Broncos Power Past New Mexico State

The Boise State women's volleyball team showed what it can do against a very good New Mexico State team last night in Bronco Gym, scoring a shocking sweep of the Aggies.

Just like the ball in their sport, the Boise State volleyball team started out high in the air, came down in the Western Athletic Conference season, and are now up again.

The Broncos scored a landmark win for their program defeating perennial NCAA tournament team New Mexico State 25-20, 26-24 and 25-23 last night in Bronco Gym. Boise State improved its chances of making the WAC postseason tourney but will need a win Monday over San Jose State to secure the bid.

Coach Shawn Garus's team scored their 20th win of the season (20-11, 7-8 in the WAC) and tied the third-most wins in school history. You have to go back to 1997 to find a Bronco volleyball team this good and venture back 20 years to find a better Boise State team. The Lady Broncos were 20-12 in 1987 under coaches Darlene Bailey and Mike Waller and 23-12 in 1990 under Bailey. The best seasons in school history also came under Coach Bailey when they finished 24-8 in both 1982 and 1989.

Boise State snapped a 13-match skid against New Mexico State, now 18-11 and 12-3 in conference. A successful team like New Mexico State doesn't go down easy and the Broncos had to survive 35 ties and 19 lead changes to preserve the impressive victory.

With all the great Bronco teams of Coach Bailey to compare with, it is notable what the 2010 Broncos are accomplishing. The current Broncos are now in 4th place all-time with a .228 team hitting percentage. They are tied with the 1989 team for #6 all-time in team assists with 1,405 this season. The Lady Broncos are just behind the 1997 team for 9th place with 286 blocks, and they are coming up on the top ten in several other categories.

Senior Alisha Young and Cailin Fellows punished the Lady Aggies with 11 and 9 kills, respectively. Senior Sadie Maughan stifled the New Mexico State charge at the net with eight blocks, while Young and Breann Nesselhuf had five each. Nesselhuf was a huge part of the victory with her solid team play, leading the team in assists with 34 assists. Lauren Hamm played a magnificent match with seven digs while sophomore Fiona Jones added eight kills.

Maughan has now moved into second place all-time in career points with 1182.5, surpassing Jeanette Jenkins, who tallied 1161.5 from 2005-08. Young is threatening the all-time school record for points in a season. The Bronco senior is enjoying an incredible year with 483 and is just 35.5 away from topping Cameron Flunder's total from 2004.

Young moved into 10th place with her 135th block of the season, surpassing Sandy Stewart, who had 134 in 1988. Maughan tied Stewart for 4th on the career blocks list with 414. Nesselhuf now has 1,254 assists this season, good for #4 all-time at Boise State. Amanda Remy moved past Tara Brinkerhoff (2000) for 6th place with 394 digs this season. Hamm is in 5th all-time with 1,221 career digs and is just 44 behind #4 Brandy Mamizuka (1995-1998).

Kayleigh Giddens had 11 kills while Whitney Woods had seven blocks and Kelsey Brennan five. Jennah DeVries had 27 assists for the Aggies and Kelsi Phillips led all players with 15 digs.

All Bronco fans are encouraged to come out and support this team in their final regular season match against the Spartans. The 2010 Lady Broncos have ignited a transition in Boise State volleyball in rebounding from a 5-22 season last year and laying the groundwork for new heights in the sport. It will be Senior night when Boise State salutes three outstanding Broncos who have seen the rebirth of Boise State volleyball. Lauren Hamm, Sadie Maughan and Alisha Young will be honored prior to the match with San Jose State.

Arrive early to recognize the tremendous contributions of these three and then cheer the Broncos on with the first serve set for 7 p.m. Monday night in Bronco Gym!

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