Boise State Falls to American in Four
Gammel leads Broncos with 14 kills.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Boise State opened the Arizona Desert Classic with a disappointing four-set loss 16-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-22 in their first match to American University in the McKale Center at Tucson, Ariz. After winning the first set convincingly momentum swung away from Boise State as American rallied to win three straight to claim the victory. Alyssa Gammel tried to keep the Broncos in the match with 14 kills, while Liz Harden backed her up with seven kills and six blocks, but it was not enough as Boise State fell to 6-6 on the year.

The Broncos opened the match with four quick points to open set one. They stretched their advantage to 11-4 and were never really threatened after that in the frame. Boise State took a set-high 10-point, 20-10, advantage before closing set one with the nine point 25-16 victory. Alyssa Gammel led with five kills followed by Harden with three.

The second set saw Boise State slowly pull out to a 11-6 lead only to see the Eagles rally to take a 15-14 advantage midway through the period.  Down 22-19, Gammel led a Bronco rally that tied the score at 22. Unfortunately, Boise State could not take the lead as the Eagles held on for a close 26-24 win to even the match score at one apiece.

American started the third set by jumping out to a 9-4 lead as the Broncos struggled to get any rhythm  going. The Eagles eventually took a 17-10 lead to seemingly put the match away as Boise State was unable to string anything together to mount a rally. The closest the Broncos could come down the stretch was three points as they dropped the third set 25-15.

The decisive fourth set was tight the entire way with neither team leading by more than three points. The set saw six lead changes and 15 ties before it was settled in American's favor. After trading points most of the way the Broncos let it get away from them as the Eagles broke a 21-21 tie with three consecutive points to seize momentum, eventually winning the set 25-22 for a 3-1 match victory.

Gammel finished the match with a team-high 14 kills, hitting .250 percent. Harden was next for the Broncos who finished with seven kills and a season-high six blocks. Redshirt-freshman Kaitlyn Kinghorn from Rigby, Idaho, had a career day with six kills while hitting .500 percent. Casey Rose had a team-best 20 assists followed by Sarah Baugh with 18. Meanwhile, Kersti Whitney was solid defensively with 21 digs.

Boise State finished the match with 43 kills, 40 assists, four service aces, 54 digs and nine blocks. American countered with 48 kills, 37 assists, four aces, 44 digs and 13.5 blocks. Sara Rishell led the Eagles with 16 kills and seven blocks.

The Broncos will try to regroup when they return to action tonight at the Arizona Desert Classic when they square off against their host the Arizona Wildcats at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).


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