Boise State volleyball returned to Bronco Gym to take on the University of New Mexico Lobos in a two-match series on March 5 and 6. The Broncos beat the Lobos in all three sets on both Friday and Saturday.
These two matches were the first of the season that fans and students were allowed to attend. A temperature check was completed for those entering the gymnasium, and masks and social distancing protocols were implemented.
Middle blocker Alyssa Wissinger started off with the serve for the Broncos, but it was the Lobos who scored the first point.
In the first set, outside hitter Lauren Ohlinger had a kill that the entire Bronco sideline went crazy for. Shortly after, she aced a serve that brought her team ahead of the Lobos.
“I thought one of the keys today was our serving,” said Head Coach Shawn Garus. “We were able to serve well and that put New Mexico into some difficult situations.”
After coming back from a three-point setback, the Broncos won the first set 25-9.
New Mexico led at the beginning of the second set, but Boise State fought hard to come back. Outside hitter Shae Duffy had an ace to tie the set.
Coming out with the win 25-19, the Broncos kept that momentum heading into the third set.
Libero Allie Casillas set a new team-high of 11 digs while in the backline. Closing out the third set was outside hitter Kayly Pau with a kill to win 25-13. Pau’s kill was one of 10 and she led the Broncos by hitting at 34.8%.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s match-up to see if our team can come out with a little bit more intensity right from the start and play a little cleaner on our side of the net,” Garus said.
The Broncos were excited during warm-ups before Saturday’s match.
After Friday’s defeat, New Mexico wasn’t going down without a fight. In the first set, the Broncos held the lead but allowed the Lobos to come back and tie.
Towards the end of the first set, libero and defensive specialist Jordi Holdaway had an ace that brought the Broncos to a victory of 25-16.
Starting out the second set was Ohlinger with a kill. Shortly after she had another kill to lead by 11 points over the Lobos. Sealing the deal in the second set was setter Ashley Hayden with a block. The Broncos won this set 25-15.
With a six-point lead the Broncos started off the third set strong. Casillas’s service ace helped build this lead and put her team in a good position to finish out the match.
Leading by 11, Duffy scored off a kill with an assist from Hayden.
It was Pau’s 10th kill of the night that closed out the second match against New Mexico. The Broncos won this match 25-14.
“It was a really good effort from start to finish and I was really proud of how everybody played today,” Garus said. “Kayly was also solid for us again, especially on her birthday! She led the team again in kills, hit well and had a lot of energy. It was nice to see the hard work that everyone is putting in during practice to pay off, this was a team win against the Lobos.”
Next up on the Bronco’s list is the Wolf Pack from the University of Nevada. These two matches will take place in Reno, NV on March 12 and 13.