Broncos Finish Northwest Challenge with Losses to Washington, Gonzaga

SEATTLE, Wash. The Boise State volleyball team dropped to 0-6 on Friday, falling 3-0 to No. 9-ranked University of Washington (4-0) and 3-1 to Gonzaga University (2-5) in the final day of the Northwest Challenge hosted by the University of Washington at the Bank of America Arena.


No. 9 Washington 3, Boise State 0

In their second match of the Northwest Challenge the Boise State Broncos faced the No. 9-ranked Washington Huskies on Friday morning.


In the first set, Washington earned the first two points and was able to continually build a comfortable lead from start to finish, downing the Broncos 25-11. Washington simply outdid the Broncos tallying three service aces and notching 17 kills compared to Boise State’s six kills in the first set. The Broncos, however, led the first set in blocks with two.


Set two was very similar, with the Huskies earning a 25-15 victory to go up 2-0 in sets. The Broncos performed better offensively, registering eight kills but Washington still tallied the higher number with 14. The Huskies added three additional aces to their match total in set two and were able to lead the set with two kills to seal the second set win.


Although down two sets, the Broncos came out punching in set three, earning their first big lead over the Huskies. Spurred by a Jeanene Rose service ace, the Broncos led off the first set 1-0. Thanks to an Eliza Pledger and Alisha King block, the Broncos were able to go up 2-0 before the Huskies answered back with a point. However a UW error and a pair of Maren Ericson kills quickly put the Broncos ahead, 5-1. The Huskies began to gain ground after Becky Perry registered a kill and then UW earned a point on a Bronco error, bringing the score to 7-7 tie. Perry nailed an ace to go put the Huskies up 8-7, but immediately served a wide ball, bringing the score to an 8-8 tie. After a Lydia Blaha service error the Huskies regained control and earned three straight points. The Broncos called timeout and when returning to play, UW’s Jessica Swarbrick committed a service error to bring the third set score to 11-9. A Jill Collymore kill jump started another three point run before King was able to register a kill to bring the score to 15-10 in favor of the Huskies. From there it was a point-by-point battle, each team building their scores one point at a time. The Broncos made a late surge at the Huskies game point, bringing the score from 24-14 to 24-17. With the Broncos putting on the pressure, the Huskies were able to pull off the 25-17 third set win thanks to a Kindra Carlson kill.


Overall the Broncos were led by Ericson who fired off six kills and a .375 hitting percentage while King also had six kills, four digs and two blocks. Senior Mandy Klein shared time at the setter’s position with freshman Alexadra Diemer notching nine and seven set assists, respectively. Rose’s ace serve to kick off set three was the Broncos’ sole ace of the match while Blaha led the Bronco’s net defense with three block assists. Libero Lauren Hamm led the backcourt with seven digs. The Broncos hit an overall percentage of .203, including .227 and .211 efforts in the first and third sets.


Washington was led by Perry who tallied 16 kills and a .542 percentage while also earning two service aces, one solo block and five digs. Collymore added 11 kills and 11 digs, becoming the only player to earn a double-double in the match, while also serving six service aces. Setter Jenna Hagglund kept the offense running with her 42 set assists.


Gonzaga 3, Boise State 1

In their third match of the Northwest Challenge, second match of the day, the Broncos dropped a heartbreaking 3-1 decision to Gonzaga University. After battling against Washington earlier in the day, the Broncos were unable to hold off the Bulldogs falling 25-18, 22-25, 25-12 and 26-24 in their final match of the tournament.


The first set proved to be on the side of the Bulldogs who earned a 25-18 win after notching 16 kills and a .265 hitting percentage. The Broncos were able to tally 12 kills however six hitting errors brought their percentage to .130 in the first set.


In the second set, Boise State was able to earn a 25-22 win to tie the sets 1-1. Their 12 kills and .158 hitting percentage was able to hold off the Bulldogs’ 13 kills and .214 percentage.


After tying the sets, the Bulldogs came out on fire in set three, earning a 25-12 win and shutting the Broncos down to only nine kills and a .065 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs were able to hit their best in set three with 12 kills and a .375 percentage.


After Gonzaga went up 2-1 in sets, the Broncos fought hard to avoid a four-set loss, but the Bulldogs were able to pull off the 26-24 victory to seal the match. Boise State hit 13 kills and a .158 percentage while Gonzaga tallied 15 kills and a .303 percentage.


Boise State was led by Alisha King who knocked out 12 kills on the night. Sadie Maughan and Maren Ericson added nine and eight kills, respectively. Mandy Klein tied her season high with 38 set assists while joining King as the only two Broncos to record service aces. Lauren Hamm tallied a team high of 19 digs while Jeanene Rose and Klein added 10 each. Lydia Blaha added seven blocks (one solo) to the defense with King adding five block assists.


The Bulldogs were led by Elaina Renius who tallied 17 kills for a match high. Setter Denise Van De Mortel also recorded a match high of 44 set assists while three Bulldogs each served two service aces. Paige Dillingham tallied 26 digs while Renius produced 12 blocks (four solo) for match highs as well.


The Broncos continue their season on Friday, Sept. 12 when they take on Brigham Young University at the Wisconsin Inntowner Invite in Madison, Wisc. They also face Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis and Central Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 13.


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