Broncos Hold Off Air Force for Straight Set Win
Harden leads team with 11 kills to move into tie for ninth in career kills in Bronco history.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Senior Liz Harden led the Broncos to a hard fought straight set victory 25-23, 26-24, 27-25 Saturday night at Air Force with 11 kills, moving her into a tie for ninth-place at Boise State in career kills. The win in Colorado Springs saw the Broncos win all three sets by a combined six points in a contest that was a battle to the end. Boise State held off Falcon rallies in the first two sets, then won a back and forth third to get the victory. The Broncos improved to 12-12 overall with the win and 4-5 in Mountain West play.

"I was happy with the way our team held in there during pressure situations in all three sets," said head coach Shawn Garus. "Air Force is a good team that has taken some of the top teams in our league to the wire at home this year. We knew coming in it was not going to be easy. We stayed together as a team and were able to handled Air Force's intensity and rally attempts. This is a big road win tonight."  

After leading most of the way during the opening set, Boise State was given a scare when Air Force rallied from five down to take a two-point 21-19 lead late. However, the Broncos regrouped and counter attacked overcoming the challenge for a 25-23 set one win. Leah Stevens led Boise State with four kills and one block in the period.

The Broncos ran out to a 10-3 advantage early in the second set then were forced to with stand another late Falcon rally. Tied at 24, Harden gave Boise State the lead with her seventh kill of the match. Casey Rose put the set away scoring the decisive point on a service ace to give the Broncos the 26-24 set win and 2-0 match lead. Harden recorded a team-best six kills with one block to lead the Broncos to the set victory.

The third set was tight from the start and was a one or two point affair for most of the period with 22 ties and 11 lead changes. Following an attack error by Air Force's Maggie Sherrill that gave the Broncos a 26-25 lead, Brittany Reardon and Taylor Murphey teamed up for the decisive point when the duo blocked a Hillary Keltner attack attempt for the 27-25 set three win. That point gave Boise State a hard fought straight set victory over the Falcons.

Harden hit .318 percent to lead the Broncos with 11 kills, six digs and three blocks. Leah Stevens added nine kills, one ace and five blocks to match Harden's 12.5 points on the night. Fiona Jones followed with seven kills, one ace and four blocks, while Brittany Reardon turned in a team-high six blocks to go with four kills. Casey Rose led the team in assists and service aces with 24 and two respectively.

The Broncos finished the match hitting .171 percent and held Air Force to .110 percent. Boise State had 43 kills, 42 assists, five service aces, 47 digs and 11 blocks. The Falcons had 39 kills, 36 assists, two aces, 44 digs and nine blocks. Felicia Clement led Air Force with eight kills and two blocks, while Taylor Parker followed with seven kills and four blocks.

The win concludes Boise State's Mountain West rivalry with Air Force as the Broncos won all four meetings over the last two years. Boise State returns home to the friendly confines of Bronco Gym this coming week when they host New Mexico on Saturday and Cal State Bakersfield Sunday afternoon, both contests will start at 1:00 p.m. each day.


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