LAS VEGAS - The Broncos took well to the bright lights of Vegas on Monday night starring in the first match of the Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament at the Orleans Arena. Looking well polished and ready for tournament play, the No. 6-seeded Broncos (8-21) were able to run all over the No. 3-seeded Idaho Vandals (15-15) and earn a 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21) win. The Broncos advance to Tuesday's semi-final match at 5:00 pm (PT) and will face No.2-seeded New Mexico State.
With the win, the all-time series updates to 47-28 favoring the Vandals, however the Broncos earned a 2-1 record over Idaho during the 2009 season.
"This was a big win for Boise State volleyball," said head coach Shawn Garus. "Yes, it's a big win over our rivals, but an even bigger step for our program to advance in the tournament."
Four Broncos recorded double-digit kill marks with Alisha Young leading the way with 16. Sadie Maughan and Amanda Remy added 13 kills apiece while Elizabeth Griffin added 10. Remy was one of only two players on either side to record a double-double, adding 11 digs to her efforts. Jeanene Rose led the team in digs with 22 while Kersti Whitney added 15. Young and Maughan each added four blocks to lead the team while Young's two service aces led the Broncos as well. Breann Nesselhuf racked up 49 assists, eight kills and seven digs.
The Broncos started out the match with a back-and-forth first-set win, pulling ahead in the crucial final points to win 25-22.
The second set looked unpromising for the Broncos as they fell behind by as many as eight points at times. They fought back point-by-point and were able to tie up the match at 24-24 before earning the final two points of the set to win 26-24 and go up two sets to none.
Set three was just as close as the first set with a teeter-totter score, however, the Vandals were able to squeeze out a 25-23 win to bring the match to a 2-1 score.
In the fourth set, Boise State took control, using their momentum and energy to blast past Idaho, extending the lead as far as eight at times.
Idaho was led by Sarah Conwell who had 19 kills and 16 digs. Meredith Rice added a game-high of 37 digs while Anna McKinney and Kelsey Taylor each had five blocks.
The Broncos will take an evening to soak in the thrill of their victory and will refocus their energy into the semifinal match against New Mexico State 5:00 pm on Tuesday.