Boise State Wins Home Finale Over UNLV
Broncos earn the sixth seed into next week's MW Tournament
BOISE, Idaho - On Senior Day in Bronco Gym Boise State's volleyball team battled UNLV hard through five sets before the home side won 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 15-8 to clinch the sixth seed into next week's Mountain West Tournament. In Breann Nesselhuf's final home match the senior recorded the second triple-double of her career with 13 kills, 30 assists and 15 digs, while seniors Darlene Nwagbuo and Elizabeth Griffin added 16 and 13 kills respectively. The victory improves the Broncos to 16-14 and 6-8 in league play tying for fifth-place with New Mexico. It also clinched Boise State its first back-to-back winning seasons in 13 years.
The match went back and forth the entire night as the two teams battled for seeding into next week's tournament. The Rebels opened the contest by taking the first set 25-23. The largest lead of the set was three points as the teams traded four leads and were tied 11 times before UNLV took it by two while hitting 42.1 percent from the floor.
The second set was tight throughout as well with Boise State opening on a 3-0 run before the Rebels rallied to take a five-point lead at 10-5. The Broncos slowly chipped away at the deficit eventually pulling even at 15-15. Boise State then took control out scoring UNLV 10-4 down the stretch to even the match at one set apiece heading into intermission.
Tied at nine in the third set, Boise State started to pull away from the Rebels with a 12-5 run giving it a 21-14 scoreboard advantage. The Broncos went on to win the set 25-19 to take a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set saw Boise State fall behind by six at 15-9 before rattling off an 8-2 run to tie it at 17 all. The set saw six lead changes and eight ties but UNLV managed to hold on for the 25-21 win to force a fifth set.
Boise State opened the deciding set strong storming out to a 6-2 lead before the Rebels were able to regroup an attempt a short lived rally pulling within two at 6-4. The Broncos responded with a 4-1 run and eventually put the match away by seven for a solid 15-8 victory which was the largest point spread throughout the entire match.
Boise State hit a decent 26.4 percent during the five-set contest which included three sets at over 30 percent. The Broncos hit a match-high 38.5 percent in the final set. UNLV finished the night hitting 25.7 percent from the floor and did hold the advantage in blocking at 11 to eight.
Liz Harden led Boise State on the night in points with 19 on 18 kills and two block assists. Nwagbuo was second in scoring with 17.5 points on 16 kills and three block assists, followed by Nesselhuf and Griffin with 14 points each. Nesselhuf's triple-double was the second for her against UNLV this year. Griffin added one solo block to her 13 kills. Casey Rose contributed 29 assists, while Amanda Remy recorded a team-best 16 digs moving her season total of 460 into second place all-time.
Makenzie Moea'i led five Rebels in double-figure scoring with 21.5 points on 21 kills, followed by Madeline Westman with 18.5 points on 15 kills and seven block assists.
Boise State will now face TCU in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament at 2:30 p.m. (Mountain) Friday afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M., in a match that will televised live on the Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn.).
For complete stats please refer to the attached box score.
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