SAN DIEGO, California--For the second straight year, the Boise State volleyball team is surging down the stretch.
The Broncos topped San Diego State 25-19, 25-21, 14-25, 25-23 last night for their eighth consecutive win. Boise State improved their record to 19-6, 10-2 in Mountain West Conference play. Coach Shawn Garus' team, who is tied with UNLV for the league lead, owns a three-set victory over the Rebels last Saturday in Bronco Gym.
Boise State has six matches remaining, including a home battle with defending champion Colorado State. With one more victory in those six matches, the Broncos can record their third consecutive 20-win season for the first time in 26 years. Boise State hasn't posted three straight 20-win seasons since Darlene Bailey's Bronco teams won 20 or more matches from 1986-90.
Junior Sierra Nobley (19 kills), sophomore Sabryn Roberts (12) and senior Maddy O'Donnell (10) paced the Bronco offense to victory.
Meanwhile, libero Maddi Osburn was spectacular in digging 11 off the court to keep the ball in play.
“Nothing was easy tonight against a good San Diego State team that refused to quit,” said head coach Shawn Garus. “I thought we handle their pressure well, especially when they came back and won the third set. I thought Jaymee (Bulda) did a great job setting our outside hitters tonight who were huge for us. Sierra (Nobley) and Sabryn (Roberts) were great hitting it on the outside and caused the Aztecs issues defensively. I am just happy we got the win tonight and look forward to us caring this momentum on next week.”
Trailing 3-0 in the opening set, the Broncos took command with an 8-2 run. Roberts pounded home the final two winners to give Boise State the lead.
Nobley assumed command by recording seven of her kills in the second set. With the match tied at 19, Nobley hit a winner that the Aztecs were unable to respond to. Behind 21-20, Nobley rammed home two winners and notched a service ace to lead the Broncos on a 5-0 run. Roberts again did honors by smashing home the set point.
With the victory in set two, Boise State tied a school record with its 23rd consecutive set win.
The Aztecs won the third set decisively 25-14 before Boise State's Kaitlyn Oliver recorded a kill over a San Diego State block in set four to put the Broncos one point away. Oliver then combined with Janell Walley for a block for the win.
Nobley posted three aces and eight digs to go along with her team-leading 19 kills while O'Donnell hit 50% for the game and also had two aces and four block assists. O'Donnell is now tied with Ronda Recknor (1981-83) for eighth place in school history in career blocks with 361.
Jaymee-Lee Bulda handed out 45 assists and recorded eight digs and a career-high three block assists.
Alexandra Psoma led San Diego State with 23 kills and a 47.4 hitting percentage. The Aztecs slipped to 4-11 overall and 6-5 in conference play.
Boise State wraps up a three-match road swing against Utah State next Thursday.