Shawn Garus enters his sixth season at Boise State.
Aug. 15, 2014
With just over two weeks left before the opening serve of the Boise State volleyball season BroncoSports.com will spend the next 14 days breaking the squad down by position for Bronco Nation. In addition, we will introduce each of the players as we begin our 14 day count down to the first match of the season against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Friday, Aug. 29, to open the Northwest Challenge hosted by Boise State in Bronco Gym over Labor Day Weekend.
Preseason training camp began seven days ago on Aug. 9 when head coach Shawn Garus started his sixth season at Boise State by welcoming 14 Broncos to the first practice session in Bronco Gym. Since beginning practice the team has worked hard on the fundamentals and all the technical things that make a team successful.
"Our main goal entering preseason was to focus on the details from day one to make sure our team gets all the little things right. We started training from day one covering the basics focusing on defense first, making sure that ball control and defending our side of the court is taken seriously. We made it clear that defense needs to be a main emphasis this year," said Garus. "We also worked on movement skills, eye work, communication and all the little things that are important for a team to succeed. We will work more on the offense next week during our second week of training. Offense has been a strength of our program the last couple years with defense being the weakness."
Overall, Boise State returns an experienced squad which is led by six upperclassmen in four seniors and two juniors. Joining them are eight underclassmen made up of two sophomores, three redshirt freshmen and three true freshmen.
Boise State returns five of seven starters, which includes the libero, from the 2013 campaign. Leading the way are seniors Aly Duffin (middle blocker), Alyssa Gammel (outside hitter), Taylor Murphey (outside hitter) and Brittany Reardon (middle blocker), all started 18 or more matches. In addition, sophomore Hannah Hubbard played at libero in every match.
Add to those five, three other Broncos who saw significant time on the floor in junior Katelyn Kinghorn who started 16 matches at outside hitter, sophomore Maddy O'Donnell recorded 12 starts at middle blocker, while junior Sarah Baugh started 11 at setter. In all, every returning veteran from the 2013 campaign started at least 11 matches during the season giving coach Garus invaluable experience to work with.
"I am excited about the season. We return alot of experience including four seniors, which is a large class in volleyball. They were four of our top six players in kills with Gammel leading the team last year," said Garus. "Those four and our two juniors have all played alot during their careers and as a group I expect them to provide steady leadership on the floor. We have a veteran group returning and I like our incoming class. I am hopeful for what our results can be and I am excited to get the season started."
Joining the eight veterans who played last year are two redshirt freshmen Kaitlyn Oliver (middle blocker) and Laney Hayes (middle blocker) who have a year's worth of practice in the system. The duo gives the Broncos more size, as well as quality depth in the middle of the court.
The four newcomers to the squad include one transfer from Western Michigan University in setter Erinne (pronounced "Erin") Barry who will be a redshirt freshman this fall and will be eligible to play. She is joined by three true freshmen in Sierra Nobley (Scottsdale, Ariz.) a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, Maddi Osburn (Nampa, Idaho) a libero and Jaymee-Lee Bulda (Sacramento, Calif.) a setter.
"I think the new group of kids including our two redshirts from last year are very talented and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the court this fall," commented Garus. "The group adds quality depth throughout our lineup and will help us defensively. We have players such as (Kaitlyn) Oliver, (Laney) Hayes and Sierra (Nobley) who have good size and solid all around skills at the net. They will help us defensively in blocking, as well as offensively attacking the ball. Maddi (Osburn) is a local talent who played outside in high school, but we feel she will be an asset to our team as a libero or defensive specialist. We also added two setters in Erienne (Barry) and Jaymee-Lee (Bulda) who are going to push Baugh for playing time. Overall I really like our team and I'm excited to get started."
Check back over the course of the next two weeks as BroncoSports.com continues its preview of Boise State volleyball, as well as introduces you to each member of the squad in our 14 day count down to the first serve.
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