Broncos Fall in Five at Eastern Washington
Harden leads Boise State with career-high 27 kills.
CHENEY, Wash. - For the third time in four matches to open the season Boise State University's volleyball team rallied to force a fifth set. Unfortunately, the Broncos fell short of the victory Wednesday night losing at Eastern Washington University 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11) in Cheney, Wash. Liz Harden led the charge for Boise State with a career-high and team-season-high 27 kills (.480) as she accounted for 27.5 points.
The match opened with the Eagles taking the first set 25-17 as the Broncos struggled with their hitting. Boise State rallied to win the second set 25-23 before falling behind for a second time when they lost set three 25-19. Once again the Broncos rallied to force a fifth set when they won the fourth 25-22. The fifth set went back and forth with Eastern Washington eventually taking the it by a 15-11 score for the match victory.
Boise State had their chances throughout the match to get the win but did not execute when it counted. They held a six-point advantage 10-4 in the third set before allowing Eastern Washington seven-straight points to seize control at 11-10, which eventually led to a Eagles win in the set for a 2-1 match score lead. The fifth set also saw Boise State start strong taking a 4-0 lead powered by three-consecutive points by Harden. But slowly the Eagles battled back to take the lead at 9-8 and eventually the set and match.
Backing up Harden's career night of 27 kills was Darlene Nwagbuo with 11 kills (.154). Brittany Reardon added 9.5 points on seven kills (.350) and four blocks. Breann Nesselhuf added a team-high 51 assists to go with 8.5 points on six kills (.118), two service aces, 11 digs and one block. Amanda Remy led in the digs category with 25. Harden's 27 kills ties for the second most in a five-set match in program history since the inception of rally scoring in 2001.
Eastern Washington was led by Shelby Puckett with 26 points on 22 kills (.400), one service ace and six blocks, while Cora Kellerman added 22 points on 21 kills (.320) and two blocks.
The Broncos will now take their 2-2 record into this weekend's Northwest Challenge being hosted by Gonzaga University at the Martin Centre in Spokane, Wash. Boise State will open with Gonzaga at 7 pm (Mountain) on Friday night followed by two Saturday matches against Portland State University at 11 am and No. 8 University of Washington at 5 pm.
Final Match Summary
Boise State at Eastern Washington
Site: Cheney, Wash. (Reese Court)
Date: Aug 31, 2011
Referees: Rusty Wellman, Virginia Hays
Eastern Washington def. Boise State 3-2 (25-17,23-25,25-19,22-25,15-11)
Boise State (2-2)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - HARDEN, Liz 27-0-1; NWAGBUO, Darlene 11-0-0; JONES, Fiona 7-0-1; REARDON, Brittany 7-0-4; NESSELHUF, Breann 6-2-1; GRIFFIN, Elizabeth 5-0-0; STEVENS, Leah 1-0-0; ROSE, Casey 0-2-0; Totals 64-4-4.0. (Assists) - NESSELHUF, Breann 51. (Dig leaders) - REMY, Amanda 25; ROSE, Casey 17; NESSELHUF, Breann 11; JONES, Fiona 10; KIRSCHENMAN, Kristyn 9.
Eastern Washington (2-2)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - PUCKETT, Shelby 22-1-6; KELLERMAN, Cora 21-0-2; ROSSI-CHILDRESS, C. 6-0-6; RANDLES, Kayla 5-0-0; BROWN, Amanda 4-0-5; JULIAN, Kelsey 3-0-1; WRIGHT, Ashley 2-0-4; FERMANTEZ, Talia 1-0-0; BROWN, Laney 1-1-0; VANDERWEL, Amy 1-2-0; Totals 66-4-12.5. (Assists) - NIEMEIER, Lindsay 27; BROWN, Laney 25. (Dig leaders) - KELLERMAN, Cora 20; VANDERWEL, Amy 15; PUCKETT, Shelby 13; NIEMEIER, Lindsay 12; BROWN, Laney 11.
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