Sept. 9, 2008
The Air Force volleyball team concludes its non-conference tournament schedule with the Air Force Invitational Volleyball Tournament this weekend. It is the third straight weekend that the Falcons have hosted a home tournament. Air Force will take on Kent State and Florida Atlantic on Friday (Sept. 12), before facing Texas A&M Corpus Christi and North Carolina Central on Saturday (Sept. 13) at Clune Arena.
Air Force has never faced any of its opponents this weekend. In fact, the Falcons have faced just two of its 13 non-conference opponents prior to this year. The Falcons' opponents on Friday have a combined 9-3 record, while Saturday's foes are just 1-12.
On Sept. 6, the Falcons played two five-set matches. In all of last season, Air Force only participated in four such matches, splitting the record at 2-2. In fact, five of the team's seven matches have gone past three sets this year. Last year, just seven of the Falcons' 31 matches went past three sets.
HOORAY FOR HARRINGTON
Junior Michelle Harrington was named to the all-tournament team at the Air Force Classic Volleyball Tournament. Over the four-match tournament, Harrington posted team-best totals of .243 hitting percentage and 17 blocks (one solo bock, 16 assisted block). Her 40 kills was second on the team, while she also added a pair of service aces.
CONFERENCE SEASON RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
Air Force concludes its 13-match homestand next weekend, as it opens Mountain West Conference play against UNLV (Sept. 18) and San Diego State (Sept. 20). Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m., in Clune Arena.
JUMPING RIGHT IN
Freshman Victoria Martinez was the starting libero in the Falcons' season opener on Aug. 31. It is the eighth straight year that Air Force has had a freshman in the starting rotation. She joins current teammates Nichole Stilwell (2007), Katie Batchelder (2006), Michelle Harrington (2006) and Kristina Stewart (2005) as players who made their collegiate debut in the starting rotation.
BLOCK IT OUT
After just three matches, junior Michelle Harrington had already recorded five solo blocks. Last year, in a season that saw Harrington post the program's 10th-best single-season output with 17 solo stops, didn't record her fifth solo block until the 12th match.
Sophomore Jessica Hellmann has accounted for 150 assists in the first three matches. Her 7.89 assist-per-set average is ranked seventh in the Mountain West Conference. Hellmann had a career-best performance against Southern Mississippi on Aug. 31, accounting for 36 helpers.
MORE NEWS FROM THE LEAGUE
Senior Jasamine Pettie's 19-kill output against North Carolina State on Sept. 6 is tied as the fourth-best single-match performance of the season to date. Junior Michelle Harrington's eight-block outing against Montana State is tied for third in league's single-match highs.