Broncos Suffer Heartbreaking 3-2 Loss at Utah State

LOGAN, Utah After going up two games to none over the Utah State Aggies Thursday night, the Boise State volleyball team was unable to hold off the home team, suffering a 3-2 loss at the Smith Spectrum. The Broncos (6-14, 3-7 WAC) earned two close 25-23, 25-23 wins to go up 2-0 in the match before the Aggies (8-13, 6-4 WAC) were able to pull off an upset turnaround with 25-18, 25-18 wins in sets three and four and sneaking past the Broncos in a 15-13 fifth set win to clinch the match.


In set one, the Broncos were able to jump to a 12-7 lead, holding on to a comfortable lead until late in the set. Utah State put the pressure on by matching the score at 21-21 with a back and forth battle through the final four points, ending in a Bronco win. Set two was nearly identical until USU matched the Broncos at the 20-20 mark. From there the Aggies made a bold move by going up 22-20; however the Broncos were able to bounce back and earn four straight points to put them at match point. A hitting error by USU’s Katie Astle sealed the second set win for the Broncos.


After the intermission, Boise State looked as if they may sweep the host team in three sets, jumping to a 5-1 lead. The Aggies fought back with a 7-1 run and battled with Boise State to their final tie of the set at 11-11. From there USU went on an 8-2 run to hold the 19-13 advantage. The Aggies’ momentum was too much for the Broncos to fight, giving USU the third set win. For the first time in the match, Utah State came out as the leader in set four. Point by point they battled their way through the set allowing only two ties with the later one coming at the 2-2 mark. Utah State went from there and never looked back to even the match at a 2-2 tie after winning set four.


The final set of the match turned out to be grueling, including five ties during the set, two of which were in the final three points of the match. After a kill by Sadie Maughan, the Broncos looked to stand a chance at winning the match when they tied it up at 13-13. However, a Rebecca Anderson kill followed by a Melissa Osterloh kill preserved the match for the Aggies in a 15-13 final set score.


Sophomore Alisha King was a leading force for the Broncos, registering a team high of 14 kills as well as six blocks (one solo) and eight digs. Sophomore Maughan had an outstanding night at the net as well, recording a .360 hitting percentage on 12 kills while also earning six block assists and one service ace. Freshman Lydia Blaha added five blocks (one solo) to prove her No. 39 national ranking while Maughan’s six blocks backed up her No. 78 ranking. Senior Jeanette Jenkins added 10 kills to the Bronco offense, putting her only 46 kills away from hitting the career 1,000 kill mark. Defensively, Lauren Hamm played a tough match, picking up a season high of 22 digs while junior Jeanene Rose added 10 on the night. Senior Mandy Klein added nine digs along side her 39 set assists and one service ace to aid the Boise State effort.


The Aggies were led by Osterloh who is ranked No. 79 in the nation in kills per set. Thursday night Osterloh record 19 kills and added 12 digs for the only double-double of the match while also notching the match high in aces with three. Anderson added 15 kills and a team high of six block assists while Emily Kortsen pitched in with 12 kills. Christine Morrill led the backcourt with 29 digs while Heather Hillier added 14 digs and two service aces. Setter Chelsea Fowles recorded 55 set assists and five block assists to aid the Aggies.


The Broncos hit 50 kills and .168 on the night while registering 12 team blocks and 64 total digs. Utah State managed 65 kills and a .186 percentage to squeak by, adding 10 team blocks and 75 digs to their win. The Aggies improve to a four-match winning streak over the blue and orange and narrow the Broncos’ all-time series lead to a 15-12 record.


Boise State will play their final regular season road match on Saturday, October 25 at the University of Idaho. The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. Mountain Time.

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