BOISE, Idaho--It turned out that redemption was just two days away for the Boise State volleyball team.
After a hard-fought loss to #20 Colorado State Thursday, the Broncos came back for a quality win over Wyoming 25-19, 23-25, 27-25, 25-15 last night in Bronco Gym. The victory, which avenges an earlier loss to the Cowboys, puts Boise State squarely in the picture for an at-large berth in the upcoming NCAA Volleyball Championships. The Broncos have never been included in the tournament.
"Our team was emotionally crushed when we lost to Colorado State," Boise State head coach Shawn Garus said. "The only thing they could do about it was respond with a win against Wyoming. I'm very proud of them."
Boise State is now in sole possession of second place with a 7-3 record in the Mountain West Conference, and the Broncos advanced to 15-7 overall. The Broncos, who are enjoying arguably their best season in school history, are now ranked #1 in the nation in both kills per set and assists per set.
The two teams battled hard in the first set, with no more than three points separating them. Maddy O'Donnell's kill put the Broncos up 10-9, a lead they never relinquished.
Down 21-17 in the second set, O'Donnell again went on the attack, delivering back-to-back kills to keep Boise State alive. However, the Cowboys scored a 25-23 win to even the match.
Boise State controlled much of the third set before a late rally allowed Wyoming to tie the score at 25. Kaitlin Oliver's kill enabled the Broncos to prevail 27-25.
The Broncos then dominated the fourth set, with Sabryn Roberts sending a commanding kill across the net for the clincher.
"I feel like our team was really disappointed with how the second set went," Garus said. "To lose that back-and-forth two-point battle, they were determined at the break to not let that happen again. I think when we were able to out-execute and win the third set, we had the momentum to separate from them."
Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Nobley enjoyed redemption of her own. Shots did not fall for her Thursday night, but Nobley came back with a vengeance to dominate play at the net with 24 kills and a 32.7% hitting percentage. Nobley also contributed 11 digs on a Bronco team showing noticeable improvement in that department. It was Nobley's eighth double-double of the season.
O'Donnell and Oliver helped Nobley provide a potent 1-2-3 punch at the net; O'Donnell had 11 kills while Oliver added 10.
Senior setter Sarah Baugh achieved her 11th double-double of the season with 51 assists and 12 digs. Baugh also added six kills in the match, her most since having six in a win against Grand Canyon on September 20. Baugh ranks third in the nation in assists per set.
Boise State heads out on the road action for contests with Fresno State Thursday and UNLV Saturday.