Harden leads Broncos with career-high 32 kills.
BOISE, Idaho - Down two sets Boise State volleyball rallied to force a fifth set before coming up short in a hard 3-2 (25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 16-14) loss at the hands of UNLV in a Mountain West match in Bronco Gym Saturday night. A slow start saw Boise State fall into a two set hole early, before rallying with wins in the third and fourth frames to force the decisive fifth set where the Broncos fell 16-14. Liz Harden kept the Broncos in the match with a career night recording 32 kills and five blocks to lead the Broncos who fell to 7-9 overall and 0-2 in league with the loss.
After losing the first set 25-23 and the second 25-19, the Broncos went into the break facing a must win in the third period. They came out fired up to win the set by four powered by nine kills from Harden. Boise State hit .275 percent in the frame while holding the Rebels to .152 percent.
The Broncos continued the momentum gained from the third set win with a quick start to the fourth. Boise State hit a match high .400 percent in the period as it took the set by six points 25-19. Harden did not let up, refusing to let her team go down without a fight. She finished the fourth with 10 kills giving Boise State a chance for the match win by forcing the fifth set.
Boise State ran out to a 5-2 lead in the decisive set before UNLV began its rally with a 7-1 run to take a 9-6 advantage. Once again the Broncos rallied taking a 12-11 lead. Boise State battled hard for a chance to win with a match point at 14-13, but fell short as the Rebels countered with three straight points to claim the set at 16-14 and the match at 3-2.
Harden finished with the fourth-best performance for kills all-time with 32 against the Rebels while hitting .415 percent in the match. She added five blocks, two service aces, one assist and 11 digs to her stat line for the night. Brittany Reardon chipped in with 10 kills and seven blocks, while Alyssa Gammel contributed 10 kills, three aces, 13 digs and one assist. Fiona Jones followed with seven kills, 14 digs and four blocks. Casey Rose had a career-high 45 assists, three kills, one ace, two blocks and 13 digs. Kersti Whitney led the team in digs with 19.
Boise State finished the night hitting .206 percent with 65 kills, 62 assists, seven aces, 77 digs and 14 blocks. UNLV hit .214 percent with 66 kills, 61 assists, three aces, 72 digs and 13 blocks. Madeline Westman led the Rebels with 21 kills hitting .529 percent, followed by Sekola Falemaka with 20 kills.
This was the third consecutive meeting between the two programs that has gone five sets, the Broncos won both last year before tonight's defeat. Boise State will conclude a three-match homestand to start Mountain West play next Friday when they host Air Force at 7:00 p.m. in Bronco Gym.