Boise State Volleyball 2009 Season Recap

Closing out the 2009 Boise State volleyball season, the Broncos reached an important goal they set for themselves at the start of the season: "To be the most improved team in the conference." That they did; going from a 0-11 start to the season, to the third-place team at the 2009 Western Athletic Conference tournament.

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Shawn Garus and his staff the Broncos began to turn their season around during regular season conference play. The Broncos captured their first win of the season defeating San Jose State in five sets on Sept. 26. They went two more weeks without a win before picking up one of their biggest of the season. Hosting in-state rival Idaho, the Broncos were able to break a 15-match losing streak to the Vandals when they earned a 3-1 win on Oct. 12. From there they went on to win five of their next ten conference matches to close out the regular season with a 7-9 WAC record and finish in a tie for fourth-place.

Their strong finish to the regular season earned the Broncos a No. 6-seed in the 2009 WAC tournament where they would face Idaho for the third time during the season. After suffering a 3-0 loss to the Vandals just four days before the tournament, the Broncos were determined to earn back the upper hand. In the first match of the tournament, Boise State came out on fire, earning two close sets, 25-22 and 26-24 to enter the locker room at the intermission with the advantage. Idaho was able to sneak by in set three with a 25-23 win, however, Boise State responded in the fourth set with a 25-21 win.

The first-round tournament win advanced the Broncos further than they'd ever been in the WAC tournament; going on to the semifinal match where they faced a tough No. 2-seeded New Mexico State. The Aggies were able to earn the win, defeating Boise State 3-0 and ending the season for the Broncos with an 8-22 record.

Although the Broncos earned only seven regular season conference wins, it was more than any Boise State volleyball team had ever won while in the WAC. It was also the most regular season conference wins for Boise State since 1998 when they earned an 11-5 record in the Big West Conference.

Also the list of firsts for Boise State was the number of WAC All-Conference Awards earned. Juniors Sadie Maughan and Alisha Young were joined by sophomore Breann Nesselhuf on the All-WAC Second Team, the most Broncos ever placed on an All-WAC team. It was also the sixth time in school history that three or more players were named to an all-conference volleyball team in one season. Freshman Liz Harden also made a mark for the 2009 squad in the record books, earning the first-ever WAC All-Freshman team for Boise State. She became only the seventh freshman in school history to be named to an all-conference or top newcomer list. Following the WAC tournament, Nesselhuf garnered the first-ever WAC All-Tournament Team honor for the Broncos.

Making history in the Boise State record books, four Broncos jumped or moved up on  the all-time top-10 lists this season. Sadie Maughan led the way putting her name into history on five of the charts. She now holds the No. 3 all-time career total in points (since the inception of rally scoring in 2001) with 817.0 while also sitting in a tie for No. 5 (with Jeanette Jenkins, 2006) for season total points with 345.0. Maughan remains in the No. 8 spot on the all-time career hitting percentage chart with a .258 percentage. In blocking, Maughan moved into the top-10 with career total blocks, posting 289 in her career. She also holds steady at No. 9 in the career block average top-10 with a 1.05 average.

Alisha King sits on two charts for points scored, including the No. 5 spot in career total points (772.0) and at No. 7 for total points in a season (344.0). Lauren Hamm also holds places on two charts including the total career digs where she moved onto the chart this season and now holds the No. 8 spot with 1,026 digs. She also dropped one spot in career dig average, holding the No. 2 spot now with an average of 3.40. The fourth Bronco to make it into the record books is Breann Nesselhuf who holds the No. 8 spot on the career assists average chart with a 8.66 average.

All-in-all, after a slow start to the season, the Broncos and coach Garus turned their season around, made their way into the record books and made the team into a solid building block for the seasons to come.

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