Nov. 27, 2013
By Geoff Thurner
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In its regular season finale, the Fresno State volleyball team (17-15, 11-9) said farewell to one of its greatest senior classes at the Air Force Academy.
However, the Falcons (7-24, 4-15) held the upper hand in the final outcome with its 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 advantages en route to a 3-0 win, and evened the season series with the Bulldogs, 1-1.
The `Dogs doubled up the Falcons in blocks (8-4), while the Falcons held advantages in kills (49-38), hitting (.265-.225), aces (3-2), fewest service errors (6-7) and digs (42-37).
In one of the team's more impressive all-around individual efforts of the year, senior outside hitter Marissa Brand led the team in kills (14), hitting (.462), digs (10) and blocks (3).
That hitting total was her fifth +.400 mark of the year and her sixth team leader of the season (including three in the last four contests). She has now also paced the team in kills 10 times overall in 2013 and like-wise in eight matches in points, four matches in digs and once in blocks.
Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild finished just behind with her totals for kills (12), digs (7), blocks (2) and points (14).
Senior right side hitter Holly Franks added nine kills, and her .300 hitting percentage was her seventh +.300 total of the season.
At the service line, Wild and junior outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow each landed an ace for the second straight match, and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock shared the lead in blocks (3) for a team-best 17th time in 2013.
For Air Force, category leaders included Akokwe Clement (12 kills, 2 blocks), Cami Richan (12 kills, .400, 1 ace), Hiilary Keltner (34 assists), Emma Dridge (1 ace), Ayesha Hein (2 blocks), Taylor Parker (2 blocks) and Rachel Bradley Powers (1 ace, 11 digs).
In contrast to Wednesday, the 'Dogs won the teams' earlier meeting in Fresno in mid-October by a 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18 score.
Wednesday's match capped the sixth season for the Bulldog head coach Netherby-Sewell and marked the squad's second straight winning season for the first time since 2003-04 after the team went 18-13 in 2012.
In their final years as Bulldogs, Brand & Wild left a lengthy legacy on the school record books.
The Cypress, Calif., native Brand ended with top-10 career rankings in kills (fourth, 1,310 ), sets played (fifth, 441), matches played (eighth, 123) and digs (eighth, 997), as did the Kingsburg, Calif., product Wild in aces (third, 136; 0.31 p/s), digs (fifth, 1,203) and kills (seventh, 1,256).
Two other `Dogs also ended the year highly-ranked on other all-time top-10 lists - junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (career hitting, first, .329; career block assists, eighth, 264; career total blocks, ninth, 291; season hitting, third, .350) and libero Maggie Eppright (freshman season digs, second, 391).
CATCH THE WAVE - Follow the 'Dogs on Twitter at @FresnoStateVB.
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