Aly Duffin is ranked 4th nationally in hitting percentage.
Sept. 17, 2013
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THIS WEEK IN BRONCO VOLLEYBALL
- Boise State (5-4) opens the 2013 Mountain West Conference season this week with two matches against league newcomer Utah State (6-4).
- The Broncos will open the conference season on the road Wednesday night, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in Logan, Utah, at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum.
- In a rare back-to-back league series, the Aggies will return the trip to Boise Saturday night as the two teams will square-off in Bronco Gym starting at 7 p.m.
- Utah State joined the conference on July 1 along with San Jose State to bring the league's membership to 11.
- Preseason Poll: Utah State won the Western Athletic Conference title last year. They were picked to place fourth in this year's MW race by the league's coaches, while Boise State was selected seventh.
BRONCOS IN CONFERENCE OPENERS
- Last Year: Boise State opened the 2012 Mountain West campaign at home with a heartbreaking five-set loss (25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 22-25, 12-15) to Fresno State.
- MW Openers: The Broncos have split their first two MW openers winning 3-2 at Wyoming (25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12) in 2011 before last year's loss to Fresno State.
- Opening on the Road: Boise State has played nine of its last 10 conference openers on the road. A streak of eight consecutive conference openers away from Boise came to an end last year.
- Historically: Since the 1980 season Boise State has been on the road more often than not to start conference play by a 24 to nine margin. During that time span the Broncos are 24-9 in conference openers, 8-2 at home and 16-7 on the road.
BOISE STATE NOTES
- The Record: Boise State is 5-4 overall heading into the conference openers this week. The Broncos are 2-1 at home and 3-3 on the road in 2013.
- Against 2012 NCAA Tournament: Boise State is currently 1-2 against teams that went to the 2012 NCAA Tournament: lost to No. 5 Washington, lost at Portland State and defeated Belmont.
- Team Stat Rankings: The Broncos are ranked 23rd nationally in hitting percentage and second in the MW at 28.5 percent, 39th nationally and 3rd in the league for assists per set at 12.91, as well as 70th and third in kills per set.
- The Head Coach: Shawn Garus enters his fifth season in charge of the Broncos where he is 67-68 to go with a career record 182-188.
- League Affiliation: The Broncos are entering their third year as members of the newly expanded Mountain West Conference where they have tied for fifth-place in each of the two previous campaigns.
- Winning Seasons: The Broncos are looking to add to their streak of three-consecutive winning seasons in 2013. They went 17-15 in 2012, 16-15 in 2011 and 21-12 in 2010.
- At Home: Boise State was hard to beat at home in 2012 going 10-3 in Bronco Gym, including an upset of MW co-champion and NCAA Tournament participant San Diego State.
- On the Road: The Broncos are currently 3-3 on the road, 0-2 on the opponent's home court and 3-1 on neutral floors.
UTAH STATE MATCH NOTES
MATCHES 10 & 11 VERSUS THE AGGIES
- This week the Broncos and Aggies will meet twice, the 32nd and 33rd meetings all-time, Boise State leads the series 17-14.
- Since 1985, in matches played at Logan the Aggies lead 9-3, while those played in Boise are led by the Broncos 9-5, neutral site matches favor Boise State 5-0.
- The Aggies enter the contest at 6-4 overall and went 1-2 in a tournament at Duke last weekend, losing 3-1 to South Carolina and 3-0 at Duke before rallying to down Liberty 3-0.
- Utah State, last year's WAC champion, was picked to place fourth out of 11 schools in the 2013 MW race during the preseason coaches poll.
- The Aggies are led by Rachel Orr with 144 killsand 24 blocks, followed by Elle Brainard with 109 kills and 31 blocks.
- USU returned four starters plus the libero and eight letterwinners overall from last year's squad.
WATCH LIVE - Utah State at Boise State - Sept. 21, 2013
(Video begins at the start of the match)