Up to Speed: Our weekly recap of Bronco Sports (Feb. 7-13)

Sophomore Talia Little on the bars, Boise State gymnastics
Photo by Claire Keener

Softball opens the 2022 season with a shutout 7-0 win against UC Riverside (Feb. 10)

By Jenna Vitamanti

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Caudill set a career high of 13 strikeouts and only allowed four hits to open the 2022 softball season against UC Riverside on Feb. 10.

The Broncos secured the win 7-0 after Caudill tied for third in Boise State’s single-game history shutouts, joining Aubray Zell (2012 vs. Loyola Marymount) as the only two Broncos to pitch a no-run game on Opening Day. 

“Taylor has grown so much since the fall,” said assistant coach Allie Walljasper. “I’ve challenged her to have better body composure. She did a great job making adjustments each time through the lineup and it was fun to see her compete in the zone.”

The first runs of the game came in the sixth inning when senior India Kelly hit a single and sophomore pinch hitter Bobbiann Pratt hit a home run. 

Five runs were scored in the seventh with singles hit by junior Autumn Bennett and redshirt sophomore Jalen Ervin. Both runners advanced from an error and one run scored from an infield single hit by redshirt senior Eliyah Flores

Redshirt junior Serena Hutchingson scored off a single, and junior Bella Rocco capped the rally with an RBI-single hit, securing the season-opening win for the Broncos. 

“It was a great team win,” head coach Justin Shults said. “It was a dog fight early on and our bench really came through. That was the difference in the game offensively. Taylor was terrific in the circle and gave us a chance to win the game with our bats.”

Boise State will play California Polytech State University (Cal Poly) and Middle Tennessee State University on Feb. 11 in the SDSU Season Kickoff. 

Softball sweeps first day of SDSU Season Kickoff (Feb. 11)

By Nate Lunak

The Broncos came away with two wins in the SDSU Season Kickoff on Friday, Feb. 11, moving to 3-0 on the season.

Boise State defeated Cal Poly 8-7 in the morning and Middle Tennessee 4-0 in the afternoon.

Against Cal Poly, the Broncos got to an early 3-0 lead in the third inning. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Alycia Flores and junior infielder Bella Rocco delivered back-to-back RBI singles and an error by the Mustangs allowed a third run.

Flores hit a two-run home run in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0. Redshirt sophomore infielder Jalen Ervin hit a single to make the lead 6-0.

After four out of five baserunners reached bases against the Broncos, sophomore pitcher Taylor Caudill came in for relief. After allowing one run to score before a groundout, Boise State’s lead was reduced to 8-6.

After a wild pitch gave up after two singles, the lead was cut to one. Caudill then got the last out of the game from a line drive and preserved the lead for the win.

Against Middle Tennessee, sophomore infielder/catcher Bobbiann Pratt and redshirt junior catcher Serena Huchingson both had home runs. Sophomore outfielder Jordyn Hutchins had two RBIs.

Fifth-year pitcher Hannah Bailey threw 75 pitches in her third shut-out game as a Bronco.

Men’s tennis leaves Provo with a statement win (Feb. 11)

By Desmond Ordoñez 

Boise State freshman James Van Herzeele’s three-singles win highlighted the team’s 4-3 victory at Brigham Young University (BYU) Friday afternoon. This was Boise State’s first win in Provo, Utah, since the 2014 season. 

The Broncos rallied after losing the team’s doubles point to take the lead with two quick singles victories by senior Simon Arca Costas and junior Jan Lucca Marquardt to turn the tide of the afternoon. Freshman Pedro Liborio’s three-set win set up teammate Van Herzeele’s clinching point. 

The Cougars started the contest by taking the team’s doubles point, winning all three matches. Boise State’s No.1 doubles team of sophomore Caden Moortgat and Arca Costas led the Broncos in doubles, beating BYU’s Jack Barnett and Tennyson Whiting to a tiebreaker before getting edged out down the stretch 7-6 (6). 

Down one heading into the singles matches, Boise State wasted little time bouncing back into the match taking two quick straight-set victories to take a 2-1 win. 

Arca Costas was the first Bronco to win in singles, knocking off the Cougar’s Mateo Vereau by a score of 6-4, 6-1. The victory was Arca Costas’s 62nd career victory as he moved to a 10-6 overall this season.  

Marquardt won a second-set tiebreaker to bring home the next singles victory to put the Broncos on top 2-1. The junior bounced Brigham Andrus in two sets 6-3, 7-6(5) to claim his ninth singles win of the year. 

Later, BYU pulled even with a win at No. 3 singles. 

That set up Van Herzeele’s match-clinching victory that saw him beat the Cougar’s Dominik Jakovljevic in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. The freshman improved to 5-3 in singles this spring. 

Next up for Boise State is a Sunday afternoon battle at the University of Utah. 

Boise State men’s golf falls short in the Wyoming Desert Match Play (Feb. 11)

By Ryan Marshall

Boise State men’s golf placed second at the Wyoming Desert Match Play on Feb. 11. The Broncos beat the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in the semi-finals and Wichita State in the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinal against Wichita State, senior Hugo Townsend won four of the six matches to grab the No. 1 seed in 7&6 fashion against Lucas Scheufler of Wichita State. 

Redshirt junior Drew Reinke paved the way for the Broncos against the Miners in the semifinal. Reinke was up five holes with four to play to make him 4-up. The Broncos secured the win through a 4-1-1 fashion. 

The Broncos kept it close and fell short to the University of Wyoming. Senior Max Charles led the way for the Broncos by being up four with three holes left. Wyoming won 3-2-1.

“We had a chance to win today and didn’t quite get it done, so that’s always frustrating,” said head coach Dan Potter. “We had some good moments over the last few days but we were far from full steam. We got a good glimpse of where we are at. We did some good things but we also have a lot of work to do moving forward.”

Next up for the Broncos is the Classic Club for the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, March 2-4.

Three new school records set, Broncos glow in weekend track and field competitions (Feb.11)

By Matthew Valento

Record-breaking performances by senior distance runner Dario De Caro, junior sprinter/hurdles Dafni Georgiou and sophomore sprinter Anita Taviore led the way for Boise State track and field as the Broncos competed in three meets across the country on Feb.11.

De Caro set a new personal record in the men’s 3,000-meters at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston, Massachusetts. He came in fourth and his official time was 7 minutes, 47.46 seconds, De Caro’s first time being under 7:48 in his career.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Don Kirby Invitational, Georgiou and Taviore bested their own records as well, which were previously set one week prior at the Washington State University (WSU) Invitational (Feb. 4-5).

Georgiou came in at a time of 8.20 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles finals, lowering the school record by .04 seconds and obtaining the bronze medal.

Taviore’s record came in the women’s 200-meter dash. The freshman, who was the first Bronco in school history to break the 24-second barrier in the event last weekend, finished with a time of 23.69.

Next was the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington, where six Boise State runners saw double-digit time drops, including senior distance runner Yukino Parle who improved her time in the women’s 5,000-meter by 28 seconds finishing with a time of 16:31.22. 

Freshman distance runner Lauren Larson cut 10 seconds off her time in the women’s mile with a time of 4:59:12.

Track and field will now travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Mountain West Championships, Feb. 24-26.

Women’s softball finishes undefeated at the SDSU Season Kickoff (Feb.12)

By Matthew Valento

Boise State scored 15 runs, sweeping the final two games Saturday, Feb.12 at the SDSU Season Kickoff.

Boise State (5-0) beat Middle Tennessee 8-1 in the morning and later defeated Stanford 7-3 in the afternoon. Boise State has a 4-1 all-time record against the Stanford Cardinals, who have been in the last two NCAA postseasons.

In the win against Middle Tennessee, sophomore outfielder Jordyn Hutchins homered twice, including a grand slam and collected seven RBIs. Junior infielder Bella Rocco accounted for the Broncos’ other run with a solo home run.

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Caudill gave up one run in five-plus innings, and fifth-year pitcher Hannah Bailey wrapped it up with the final six outs for her first save of the season.

Gymnastics claims individual titles but falls to No. 18 BYU at home (Feb. 12)

By Jenna Vitamanti

Boise State gymnastics attempted for redemption at ExtraMile arena on Feb. 12 but fell to No. 18 BYU 196.450-195.975. The No. 24 Broncos claimed individual titles in three of the four events.

Sophomore Talia Little on the bars, Boise State gymnastics
[Photo of sophomore Talia Little, Boise State gymnastics]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

The Broncos began their first rotation on vault, with freshman Alyssa Vulaj posting a career-high score of 9.875 to earn her first career title in an event. Four scores landed at 9.800, and a  season-high score of 49.075 was marked as an improvement for the team from each meet this season.  

The school record on bars was tied by senior Alexis Stokes with a score of 9.975. This bars title now marks three career titles for Stokes and her first since winning the 2019 MRGC Championship in March 2019. The high scores continued to roll in with sophomore Emily Lopez scoring 9.925 and fifth year Emily Muhlenhaupt finishing the rotation with 9.900.

Freshman Blake Pascal scored another career high for the Broncos in the floor rotation with a 9.875. Freshman Emma Loyim scored a 9.800, tying with the best performance of her college career thus far. The Broncos finished with an overall score of 48.950.

The beam event title was tied by Lopez and junior Adriana Popp with each athlete scoring 9.850. Lopez tied her career high with this score and earned her second career win on beam, and the win for Popp marked the fourth in her career. Loyim made her beam debut Saturday night, scoring an impressive 9.825, helping the Broncos finish at 49.075 in this rotation. 

Senior night against Utah State will be hosted in ExtraMile Arena on Feb. 18 where the Broncos take on the Aggies for the first time this season.

Women’s basketball falls to Utah State (Feb. 12)

By Ryan Marshall

The Boise State women’s basketball team traveled to Logan, Utah, for a matchup against Utah State on Feb. 12. It was a game of runs that ended in favor of the Aggies 63-55. 

The Broncos came away with the lead to close out the first half to make it a 26-23 point game, but the Aggies started out hot with a 9-0 run right out of the gates to start the second half, and the Broncos never came back. 

Utah State cruised past Boise State in the final stage on an 11-3 run which gave the Aggies the victory. The Broncos shot 25% from the field and ended up committing three turnovers in the final stages. 

Sophomore forwards Abby Muse and Elodie Lalotte led the charge for the Broncos.

Muse led the team by coming away with a double-double, where she dropped 17 points and 12 rebounds. Lalotte was the leader on the boards by coming away with 14 to help keep the Broncos close. 

The Broncos will be in action Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Colorado Springs to take on Air Force. 

The University of Utah bests Boise State men’s tennis (Feb. 13)

By Mason Becker

The Boise State men’s tennis team fell just short last Sunday, Feb. 13, losing a close battle with the University of Utah 4-2 in a team victory for the Utes.

The Broncos performed well, despite the loss, as junior Jan Lucca Marquardt breezed through a straight-set singles victory over Utah’s Bruno Caula, tying the match at 1-1.

The doubles team of Marquardt and freshman James Van Herzeele also competed well on Sunday, losing by a small margin of 7-6 in the tiebreaking set to Utah’s Francisco Bastias and Bruno Cole.

Despite the efforts of Marquardt, Utah took the rest of the singles matches, winning the No. 2 and three singles to move up to 3-1 in the team match.

Junior Ryo Minakata cut the deficit back to 3-2, with a dominating singles victory over Utah’s Jayson Blando in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

The final blow came when Utah’s Franco Capalbo defeated Boise State freshman Pedro Liborio 6-4, 6-4, sealing the match and the victory for Utah.

Boise State will now have the next two weeks off before returning to the court on the weekend of March 4-6, where they will host a three-match homestand.

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