Broncos Make Postseason Case With Sweep
Nov. 24, 2015

Final Stats

BOISE, Idaho – Like The Juggernaut of comic-book fame, when Boise State volleyball gets any sort of momentum there is no stopping them. Tuesday night at Bronco Gym that Bronco momentum was too much for Utah State as the Broncos steamrolled their way to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-21) sweep.

The win improves Boise State to 23-7 overall and 15-3 in Mountain West play. The Broncos, who have won nine in a row and 15 of their past 16, now turn their attention to Sunday evening’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show to see if they will earn one of the 32 at-large berths into the postseason. The selection show will air at 7 p.m. MT on ESPNU.

“I just think we’re playing great right now. We have our whole roster available and everybody is healthy,” said Boise State head coach Shawn Garus. “We’ve won 15 of our last 16 and we’re just looking for another opportunity to play a top team right now. We’re just so hungry. I think we’re deserving [of a bid to the NCAA Tournament], and I think we would represent Boise State and the NCAA really well if we do get a spot. We’ll certainly be looking at results this week and hoping it falls our way.”

Sierra Nobley led all players with 25 kills while hitting .524, extending her Boise State single-season kills record to 522 and leaving her just two back of the Mountain West single-season benchmark. For the night, the Broncos hit .333, set up by Sarah Baugh who passed out 42 assists while putting down six kills of her own.

“I can’t take all the credit, I need my team for everything. I need digs and sets to get kills, and I’m really proud of how our team played because that’s the only way that I can get better is if my team pushes me,” Nobley said about her kills record.

Tuesday night’s match was also Senior Night, as outgoing seniors Baugh, Aly Duffin and Katelyn Kinghorn were honored in a pre-match ceremony. The Broncos rode the emotion of the ceremony to an early 11-3 lead, powered by an 8-0 run. The Bronco run was boosted by three kills from Sierra Nobley and a pair from Kaitlyn Oliver, while the two Broncos combined for a block.

The Broncos kept the foot on the gas, never letting the Aggies within seven the rest of the way. Duffin’s kill with the Broncos up 15-8 started an 8-1 run that closed with two more kills from Nobley. After Utah State outscored the Broncos 3-1 over the next few volleys, Nobley closed the set with a kill to put the Broncos up a frame.

Boise State broke out of a 3-3 tie to take a 7-3 lead and force a Utah State timeout in set two, as Kinghorn put down three kills in the four-point run. The Aggies regrouped out of the timeout, and fought to within a point as a Tasia Taylor ace made it 7-6, and two points later Kaylie Kamalu, who led the Aggies with nine kills, put one down to make it 8-7.

Utah State, though, could not sustain any of its momentum to pull ahead. Trailing by just one at 9-8, a service error from Carly Lenzen opened the door to a quick 3-0 spurt from the Broncos, and after Utah State fought back to 13-11, another three-point run from the Broncos, started by another Aggie service error, made it 16-11.

Another 3-0 burst from the Broncos, featuring kills from Duffin and O’Donnell, got the Broncos up 19-12, and another O’Donnell kill after some back-and-forth action got the Broncos to set point at 24-18. Utah State would battle back to 24-22 thanks to a pair of attack errors by the Broncos to force a timeout, but out of the break Nobley ended the set with a kill to give the Broncos the 25-22 edge.

A pair of kills from Nobley helped get the Broncos out to a 4-1 lead in the third frame, but Utah State fought its way back into the set, eventually tying it up at 17-17. That was when the Boise State defense reclaimed the momentum, as Sabryn Roberts was part of two-straight blocks, the first with Duffin and the second with Oliver, that put the Broncos in front to stay at 19-17.

Nobley followed with a kill and Maddi Osburn served up an ace to get the run to 4-0 and the Broncos up 21-17. The teams traded points until Utah State got two in a row to make it 23-12, prompting a Bronco timeout. Once again, out of a timeout the Broncos responded, as Nobley put down a kill to get it to set point, and the combination of Baugh and Duffin sealed the sweep with a combined block of Kamalu’s attack.

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