Broncos Open MW Play with Fresno State and UNLV
Broncos open Mountain West action with three match homestand.
WHAT'S HAPPENING: The Broncos (7-7) open Mountain West play with a three match homestand beginning with Fresno State (7-5) at 4:00 p.m. (Mountain) Thursday, followed by UNLV (7-5) at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, both matches will be held in Bronco Gym.
THE MW PRESEASON POLL: Both of this week's opponents were picked above the Broncos in the MW preseason poll with newcomer Fresno State projected to finish fourth with UNLV right behind at fifth, Boise State was picked seventh out of nine teams.
THE FRESNO STATE-BOISE STATE SERIES: Boise State and Fresno State have not met since the 2010 season, the last year as Western Athletic Conference rivals. The Broncos have lost the last four meetings against Fresno State all by a 3-2 score. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series by a 17-7 margin, but the two teams have split the last 10 meetings with eight of them going five sets.
THE UNLV-BOISE STATE SERIES: Boise State leads the relatively young series with UNLV by a 4-2 margin. The Broncos swept the Rebels in 2011 winning both encounters by 3-2 scores. It was Boise State's first year as a MW member.
BOISE STATE'S RECORD: Boise State brings a 7-7 overall record and a five-match home win streak into the league opener against the Bulldogs on Thursday. The home win streak includes the last match of the 2011 season, a five-set win over UNLV on Nov. 12.
TICKET PROMOTIONS: Thursday's match is being played before the Brigham Young at Boise State football game which starts at 7:00 p.m. in Bronco Stadium, anyone presenting their football ticket gets in free to the 4:00 p.m. volleyball match against Fresno State.
LIVE STATS: You can find the live stats for all home matches at, http://www.broncosports.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml
BRONCOS IN CONFERENCE OPENERS
LAST YEAR: Boise State opened its inaugural campaign in the Mountain West last year with an upset win at Wyoming in a five-set thriller 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12.
RECENT OPENERS: The Broncos have won their last two conference openers. In addition to last year's win at Wyoming, Boise State won the 2010 opener in five sets at San Jose State.
ROAD STREAK ENDS: A streak of eight consecutive conference openers on the road comes to an end Thursday when the Broncos host Fresno State in its first league opener at home in nine years. They went 5-3 the previous eight years when opening on the road.
HISTORICALLY: Since the 1980 season Boise State has been on the road more often than not to start conference play by a 24 to eight margin. During that time span the Broncos are 24-8 in conference openers, 8-1 at home and 16-7 on the road.
LOOKING AT THE FRESNO STATE MATCH
FRESNO STATE'S RECORD: Boise State will be facing a Bulldog team that went 2-1 last week with a loss at San Diego (0-3) and wins over UC Santa Barbara (3-2) and Yale (3-0) in San Diego. Fresno State enters the week at 7-5 overall.
BULLDOG LEADERS: The Broncos will need to find a way to shut down Fresno State's Marissa Brand who leads the team in kills with 161 and Korrin Wild with 139, they rank third and seventh respectively in the MW.
AS A TEAM: Fresno State as a team leads the MW in assists at 15.73 per set. The Bulldogs have been hitting .191 percent ranking seventh in the conference, while opponents have hit .195 percent (6th MW).
LOOKING AT THE UNLV MATCH
LAST YEAR: As the new kids on the block last year the Broncos swept the Rebels twice but it took five sets each time to accomplish the feat. This year UNLV comes in looking to change their fortune against Boise State.
UNLV'S RECORD: Boise State will face a UNLV team that enters Thursday's league opener at Air Force with a 7-5 overall record. The Rebels went 1-2 last weekend in a tournament at No. 12 Louisville losing to Miami (1-3) and Louisville (1-3), before rebounding with a straight set win over Middle Tennessee.
AS A TEAM: UNLV presents challenges to Boise State in several areas ranking third in four categories, in hitting percentage at .244, kills at 13.77 per set and in blocks averaging 2.56 per game. The Rebels also rank third in defensive hitting percentage holding opponents to .170 percent.
THE REBEL LEADERS: Boise State will need to keep an eye on UNLV's Madeline Westman who leads the team in kills and blocks. She has 118 kills to rank 10th in the league and averages a 1.44 blocks per set ranking her second.
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