Junior middle blocker Maddy O'Donnell is one of the veterans of the 2015 Boise State volleyball team. Coach Shawn Garus is counting on O'Donnell for leadership, and her talent and experience have helped propel the Lady Broncos into being contenders in the Mountain West Conference this season. In a preseason poll of the league's coaches, Boise State was chosen to finish second.
O'Donnell (6'-1"), from Irvine High School in Irvine, California, came to Boise State as part of the 2013 recruiting class that also brought Kaitlyn Oliver to Boise. O'Donnell earned All-Pacific Coast League honors in both her junior and senior season at Irvine, serving as captain both years and being named the team's Most Valuable Player.
(BroncoCountry video by Shelby Ransom)
Maddy became a starter during her freshman season at Boise State and has become a key contributor for Coach Shawn Garus' Broncos, earning All-Mountain West Conference honors last season. Already, Maddy shows up as one of the all-time leaders at Boise State since 2001--first in attack percentage (calculated by a player's kills minus errors divided by the total attacks) with 38.1%, 11th in block assists (137), 12th in total blocks (150) and 15th in block solos with 13.
This season, O'Donnell is second on the Broncos in kills (53) and total attacks (111), third in points (60.5), attack percentage (33.3%) and blocks (11) and fourth in serving percentage (90.4%) in leading Boise State to a 3-3 record thus far. The Broncos opened the Boise State Invitational last week with a 3-1 loss to Idaho State before sweeping Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Northwestern.
"I think the biggest difference between our match with Idaho State and Northwestern at the end was just our blocking numbers. We were digging more balls out of the back row and blocking more balls against Northwestern," O'Donnell said.
(BroncoCountry photo by Shelby Ransom)
O'Donnell noted that the Boise State offense has always been a strength for the team, so the Broncos have been working on serves, blocks and digs. "Serving is key in getting us more blocks in the front row and helping our defense behind us," she said.
O'Donnell features a complete game, helping her team in every facet, including serves (she has registered five service aces in a game twice), digs (eight last season vs. San Diego State), kills (22 at Idaho last year) and blocks (nine against Utah State last season).
Thus far in her fabulous collegiate career, O'Donnell has 35 aces, 419 kills (hits that resulted directly in a point or a loss of rally for the opponent), 104 digs (when a player receives an attacked ball from the opponent and keeps the ball in play), 29 assists and 161 blocks.
O'Donnell and the Broncos travel for the North Texas Invitational this weekend, when they will face North Texas, Houston and Abilene Christian.
O'Donnell also competes for the Boise State sand volleyball team.