Broncos Rally to Win Classic
Maddy O'Donnell.
Oct. 30, 2015

Final Stats  |  Match Box (pdf)

FRESNO, Calif. (10/29/2015) - Maddy O'Donnell's crushing kill down the middle of the court ended the five-set 2:30 marathon as Boise State won a classic volleyball match rallying from two sets down for a 23-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-20, 20-18 Mountain West victory at Fresno State Thursday night. Boise State survived six Bulldog match points, three in the third set and three in the fifth, to rally for the win. The Broncos remain in sole possession of second place in the MW standings improving to 8-3 in league and 16-7 overall.

This was the 13th time in the last 17 meetings between Fresno State and Boise State that the match has gone to five sets. It was also the first time since 2009 at San Jose State that the Broncos had rallied from two sets down in a match to win and only the fifth time during the rally scoring era (since 2001). During the five sets there were a combined 53 ties and 25 lead changes, including seven ties and five lead changes, in the fifth set.

"You know we did not play well tonight and for us to comeback for the win is a good thing, it speaks well of the team's ability to battle adversity," said head coach Shawn Garus. "But we were lucky that Fresno State allowed us to hang around when we did not play the way we are capable of, it nearly cost us tonight. I am happy we won, but we have a lot of work to do before facing UNLV in Las Vegas on Saturday."   

Sierra Nobley led Boise State with her second 20/20 double-double of the season and ninth overall on a team-high 23 kills and 20 digs. She hit 25 percent against the Bulldogs and added one assist and two blocks.

Senior setter Sarah Baugh notched her league-leading 12th double-double of the year by dishing out 50 assists to go with a career-high 16 digs.

After a slow start to set one where the Broncos found themselves down four points, the Blue and Orange rallied to tie the score at 10. It then became tight as the teams traded points and were tied at 21 all when the Bulldogs took control with a 3-0 run to go up 23-21. Boise State did not recover falling 25-23.

Kaitlyn Oliver tallied five of her 15 kills in the first set as she finished the night hitting 30.6 percent. Sabryn Roberts matched Oliver's first set kill total and finished with nine on the night.
The second set saw the Broncos go up five at 15-10, then let it slip away as Fresno State rallied with a 9-2 run to take a 19-17 lead. Boise State tried to rally but came up short 25-22 to go down 2-0 in the match score.

Boise State struggled in set three trailing most of the way and by as many as four on three occasions. The Broncos rallied with a 5-1 run surviving three Fresno State match points at 24-22, 24-23 and 25-24 to tie the score at 25. Boise State won it when Reece Carman and Maddy O'Donnell teamed up on two-consecutive points on back-to-back block assists to hand Boise State the set victory 27-25.

Maddy O'Donnell had a solid night hitting a team-high 52 percent for 14 kills. The junior added one assist, two service aces, five digs and tied her career-high for blocks with eight.

"Maddy (O'Donnell) was consistent for us tonight and hit the ball well," Garus said. "She was big at the net on the block and had some big kills as the match wore on including the clincher at the end."

Freshman Reece Carman added four kills, one solo, in the middle of the match that helped turn the momentum for the Broncos, especially in the third set where she tallied two.

"I thought that Reece (Carman) came up big for us in the third and fourth sets for us," commented Garus. "She gave us a presence up front that caused Fresno State some trouble. She and Maddy (O'Donnell) were big for us in the final moments of the third set that gave us the chance to get back into the match instead of losing 3-0."    
After rallying to get set three, the Broncos had momentum heading into another must win set. The fourth set was tight throughout and was within one or two points until late. Trailing 19-18 Boise State took control rolling off a 7-2 run to close it out and force a fifth set. Kinghorn capped the victory with the final kill to tie the match at 2-2.

In the decisive fifth set Boise State once again made another amazing rally coming from five points down at 11-6 to tie it up at 13-13 with a 7-2 run. Each team had three match points in the period with the Broncos rolling off a 3-0 run for the win. The winning sequence started with the Blue and Orange facing a Fresno State match point up 18-17. Nobley pulled the Broncos even with a kill followed by a Hannah Hubbard service ace for the lead and setting up match point for Boise State. Maddy O'Donnell clinched the victory with the decisive kill handing the Broncos a 20-18 set victory to complete the comeback.

"I thought Maddi (Osburn) was an impact for us as well tonight after having a slow start, but she got better as the match went on," said Garus. "She ended up having a strong match for us defensively with the 41 digs and really helped turned the match around in the fourth and fifth sets."

Osburn finished the night tying the school's all-time record for digs in a match with a career-high 41, she had 14 in the fourth and seven in the fifth.

On the night Boise State hit 23.6 percent for 76 kills on 66 assists. The Broncos also finished with a season-high-tying eight service aces, season-high 95 digs and 11 blocks.

Fresno State finished hitting 21.5 percent for 72 kills on 66 assists against the Broncos.  The Bulldogs also had four service aces, 94 digs and eight blocks.

Carly Scarbrough led the Bulldogs with 17 kills while hitting 39 percent. Zana Bowens was one of two Fresno State players with double-doubles recording 16 kills and 17 digs, while Aleisha Coates added 13 kills and 15 digs.

Next up for Boise State is UNLV in Las Vegas on Saturday at 6 p.m. (Mountain) in another big conference match, the Rebels are 10-0 at home this year in Cox Pavilion.

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