With an attendance of 1,489 and an attire set for blue, the Boise State women’s volleyball team defeated rival Idaho in a thrilling 5 game series (25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 15-10) in the Bronco Gym Wednesday night.
The game was closer than the score reads. The first two games were dominated by the Broncos, especially junior setter Breann Nesselhuff’s who serves to senior middle blocker Alisha Young.
“We came out and started playing really well,” Young said. “Just walking into the gym and seeing so many fans and everyone supporting us made us that much more pumped up,” referring to the “blue-out” themed crowd of 1,489.
Young added, “I mean it’s Idaho, so we were all ready to go anyways.”
The tables quickly turned on the Broncos as the Vandals won the third and fourth games thanks to their improved blocking and communication.
“I felt like it was an uphill battle. We wont the first two, but we were never in complete control,” head coach Sean Garus said. “Idaho was playing really well, blocking exceptionally well. So game five is anyone’s to win. Whoever plays more aggressive comes out on top.”
Aggressiveness was the name of the game in the final set, as Young and the fired up Broncos finished on top 15-10.
“This is the third game in a row that we’ve gone into five. When you win two games then lose two games you’re fired up. The fifth game, every point matters,” Young said. “So we came out and said the Vandals are not going to win this.”
Young led BSU with 21 kills, 10 of which came from the third game, while Nesselhuff totaled 53 assists. Senior middle blocker Sadie Maughan captured a team high .429 hitting percentage as well as 10 assisted blocks. Sophomore outside hitter and defensive specialist Kersti Whitney tied Maughan with 14 digs a piece.
Since their loss to Washington Sept. 4, the Broncos have been on a roll going 11-1 and holding an impressive 14-3 overall record.
“We just keep working all together,” Young said. “When we bring it all together we can win.”
There have been notable differences within the Broncos’ game play, specifically, being able to play through hardships.
“I think we’re learning to play through adversity a little better. When a team pushed us we are not folding,” Garus said.
Garus credits the winning record to mental preparation, in what he says the “leadership from Amanda Remy and Breann Nesselhuff” is what gives them the spark to win.
Fortunately for the Vandals, they have a chance to redeem themselves when the Broncos travel to Moscow Saturday, then come back home to host three consecutive games next week against Idaho State, Nevada and Utah State.
“It’s a good win. It’s a win that we needed after a loss last weekend, but we got to go up there and play them this weekend,” Garus said. “We’re not done with them yet.”