BOISE, Idaho--The Boise State volleyball team recorded a 25-16, 25-23, 25-8 win tonight over San Diego State in Bronco Gym for the Broncos' 19th win of the season, and 11th in their last 12 matches.
Senior Sarah Baugh, third in the nation in assists per set coming in, had 34 tonight to tie Mandy Klein for career assists. Baugh and Klein are tied for fourth all-time with 3,583.
Coach Shawn Garus' team came out strong from the beginning, Baugh served on 7 of Boise State's 25 points, including 5 in a row as Boise State built a 6-1 lead. San Diego State coach Deitre Collins-Parker called a time out, but it didn't seem to help much, as the Broncos extended their lead throughout the set, as powerful Boise State spikes either led to points or Aztec errors. Sophomore Sierra Nobley and Kaitlyn Oliver each had three kills as the Broncos won 25-16.
The second set was much tighter, and San Diego State built their largest leads of the match at 6-4 and 8-6. Boise State fought back to take the lead 10-9 on an error by Alexandra Psoma. Boise State never trailed the rest of the night, although the Aztecs climbed to within one at 21-20. A kill by Sabryn Roberts and a service ace by Maddy O'Donnell made it 23-20. San Diego State cut it to 23-22 and 24-23, but a kill by Nobley, her sixth of the set, sent the Broncos into the locker room with a 25-23 win. Roberts had four kills in the set while Oliver added three. Australian freshman Phoebe Bell served on three of Boise State's points in the set.
In this rematch of a thrilling five-set contest in San Diego in October, Boise State had played well to get a 2-set to 0 lead. What followed was a clinic characterized by Bronco power at the net, sensation blocking along the front line and domination by the Boise State hitters.
Baugh was back for more damage in the third set, serving for five more consecutive points as Boise State built a 6-0 lead, with 2 of those points coming on Aztec lineup violations. O'Donnell's ace, her second of the match, gave the Broncos an 11-3 lead and the rout was on. Three Nobley serves led to Aztec attack errors and 16-5 Boise State lead before a timeout by San Diego State. Nobley served for four straight Bronco points, including an ace and a kill by Sierra in the streak. Nobley added another kill down the stretch, and O'Donnell finished off the spectacular set with a kill down the middle for a winner.
Nobley led the Broncos with 14 kills while Roberts had 10.
Danielle Bolden, star hitter for the Aztecs who had 19 kills against the Broncos last time out, was held to 7 tonight and an .067 hitting percentage.
Boise State, known for its offense, hit 37.2% as a team. Nobley hit 52%, Roberts 50% and Oliver 46.2% as the powerful Bronco hitters were too much for the outmanned Aztecs.
But what is driving Boise State's winning streak is their defense. Coach Garus' team held San Diego State to 6.9% tonight. Boise State forced 26 Aztec errors while only committing 8 themselves. The Broncos, who have been drilling hard on blocks all season long, saw that hard work bear fruit tonight. O'Donnell had 7 blocks in stymying Aztec hitters all night.
The Broncos, now 19-7 on the season, moved to 11-3 in Mountain West play while San Diego State slipped to 9-19 and 6-9 in conference.
Boise State hosts Nevada Saturday afternoon before the Bronco-New Mexico football game. First serve is at 2 in Bronco Gym, just south of Taco Bell Arena.