Upset Bid of No. 22 Oklahoma Falls Short in Five
Nesselhuf and Griffin named to all-tournament team.
NORMAN, Okla. - Boise State's upset bid of No. 22 ranked Oklahoma fell short in five sets as the Broncos took the Sooners to the wire before falling 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-16, 15-4) in the championship match of the Sooner Legends Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla., Saturday. Leading the Broncos in the match were Fiona Jones with 12.5 points, Elizabeth Griffin with 11.5 and Liz Harden with 11. Boise State led 2-1 heading into the fourth set when the Sooners rallied for the victory snapping the Broncos' four-match win streak as they fell to 8-4 on the year with the loss.
"I was really pleased with the way the team battled against Oklahoma tonight," said coach Shawn Garus. "We knew it was going to be a hard match against such an experienced team as the Sooners. We stood in there with them to the end and had our chances, but came up a little short. I am really happy about where we are at as a team heading into conference this coming week."
Boise State opened the match with a tight three-point victory 25-22 in set one as it hit a match-high 36.1 percent (15-2-36). Oklahoma rallied to take the second set powered by a quick start, the Sooners never trailed in the 25-19 win. After the break Boise State responded in kind as they came out strong storming to a 5-1 lead. The Broncos never trailed in the third set as they regained the match advantage (2-1) with a 25-17 win. Unfortunately, the Sooners regrouped after the third set and rallied a second time to seize momentum and control of the match. They took set fourth by nine-points at 25-16, then set-five with a convincing 15-4 victory to win the match 3-2.
Boise State hit 25.3 percent (56-19-146) against Oklahoma, their lowest percentage of the tournament. Six Broncos recorded eight or more points in the match led by Jones with 12.5 on 12 kills (.241) on 29 attempts, and one block assist. Griffin was second with 12.5 points on 10 kills (.391) and three block assists, followed by Harden with 12 points off of 10 kills (.182) and two block assists.
Brittany Reardon added nine points, seven kills (.333), one bock solo and two block assists. Darlene Nwagbuo matched Reardon's points with nine on six kills (.211) and a team-high six block assists. Breann Nesselhuf contributed eight points on seven kills (.200) and two block assists. She also recorded team-highs for assists and digs with 25 and 13 respectively. Casey Rose recorded 22 assists and 10 digs, meanwhile Amanda Remy matched Nesselhuf's 13 digs.
Sallie McLaurin led Oklahoma with 27.5 points on 19 kills on 29 attempts (.586), three aces, one block solo and eight block assists. Suzy Boulavsky was second with 23.5 points on 21 kills (.462) and five block assists. The Sooners hit 29.9 percent (70-23-157) as a team in the match. Oklahoma finished the tournament undefeated at 4-0 and improved to 13-3 on the year.
Breann Nesselhuf and Elizabeth Griffin were named to the all-tournament team as they led Boise State to a second-place finish with a 3-1 tournament record. Nesselhuf started all-four matches scoring 37.5 points and hit 41.3 percent as she recorded 31 kills on 63 attempts with five errors to go with 80 assists, four service aces, 30 digs and five block assists. Griffin's tournament stats included 29.5 points, hit 37.9 percent, 28 kills in 58 attempts with six errors, one assist, seven digs and three block assists. She played in all four matches with three starts.
Boise State finished an impressive week at 4-1 overall with four 3-0 victories over Weber State in Ogden, Utah, and wins in Norman, Okla., against Texas Southern, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Arkansas-Little Rock. The Broncos had won 13 consecutive sets before they lost the second against Oklahoma tonight. They also set the school record for match hitting percentage Friday morning at 58.5 percent against Texas Southern.
The Broncos will wrap-up their 14-match road swing to open the season this coming week when they begin Boise State's first Mountain West campaign at the University of Wyoming on Thursday and at traditional league power and No. 19 ranked Colorado State University on Saturday. They will then welcome Weber State to Boise for a nonconference match in the Broncos' home opener on Monday Sept. 26.
Final Match Summary
Sept. 17, 2011
Sooner Legends Nike Invitational
Norman, Okla. (McCasland Fieldhouse)
Attend: 533 Time: 2:08
Oklahoma def. Boise State 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-16, 15-4)
Boise State (8-4)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Jones, Fiona 12-0-1; Harden, Liz 10-0-2; Griffin, Elizabeth 10-0-3; Reardon, Brittany 7-0-3; Nesselhuf, Breann 7-0-2; Nwagbuo, Darlene 6-0-6; Rose, Casey 3-0-0; Murphey, Taylor 1-0-0; Remy, Amanda 0-3-0; Totals 56-3-9.0. (Assists) - Nesselhuf, Breann 25; Rose, Casey 22. (Dig leaders) - Nesselhuf, Breann 13; Remy, Amanda 13; Jones, Fiona 11; Rose, Casey 10.
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Boulavsky, Suzy 21-0-5; McLaurin, Sallie 19-3-9; Dunn, Tara 9-0-5; Whitley, Grace 7-1-1; Reynolds, Morgan 4-0-0; Roethlisberger 4-0-0; Barker, Brianne 3-1-2; Higgins, Caitlin 3-0-0; Gowen, Mindy 0-2-0; Totals 70-7-13.0. (Assists) - Barker, Brianne 58. (Dig leaders) - Fernanda, Maria 19; Barker, Brianne 11; Gowen, Mindy 9.
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