BOISE, Idaho--Senior Sarah Baugh has put up the kind of career numbers that make here one of the top setters ever at Boise State. But it is the intangibles that have endeared Baugh to her teammates, her coaches and to Bronco Nation. When you add it all up, Baugh's contributions merit All-America consideration.
Bronco coach Shawn Garus refers to Sarah as "a coach out on the court". To a person, Baugh's teammates praise her leadership and energy. Baugh's jump-set is a thing of beauty, because opponents never know which person in Boise State's array of weapons is going to get the ball.
Garus tells the story above of how, when Boise State was down 2 sets to 0 October 29 at Fresno State and in danger of losing the match, it was not he but Baugh that fired up the team with her locker room speech. The Broncos saved six match points and went on to post a five-set victory over the Bulldogs.
(BroncoCountry video by Doc Barnes)
Assistant coach Candy Murphy spoke about Baugh's leadership skills in an interview with BroncoCountry earlier this season.
(BroncoCountry video by Shelby Ransom)
Junior Maddy O'Donnell, whose own torrid play down the stretch has helped fuel a Bronco winning streak of 14 of their last 15, talked about Sarah's value to the team.
Baugh, who came to Boise State from North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo, Washington, is ranked third in the nation in assists with 12.11 per set. Sarah recently moved into fourth place all-time for career assists and she now has 3,659. Yet as Garus notes, Baugh was a part-time player her first two seasons, making her accomplishments the last two years all the more remarkable.
One of the best gauges in judging a setter, according to Garus, is to look at a team's attack percentage, because that reveals that the setter is making wise choices in distributing the ball. With an attack percentage of 28.1% this year, these Broncos will shatter the existing school record of 26.3% set last season.
Baugh's incredible ability at setting will enable teammate Kaitlyn Oliver to set a new single-season standard for hitting percentage, which currently stands at 40.8%. Brittany Reardon set the record two years ago with 37.8%.
But to play so many minutes on the floor and be able to distribute the ball the way Baugh has, a setter must be a steady all-around player and Baugh is outstanding. She is one of the Broncos' best servers, ranking 12th all-time in career service aces with 97 and 14th all-time with 802 career digs.
Bronco fans are going to miss the jump set of #13.