Broncos Open NCAA with Sweep Over WKU

Dec. 2, 2016


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STANFORD, Calif. - Sierra Nobley led Boise State Friday night with her 17th double-double of the season on 17 kills and career-high seven blocks, both team highs, as the Broncos swept past 20th-ranked Western Kentucky 28-26, 25-22, 27-25. The match set two first for the Broncos, it was the first ever tournament appearance for Boise State in program history and also the first ever win in the national event.

The Broncos also recorded their second ever win over a nationally ranked top-25 team, both came this season versus Santa Clara in September and today versus WKU. The victory improved Boise State to 26-6 overall, second-most wins in school history, and advances the Broncos into Saturday’s second round against the winner of the No. 9 Stanford vs. Denver contest at 8 p.m. (Mountain).

“I am really excited for the team and with the win in our first trip to the NCAA,” said coach Shawn Garus. “I thought our team did a really good job in handling the pressure and played well throughout.”

On winning the first NCAA Tournament match in program history ... “That sounds really good!” said Garus. “I knew Western Kentucky was a good team and that it had a couple of weapons that were going to pose a really tough match-up for us. They still had two really good players scored a lot, but I was really proud that our girls stuck to the task and did not get down at any point, even when we were down two points in the third set. They just believed they were going to comeback and win.”

Nobley scored seven points in the opening set with six kills and two block assists. The opening frame was tight throughout with 17 ties and five lead changes. The largest lead two points by both teams as the set went down to the wire before Boise State eventually put it away in extra points 28-26.

Sabryn Roberts was also a force in the first set recording five of her 11 kills during the period. She eventually finished the contest hitting 32.1 percent, third best on the team.

Boise State trailed 3-1 early in the second set, then rolled off a 6-0 to take momentum up 7-3. The Broncos never trailed again the set and led by as many as five before taking it 25-22.

Nobley and Kaitlyn Oliver combined for 12 kills and three blocks in the final set to lift the Broncos to the sweep. But like set one, the third was a battle that saw 15 ties, seven lead changes and extra points before it was all over.

Oliver match Roberts’ kill total of 11 in the win and added four blocks. The red-shirt junior who leads the Broncos in career hitting percentage finished the contest at 35 percent.

The third went back-and-forth throughout with the largest lead being three by WKU. Trailing 24-22 coach Garus called timeout. The Broncos responded with three straight points to get their first match point at 25-24 on a Jaymee-Lee Bulda dump over the block.

WKU tied it all at 25, before a service error and block assists by Maddy O’Donnell and Janell Walley clinched the victory for Boise State.

O’Donnell, the lone senior on the team, finished the night with four kills, two service aces, three digs and seven big blocks to help the Broncos to the win.

Walley had five kills, two assists, six digs and five blocks in the winning effort.

Bulda dished out a 38 assists to direct the offensive attack. The junior setter also had two big kills in the third set before finishing with contest with the pair of kills and eight digs.

Maddi Osburn recorded a team-high 14 digs to increase her school record for a season to 538. Emily Sullivan was the only other Bronco to get in the match finishing with one service ace and six digs.

Boise State finished the night hitting 28 percent as a team with 50 kills off 46 assists. The Broncos also tallied three service aces, 50 digs and 12 blocks.

Western Kentucky finished the match hitting better than the Broncos at 28.7 percent for 51 kills on 48 assists. The Lady Toppers had no service aces, 57 digs and nine blocks.

Alyssa Cavanaugh led WKU with 17 kills while hitting 34.2 percent, followed by Rachel Anderson with 13 kills and five blocks.

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