Saturday, November 19, 2016

Boise State Volleyball Team Clinches First-Ever Berth in NCAA Tournament

LARAMIE, WY--The Boise State volleyball team scored a 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 win last night over a tough Wyoming team to clinch a share of the Mountain West Conference championship and the school's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Broncos (24-6, 15-2 in MW play) won their 13th straight match, 11 by sweep, repeating a theme from last season, Coach Shawn Garus' team won nine in a row and 15 of their last 16 to close the regular season last year.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished this year,” said Garus. “The team was showing some nerves and a little anxiousness this afternoon, they know how good a team Wyoming is and how hard they are to beat at home. I thought we handle Wyoming’s pressure and the pressure of the circumstances of this match well. It was a battle with Wyoming, every time it looked like we had momentum in a set, they came back on us. Like many of the victories in this run, this was a team win with everyone contributing. Now we need to close it out Tuesday at home against Air Force.” 

Junior Sierra Nobley once again paced the Lady Broncos with 19 kills.  Her eight kills in the opening set helped Boise State rally from five points down to win.  

“The last two matches would not have been possible without the long hard off season and motivated summer workouts,” said Nobley. “Every single player on this team worked their tail off to be able to have such an incredible season, and winning the conference was icing on the cake. We’re so grateful for our coaches, trainers, weight coaches, and every person who was 100% invested in us, because we couldn’t have gotten this far without them. It’s so exciting to be a part of this program as we continue to climb higher than we ever have in the past. Proud of all my teammates and ready to seal the deal on Tuesday night!”

The second set featured seven ties and five lead changes with Nobley getting six more kills, aided by three each from senior Maddy O'Donnell and sophomore Kaitlyn Oliver.  The Broncos finished with a 9-2 run to go ahead of the home team 2-0.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my senior year,” said O’Donnell. “Wyoming is a hard atmosphere to play in and we came in with complete confidence and rattled them from start to finish. I am so proud of my team and coaches for all we have accomplished this season. I can’t wait for our first ever NCAA appearance! Let’s go Broncos!”

Nobley scored five kills and three blocks in the final set, while sophomore Sabryn Roberts had four kills and Oliver three kills and three blocks.

Maddi Osburn tallied a team-high 15 digs in the win to give her 515 on the season, second most in program history and six short of tying the school record of 521. 

Jaymee-Lee Bulda has improved her game throughout the year and dished out 38 assists to bring her total to 1,064 this season, 13th in school history. 

“Being a part of something like this is truly special,” Bulda said. “From day one we have worked harder and harder everyday on and off the court. We’re not just a team, we’re sisters and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Boise State Bronco”

Reed Copeland led Wyoming (18-12, 11-6) with nine kills and four blocks.  The Cowgirls came into the match sporting a 13-5 home record, including a win over second-place Colorado State.  Before bowing to Boise State, Wyoming had lost just one other conference match to Nevada, with the other four defeats coming to #10 BYU, #23 Kentucky, #24 Ohio State and Oregon State.

Boise State returns home to host Air Force for Senior Night next Tuesday at 7:30 in Bronco Gym.  Wyoming finishes the season at Colorado State Tuesday night.