BOISE, Idaho--The Boise State volleyball team spotted UNLV a first-set win, then exploded for a 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 victory in front of a spirited packed crowd in Bronco Gym. After a tough road trip to open Mountain West Conference play, the Lady Broncos returned home for the first time in nearly a month and posted their first conference win of the season.
UNLV was ahead most of the first set, but the Broncos did battle back to take a 22-19 lead before the Rebels scored six unanswered points. The Rebels used tenacious net play to gain the early advantage, with a seemingly tight Bronco team making several uncharacteristic errors.
Coach Shawn Garus' team evened the score in set number two. Boise State jumped to a commanding 14-4 lead behind stepped-up blocking. Maddy O'Donnell and freshman Phoebe Bell led the way for the Broncos in a 25-16 victory.
The Lady Broncos continued the momentum in the third set, grabbing a 10-6 lead which forced Rebel coach Cindy Fredrick to call a time out. The TO did little to stem the tide, as Boise State again featured great defense led by Bell and Kaitlin Oliver. Oliver was on fire in the set, and Katelyn Kinghorn chipped in to fire up her team with one of the best matches of her career.
Boise State once again gained the upper hand in the fourth set, going up 14-10. Kinghorn, who was matched up several times with the UNLV setter, led the way at the net with blocks for the Broncos. Although UNLV keyed on leading attacker Sierra Nobley, the Bronco sophomore came to life with an excellent fourth set as Boise State won the set 25-19 to wrap up the match.
Boise State advanced to 9-6 and 1-2 in Mountain West play while the Rebels slipped to 8-6 and 1-1.
Senior setter Sarah Baugh recorded 54 assists to pass Bronco assistant coach Breann Crowell (2009-2011) for fifth all-time in career assists with 3,076.
Oliver finished with 17 kills and 4 blocks while Kinghorn had 14 kills and Nobley 13. Maddi Osburn had 25 digs to lead the Broncos. Boise State outhit the Rebels 20.8% to 9.7%, unusually low numbers for both teams.
Ceannia Kincade, cousin of four-time Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson,led UNLV with 13 kills while Bree Hamell had 10.
Boise State hosts Fresno State Saturday afternoon at 2 in Bronco Gym. Parking will be available on the fourth and fifth floors of the Lincoln Parking Garage.