Boise State Rolls UC Irvine in Straight Sets
Harden and Whitney named to All-Tournament Team

TUCSON, Ariz. - Boise State won the rematch with UC Irvine in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon defeating the Anteaters 25-18, 25-21, 25-14 to conclude the Arizona Desert Classic in Tucson. Boise State opened each set strong and never let up as the Broncos won in straight sets over UCI.

Liz Harden and Alyssa Gammel led the Broncos with 14 and 12 kills, respectively. Harden, a senior outside hitter, and Kersti Whitney, a senior libero, were named to the Arizona Desert Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances over the three matches played in Tucson.

The win gets Boise State back on track improving the Broncos to 7-7 overall heading into conference play which begins this Thursday at home against Fresno State at 4:00 p.m. in Bronco gym.

Boise State opened the match with UCI running out to a 6-1 lead in set one and eventually won the period 25-18. After the Anteaters pulled to within two points at 10-8, the Broncos responded with a 6-2 run taking control of the set 16-12. The blue and orange stretched the advantage to a high of eight points at 21-13 as the Broncos coasted to the win. Harden had five kills followed by Gammel with four.

The second set ended up closer than the first, but it started in a similar way with Boise State opening strong taking a five-point 8-3 lead. The Broncos maintained a comfortable lead most of the way up four to six points over UC Irvine. Up five points 20-15, Boise State held the Anteaters off when they attempted to rally pulling to within three points at 23-20 and again at 24-21. Sarah Webster put the set away for the Broncos with a kill for the 25th point of the period and a 2-0 Boise State match lead. Harden and Gammel once again led in kills with five and four, respectively.

The decisive third set was all Boise State as it cruised to a 25-14 win to clinch the straight set win over UC Irvine. With the score tied at five apiece, the Broncos came alive rolling off a 6-0 run to seize momentum. They never let up as the Broncos methodically built upon their lead eventually stretching it to a set-high 12-point, 23-11 and 24-12, margin. Boise State hit a match-high .359 percent during the final set while UC Irvine was held to .111 percent.  

Liz Harden led the Broncos hitting .433 percent with 14 kills, two digs and one block. Alyssa Gammel was next with 12 kills, 11 digs and one block, followed by Fiona Jones with eight kills, eight digs and one block. Both Brittany Reardon and Kaitlyn Kinghorn had seven kills apiece. Casey Rose turned in a team-high 20 assists followed closely by Sarah Baugh with 18. Kersti Whitney led the back line defensively with a team-high 17 digs.

The Broncos finished the match hitting .311 with 51 kills, 47 assists, four service aces, 61 digs and four blocks. UC Irvine recorded a hitting percentage of .159 to go with 31 kills, 31 assists, one ace, 45 digs and six blocks. Aly Squires led the Anteaters with 14 kills.

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