POCATELLO, Idaho--The front line of Sierra Nobley, Maddy O'Donnell and Kaitlyn Oliver combined for 53 kills to lead the Boise State volleyball team to a four-set victory over Idaho State tonight, 30-28, 25-17, 18-25, 25-20, in the opening day of the Idaho State Invitational. It was another important win for Coach Shawn Garus' team, building on the success in victories over Cleveland State, Wright State and Kent State.
A loss to Idaho State last season was one of the defeats which cost Boise State an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Cleveland State, a member of the Horizon Conference, was one of the teams that took one of those berths despite having a lower RPI rating than the Broncos last year.
Idaho State, a co-favorite to win the Big Sky Conference again this year, assumed an early 12-6 lead in the opening set before the Broncos rallied to take a thrilling 30-28 win. The two teams split the next two sets before Boise State grabbed a 17-8 lead in the fourth set. Idaho State, however, rallied to within two points at 20-18 before the Broncos took command to win the match.
Nobley led the Broncos with 19 kills and added 12 digs. O'Donnell had 16 kills, two service aces and four block assists while Oliver had 18 kills and posted a team-leading 35.3% hitting percentage. Setter Jaymee-Lee Bulda netted a career-high 55 assists to go along with 12 digs while libero Maddi Osburn recorded 34 digs. Emily Sullivan chipped in with 12 digs and two service aces.
Boise State captured its fourth consecutive win and improved to 5-2 overall while Idaho State fell to 4-4. The Broncos take on #10 BYU this afternoon at 4.