Volleyball Opens Season with a 3-1 Loss to Northern Arizona on Day One of Bronco Invitational
BOISE, Idaho - The start to the 2009 Boise State volleyball campaign is now in the record books with the Broncos (0-1) hitting the court in their season opener against Northern Arizona (1-0) on day one of the Bronco Invitational. In head coach Shawn Garus and his staff's debut match, the Broncos came out on fire to pick up a set one win, but couldn't hold on, falling 3-1 to the Lumberjacks on their home court.

Boise State came out on fire in the first set looking well polished and full of energy. They dominated control of the set allowing only two ties at the beginning before feeding off the energy of a loud and supportive crowd to pull away with a 25-18 win.

In the second set the Broncos carried their energy over in the start, but lost momentum about halfway through. The Lumberjacks battled through seven lead changes and 13 ties to win the second set 28-26. NAU was able to feed off their comeback in the second set to earn wins in the third and fourth, 25-21 and 25-22, to capture their first win of the season.

"We started the match with a great intensity and had a super crowd that was into the match and the team was feeding off their energy," said Garus. As the match went on, NAU picked up intensity defensively which stressed our team a little; our ball control and hesitation on defense cost us on critical points late in the match."

Boise State showcased five of their seven newest members to the roster while a handful of returners saw playing time as well. Although a returnee, Amanda Remy made a big impact for the Broncos on Friday night in a new role. Moving from defensive specialist last season to an outside hitter she was able to record her first career double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs on the night. She led the team in hitting percentage as well with a .250 mark.

"Amanda Remy did a really nice job in her first match as an outside hitter had great energy and took some good swings," noted Garus.

Juniors Alisha Young and Sadie Maughan continued their team leading roles at the net from last season putting down 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Maughan also helped the team at the net defensively, picking up a team high of eight block assists on the night.

Junior libero Lauren Hamm led the team in digs with 17, while sophomore setter Breann Nesselhuf made her debut as a Bronco by tallying up 40 set assists, eight digs and six block assists.

Garus said, "Our transfer, Breann, showed the potential she has to be an outstanding setter for Boise State."

The Lumberjacks were able to capitalize on a pair of solid attackers, Lexi Sullivan and Lauren Campbell to pick up the comeback win. Sullivan racked up a match-leading 21 kills while Campbell was dangerous in all rotations tallying 14 kills, 18 digs, two service aces and a team leading hitting percentage of .244.

NAU libero Anna Gott led the match in digs with 28 on the night while Ashley Ames was able to add four block assists to lead the Lumberjacks. NAU was also able to capitalize on a 7-1 difference in service aces over the Broncos.

Although falling in their first match of the season and first match under coach Garus, the Broncos have two chances to redeem themselves tomorrow, Sat., Aug. 29, in day two of the Bronco Invitational.

"Our goal is to be the team who improves the most from start to finish. It's not a bad place for us to start, but we'll need to continue to improve and become a more consistent and aggressive team in the future," said Garus.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. with Cal State Northridge taking on Northern Arizona. The Broncos' first match of the day is slated for 12 noon against the University of Tulsa who defeated Cal State Northridge 3-0 in an earlier match on Friday.

The afternoon session consists of a 5 p.m. match with Northern Arizona facing Tulsa while Boise State will take on Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. in the final match of the round-robin tournament.

All matches are played at Boise State's Bronco Gym with tickets priced at $5.00 for adults, $3.00 juniors/seniors and students are free with valid student I.D.

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