COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado--Down a star player, Boise State summoned something from within to pull out a four-set win over Air Force 25-13, 25-22, 18-25, 25-21 tonight.
The Falcons, 11-19 overall and 4-11 in the Mountain West Conference coming into the match, played like world beaters tonight, and almost were. Air Force had dealt the Broncos defeats in each of the past two seasons on their home floor, making this the third straight year that Boise State has traveled to Colorado Springs.
Air Force grabbed momentum in the third set with a 25-18 victory, which broke Boise State's 17-set winning streak. That momentum carried over into the fourth set, as the Falcons led most of the way. Senior Aly Duffin tied the score at 19 and Nobley tied the match at 20 with a kill and at 21 with a dump over the net. Senior Sarah Baugh's push over the net gave Boise State a 22-21 lead. Nobley followed with another kill, and after an Air Force attack error, the Broncos captured the set and the match.
Boise State advanced its season mark to 21-7, 13-3 in the Mountain West. Boise State has now won 13 of its last 14 matches.
Nobley led Boise State with 18 kills, 2 assists, 1 service ace, 8 digs and 3 block, while Baugh had 39 assists, 4 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs and 5 blocks. Baugh's ace clinched Boise State's win in the 2nd set 25-22.
Junior Maddy O'Donnell's surging play continues to pay big dividends for the Broncos. O'Donnell, who had seven blocks against San Diego State and six against Nevada, registered a career-high nine against Air Force. O'Donnell also hit 40.9% with 11 kills.
The Broncos return home for their final two matches. Boise State hosts New Mexico Saturday afternoon at 2 before meeting Utah State in a special Tuesday night game (7 PM) before Thanksgiving. Both matches will be in Bronco Gym, just south of Taco Bell Arena.