Shelby Ransom

The Boise State Bronco Volleyball Team Breathes Easier After Five-Set Thriller Over The San Diego State Aztecs

In one of the closest matches you will ever see in any sport, Boise State's volleyball team outlasted upstart San Diego State.

SAN DIEGO, California--Maybe there is something to the color pink.

Last night, the Utah State Aggies used pink to shock the Boise State football team.  Today, as breast cancer awareness month continues, the San Diego State volleyball team nearly stunned Boise State.

Senior Kaitlyn Kinghorn rang home a winner in the fifth set as Coach Shawn Garus' team emerged from a 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 24-26 17-15 marathon with their sixth win in a row.

The Aztecs, now 6-14 on the season, battled the heavily-favored Broncos nearly point for point.

Boise State grabbed an 18-12 lead in the opening set, the largest either team would enjoy on the night.  But it was short-lived, and San Diego State came back to tie it at 24.  An attack error by Deja Harris put Boise State one point away, and senior Sarah Baugh set up Kaitlyn Oliver for the winning kill, her fifth of the set.

San Diego State led much of the second set, although a Bronco run put them ahead 12-8.  The Aztecs battled back to tie it at 14 and 15, then, with Danielle Bolden skying high for thunderous kills, San Diego State prevailed 25-23.

Boise State got in a groove in the third set and went ahead 10-7 on a kill by junior Maddy O'Donnell.  But, as was the case the entire afternoon, the Broncos could not shake the Aztecs, who grabbed a 15-12 lead of their own.  Boise State went on an 8-1 run to take a 20-16 lead and then survived a late charge to win 25-23.

In the back-and-forth match, the Aztecs held the lead for much of the fourth set, leading 17-14 on a kill by Alexis Cage.  Two kills by sophomore Sierra Nobley led a Bronco comeback that saw them take a 19-17 lead.  The two teams traded points, until a kill by O'Donnell put the Broncos in position to win with match point.  But an attack error tied the score, and San Diego State scored the next three points to even the match.    

In the fifth and final set, the homestanding Aztecs gained control at 8-6, but then the determined Broncos reeled off five straight to go ahead 11-8.  However, San Diego State came back and had a match point of their own at 14-13.  But a service error gave new life to the Broncos.  Then, with Nobley serving, the Aztecs sent a laser over the net that libero Maddi Osburn made a fantastic dig on to keep the ball alive.  Just as if it were drawn up, the ball went to Baugh, who guided it over to Kinghorn, who put the ball away down the left side of the net.

Boise State held a narrow lead in hitting percentage, 30.2% to 27.8%.  The Broncos managed just eight blocks on the evening, with several of the ones the Boise State front line did get to going out of bounds.  Baugh had 61 assists and 10 digs.  Baugh had plenty of help in the latter category as the Boise State players left it all out on the court in great individual efforts.  Osburn had 15 digs, while Nobley registered 11 and Hannah Hubbard had 10.

Nobley led a balanced Bronco offense with 19 kills to 16 for O'Donnell, 14 for Oliver and 12 for Sabryn Roberts.

Bolden had 19 kills to lead San Diego State.

Boise State advanced to 14-6, setting up a key homestand for the Lady Broncos.  #21 Colorado State, which beat San Jose State today 3-1, travels to Bronco Gym Thursday at 7.  Then, the Broncos host one of the only teams to beat them this season, Wyoming, Saturday at 2 as part of Homecoming festivities.

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