Bronco Volleyball Opens Season at Falcon Invitational

What's Happening - Boise State's volleyball team will hit the road to kick-off their 2010 season, heading to US Air Force Academy, Colo., to play in the 2010 Falcon Invitational hosted by Air Force, Aug. 27-28. The Broncos will join Air Force, South Dakota State and Long Island University in the four-team, round-robin tournament. Boise State will take on South Dakota State on Fri., Aug. 27 at 5 pm (Mountain), while facing Long Island at 11 am (Mountain) and Air Force at 7 pm (Mountain) on Sat., Aug. 28. The tournament will be played at Air Force's newest venue, Falcon Court at East Gym.

Tournament Schedule - The two-day, four-team, round-robin tournament will be held Aug. 27 and 28, including six matches overall.

Aug. 27
5 pm - Boise State vs. South Dakota State
7 pm - Air Force vs. Long Island

Aug. 28
11 am - Boise State vs. Long Island
1 pm - Air Force vs. South Dakota State
5 pm - Long Island vs. South Dakota State
7 pm - Boise State vs. Air Force

Internet Coverage - Video of the Broncos at the 2010 Falcon Invitational will be limited to the Air Force vs. Boise State match. Video can be found at: Live radio can be found the day of competition at

Match 1 Preview - vs. South Dakota State:
The Series: This will be the first meeting between Boise State and South Dakota State. The Broncos face three teams they've never played before this season, including two in the 2010 Falcon Invitational and UT-Arlington at the Uni/Wyo Cowgirl Classic (Sept. 10-11).

About the Jackrabbits: South Dakota State also opens their 2010 season this weekend in the match against Boise State. The Jackrabbits come off a 10-17 (9-9 The Summit League) season where they finished sixth in the league. They have been ranked fifth out of the ten teams for the Summit League's preseason poll with 11 letterwinners returning, including five starters. The Jackrabbits return Ellyce Youngren (Jr., OH) who was named to the 2009 All-Summit League First Team, as well as, Kaitlin Klingemann (So., MB) who was a Summit League All-Freshman Selection.

Close Ties: Boise State's Fiona Jones (sophomore-transfer) will open her first season with the Broncos in a head-to-head competition with her former team. Jones played her freshman season at South Dakota State where she led the team in matches started (27), sets played (103), kills (288), service aces (21), and was second on the team in digs (280) and digs per set (2.72).

South Dakota State Head Coach: Nana Allison-Brewer is in her third season with the Jackrabbits and has accumulated a 20-34 (.370) record at SDSU.

Match 2 Preview - vs. Long Island:
The Series: This will be the first meeting between Boise State and Long Island.

About the Blackbirds: Long Island University opens their 2010 season at the 2010 Falcon Invitational, facing Air Force. They come off of a very successful season where they tallied a 21-14 (16-0 Northwest Conference) record and a Northeast Conference Championship title. They enter the 2010 season ranked first out of the NEC's nine teams and return eight letterwinners, including four starters. The Blackbirds welcome back Ashley Rice (Jr., MB) who was the NEC Tournament MVP and named to the NEC All-Tournament Team, as well as, Breanna Cullity (So., MB) who was named to the All-NEC Second Team.

Close Ties: Head coach Kyle Robinson enters his third season at LIU, but moved to Brooklyn after serving three seasons as the assistant coach at the US Air Force Academy.

Long Island Head Coach: Kyle Robinson is in his third season with the Blackbirds and has accumulated an impressive 40-26 (.606) record in his two seasons as head coach.

► Match 3 Preview - at Air Force:  
The Series: This will be the second meeting between Boise State and Air Force with the Broncos holding the 1-0 series advantage. The only other time the two teams have faced off was Sept. 11, 1998 when Boise State swept the Falcons, 3-0 (15-11, 15-5, 15-13).

About the Falcons: Air Force opens their season with the 2010 Falcon Invitational, facing Long Island in their season-opener match. The Falcons come off the 2009 season with an 8-21 (0-16 Mountain West) record, including a ninth-place finish in the MWC. In the 2010 preseason poll, Air Force was ranked ninth out of the MWC's nine teams. The Falcons welcome back 13 letterwinners and six starters this season.

Air Force Head Coach: The Falcons welcome Matt McShane as the new head coach for the Air Force volleyball program. He enters after five seasons as an assistant at the University of California-Berkeley.

The Bronco Preseason Notebook
Match Club - Boise State volleyball has created a new way for fans to support the Bronco volleyball program. Check out the "Match Club" button on the volleyball page of the website for more details.

Broncos in Season Openers - Boise State is 16-17 in season opener matches dating back to 1976. Their most recent season opener was a 3-1 loss to Northern Arizona in 2009.

WAC Coaches Poll - Boise State was picked to finish fifth in the 2010 WAC Preseason Coaches' Poll in August, earning 35 points. Hawaii was picked to win its 15th-straight WAC title (64 points, 8 first place votes), New Mexico State was picked second (57 pts., one first place vote), Fresno State was picked third (44 pts.) and Utah State was picked fourth (38 pts.) to finish ahead of the Broncos. Rounding out the conference was Idaho in sixth (32 pts.), Nevada in seventh (30 pts.), Louisiana Tech in eighth (30 pts.) and San Jose State in ninth (9 pts.).

Preseason All-WAC Team - Boise State senior, middle blocker Sadie Maughan was the only Bronco to be named to the Preseason All-WAC Team.

2009 WAC Success - Boise State comes off a 7-9 record in the WAC during the 2009 season. They earned two wins over Idaho, once in the regular season and the second in the first round of the WAC Tournament. The win over the Vandals in the tournament marked the first time Boise State had ever advanced past the quarterfinal round in a WAC Tournament. In the quarterfinals, the Broncos fell to a tough New Mexico State in three sets.

Boise State Returns Four All-WAC Honorees - Boise State set a new record in 2009, earning the most All-WAC honorees in one season. They also had never earned a WAC All-Freshman honor, which was picked up by outside hitter Liz Harden. Harden returns for the 2010 season along with 2009 All-WAC Second Team honorees Sadie Maughan, Breann Nesselhuf and Alisha Young. Nesselhuf was not only named to the All-WAC Second Team, but also was the sole honoree for the Broncos on the WAC All-Tournament Team.

Nine Broncos Return for 2010 - The core of the 2009 squad returns for the 2010 season, including:
middle blockers Sadie Maughan (Sr.) and Alisha Young (Sr.), setter Breann Nesselhuf (Jr.), outside hitters Cailin Fellows (So.), Elizabeth Griffin (Jr.), Liz Harden (So.), and defenders Lauren Hamm (Sr.), Amanda Remy (Jr.) and Kersti Whitney (So.).

Seven Newcomers Added to Roster - The Broncos welcome seven newcomers to the 2010 roster, including three transfers and four freshmen. Darlene Nwagbuo (Jr., San Diego, Calif.) joins the Broncos as a middle blocker after playing at San Diego City College for two seasons. Fiona Jones (So., Bountiful, Utah) enters as an outside hitter after transferring from South Dakota State where she played her freshman season. Jen Visser (So., Ignacio, Colo.) enters the season as a non-traditional sophomore after playing her freshman season in 2008 at New Mexico State and not competing in 2009, allowing her three years at Boise State. Freshmen Casey Rose (S, Eugene, Ore.), Leah Stevens (RS, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Kristyn Kirschenman (DS, Bakersfield, Calif.) and Brittany Reardon (MB, Stayton, Ore.) round out the newest members of the team.

» «