kills, but the Highlanders continued to lead. A kill from Hein tied the set at 17, while a kill by Keltner at the 22-21 mark gave Air Force the lead. Richan closed out the set with back-to-back kills, as the Falcons won the set 25-22 for their first 3-0 win of the year.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus