Up to Speed: Our weekly recap of Bronco Sports (Feb. 28 – March 6)

Max Charles, Boise State men's golf 2022
Photo courtesy of Boise State Athletics

Women’s golf posts strong results at GCU Invitational (Feb. 28-March 1)

By Mason Becker

The Boise State women’s golf team finished in 12th place out of a 20-team field at the GCU Invitational on Tuesday, March 1. 

Sophomore Eli Gordon led the Broncos by finishing 34th overall and recording a 9-over par performance.

Freshman Hannah Lim also turned in a strong performance, finishing just behind Gordon in 40th with a 10-over par performance.

The rest of the Broncos came behind Gordon and Lim, with fifth-year seniors Nicole Suppelsa and Lexi Perry scoring a +14 and +15, respectively.  Sophomore Franca Polla also turned in a +15 score.

The Broncos will now enjoy a couple of weeks off before traveling to Fresno, California, for the Fresno State Classic on March 21-22.

Beach volleyball sweeps Tuesday games going 2-0 (March 1)

By Nate Lunak

Boise State beach volleyball swept both Ottawa University Surprise and Arizona Christian University with a score of 5-0, Tuesday afternoon, March 1. 

Thirteen Broncos contributed to the two victories led by sophomore Sierra Land and sophomore Rorianna Chartier who won in straight sets at No. 2 pair versus Ottawa and at No. 1 against Arizona Christian.

Boise State’s top duo of fifth-year Erin Martin and senior Yasmin Tan only played once on Tuesday, winning in straight sets over Ottawa 21-10, 21-19 before taking the second contest off.

Land and Chartier began the day competing at No. 2 pair in the win over Ottawa defeating their opponents 21-16, 21-13. They then moved up to the top position against Arizona where they won 21-15, 21-11 to improve to 3-3 overall on the season.

Freshman Madison Nichols and senior Danielle Boss were the second of three pairs to have two wins on the day. The duo opened at No. 3 pair in the win over Ottawa taking their match 21-9, 21-12, then played No. 2 pair versus Arizona where they won 21-15, 21-12.

Sophomore Kaylee Mejia and freshman Sharli O’Neil swept both of their contests winning on court four 21-12, 21-13, then followed with a 21-11, 21-18 win versus Arizona at the third pair position. Mejia and O’Neil have the best overall record on the team at 4-1 on the year.

Senior Joey Benson had two wins on the day paired with multiple partners. She played No. 5 pair with freshman Emilia Guerra-Acuna against Ottawa collecting a 21-12, 21-9 win, then teamed with junior Alyssa Wissinger at No. 4 pair versus Arizona to record a 21-13, 21-15 victory.

Also winning on Tuesday was the tandem of graduate student Alli O’Harra and junior Katie Martin at No. 5 pair where they won in straight sets 21-9, 21-7 versus ACU.

Boise State will now take its 3-2 overall record to Tucson, Arizona, where the Broncos will close out its 10-day road trip at the Cactus Classic.

Boise State men’s golf have two Broncos in top 20 at Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate (March 4)

By Ryan Marshall

The Broncos finished in sixth place at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate at the Classic Club. Seniors Hugo Townsend and Max Charles led the charge by finishing in the top 20.

Max Charles, Boise State men's golf 2022
[Photo of Max Charles, Boise State men’s golf.]
Photo courtesy of Boise State Athletics

Townsend (73-68-74—215) finished 14th by scoring 4-under par at 68 in round two for the second best score. He has placed in the top 25 six times this year and 26 in his career. This ranks second in program history

Charles (71-70-76—217) was under par for two rounds in a row and finished 20th. He now has five top-25 finishes on the year and seven throughout his career. 

“It was a mixed bag all three days,” said head coach Dan Potter. “We had some guys hang in there well enough to give us a chance but we never sustained any good stretches to get to where we could play offense. We know the course and it wasn’t playing very difficult. We just didn’t get it done as a team.”

The Broncos will be in action next in Eugene, Oregon, for the Duck Invitational (March 21-22), at the Eugene Country Club.

Men’s tennis goes 3-0 in their opening homestand (March 4-6)

By Mason Becker

The Boise State men’s tennis team took down Montana State in their opening homestand on Friday, March 4 by a score of 4-3.

The Broncos began the match strong with the tandem of junior Jan Lucca Marquardt and freshman James Van Herzeele, who shut out their opponents 6-0.  

The domination continued as redshirt senior Michael Bott and junior Ryo Minakata made quick work of their Bobcat opponents winning 6-1 on court three, clinching the team point for the Broncos.

The Broncos entered the singles portion of the match up by just a point but wasted no time getting the ball rolling again. Senior Simon Arca Costas extended the Broncos lead by winning his match in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

Van Herzeele built on the Broncos’ lead in a straight-set victory against Georgios Nouchakis 6-0, 6-4, to improve his record to 6-3 on the season.

Minakat finished off the Bobcats when he beat Joaquin Espinoza in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

But the weekend was not over yet for the Broncos, as they then faced Idaho State on Saturday, March 5 where they once again took the victory, 4-3.

Costas and sophomore Caden Moortgat took the doubles team point in a tiebreaker win 7-6 versus the 37th-ranked doubles tandem of Alexander Petrovic and Patrik Trhac.

Idaho State then took the first singles match of the day, bringing the team scores to 1-1, but Boise State retook the lead when Costas won his match in straight sets 6-1, 6-4, recording his 65th career singles win.

Idaho State brought the score back to 2-2, but Minakata quickly gave the Broncos lead once again with a straight-set victory 6-2, 6-2.

Then, freshman Pedro Liborio finished the match with a straight-set victory, 6-4, 6-3, securing the victory for the Broncos, moving them to 7-5 on the season.  

The Broncos still have one more game to go in a matchup versus Pacific University on Sunday, March 6.

For the third consecutive day, the Broncos pulled off a close win versus Pacific, 4-3.

Boise State started off the match by winning the team’s first doubles point with Costas and Moortgat, taking down the power duo 6-2.

Marquardt and Van Herzeele quickly followed and secured the teams’ doubles point with a win over the power duo of Coby McCaig and Manroop Saini, 6-3.

While Boise State dominated the doubles matchups, they had to battle to take the singles matches.

Minakata pushed the Broncos further ahead, with a dominating straight-set win 6-0, 6-0, to win his seventh match of the year.

The Broncos then pulled even further ahead when Van Herzeele won in straight sets against Pacific’s Liam Puttergill 6-2, 6-0, making the team score 3-0 in favor of the Broncos.

However, the power cats would not go down easy, as they rallied back with three straight singles wins, making the team score 3-3 going into the final match.

It all came down to the last singles match, with Boise’s Liborio going against Pacific’s Mardjonovic. It was a hard-fought match, but Liborio pulled through, with a straight-set victory, 7-5, 7-5, giving the Broncos the win, 4-3. 

The Broncos will continue its five-match homestand next weekend as they face off against Denver and LMU.

Beach volleyball falls to two ranked opponents at Arizona’s Cactus Classic (March 4)

By Matthew Valento

Boise State’s beach volleyball team went up against two nationally ranked opponents on Friday, March 4 at the Cactus Classic in Tucson, Arizona. The Broncos lost 5-0 to No. 9 Hawai’i and 4-1 to No.13 Arizona. Boise State’s sophomore Kaylee Mejia and freshman Sharli O’Neil led the Broncos on the day, winning their match at No. 4 pair versus Arizona.

In the match against No. 9 Hawai’i, the Broncos were led by senior Danielle Boss and freshman Madison Nichols on court three where they took the Rainbow Warriors’ duo of Jaime Santer and Megan Widener to three sets before getting edged 14-21, 21-18, 15-10.

Fifth-year Erin Martin and senior Yasmin Tan attempted to rally in the second set at No. 1 pair but came up short to Brooke Van Sickle and Kaylee Glagau 21-12, 22-20.

In the match against No. 13 Arizona, Boise State played closer than they did last weekend as they continue to improve. Meija and O’Neil were the only pair to record a breakthrough win against Arizona taking their match 21-14, 21-18 over Abby Russell and Dilara Gedikoglu. They are now undefeated (2-0) against the Wildcats and own a team best of 5-2.

Boise State’s No. 1 pair of Martin and Tan started off strong against Arizona’s top duo of Alex Parkhurst and Alana Rennie winning the opening set, then started with a 7-2 advantage in set three, but were unable to hold on as the Bronco duo fell in three 18-21, 21-13, 15-12.

Boise State now has a record of 3-4 on the year and will now wrap up their 10-day road trip to Arizona at the Cactus Classic with games on Saturday, March 5 against Arizona State University and Santa Clara University.

Gymnastics takes home second and Muhlenhaupt breaks record at Illinois Quad Meet (March 4)

By Jenna Vitamanti

Fifth-year Emily Muhlenhaupt broke the school record for career wins on bars for Boise State gymnastics at the Illinois Quad Meet on March 4.

The No. 23 Broncos took home second place at the quad meet hosted by the University of Illinois with a final score of 196.550. Boise State fell to No. 22 Illinois with a score of 197.125 and finished ahead of Central Michigan (196.275) and Northern Illinois (194.475).

“We were on fire on vault and bars tonight,” said Boise State gymnastics head coach Tina Bird. “We have some work to do on beam and floor, but I’m happy with the way they attacked the meet.”

The Broncos scored a 49.525 on their bars rotation, tying the third-highest score in program history. Senior Alexis Stokes scored 9.900 with this being her fifth straight meeting scoring 9.900 or higher. Sophomore Emily Lopez tied a career high with a score of 9.950. 

Muhlenhaupt tied the program record on bars with a score of 9.975, securing her 21st title in the event during her Boise State career. This win on bars set a new program record for wins in a career. Muhlenhaupt passed Lindsay Ward (2004-08) who held the record for over a decade. 

A season-high score was set on vault during the meet with an exciting score of 49.275. The Broncos have proved consistent improvement each meet this season by either bettering or tying their score with the previous meet. 

Junior Adriana Popp scored an impressive 9.900 on beam. This rotation ended with a score of 48.850 as Lopez added a 9.850 for the Broncos. 

Boise State scored a 48.900 in the floor rotation with Blackson leading the team with a 9.850.

The Broncos will travel to Arizona for a tri-meet against Arizona State University and the University of Oklahoma. This meet will mark the end of the regular season on March 11.

Women’s tennis cruise past this weekend with wins over ISU and Portland State (March 4-5)

By Desmond Ordonez

Boise State women’s tennis opened the weekend with a 7-0 win over the Idaho State Bengals. The win came in the teams’ home-opening match. Sophomore Pauline Ernstberger recorded the match-clinching point when she knocked off Idaho State’s Hana Cho in three straight sets. 

“This late start to the season had our young women really hungry to play, and today was an example of that,” said interim head coach Maria Lopez. “I am proud of the effort and the work we put in every day.”

Boise State opened the morning by sweeping all three double contests. Leading the way were sophomore Shauna Heffernan and junior Holly Stewart who blew past their opponents 6-0 on court two.

Junior Joana Baptista and sophomore Nicole Discenza clinched the team’s doubles point following their 6-4 victory on court one, while the No. 3 doubles tandem of Ernstberger and Vendrell were forced to a tiebreaker before completing a sweep by a score of 7-6(2).

“Today’s win is very special to us,” said junior Ana Conde Vendrell. “Saying that we were excited about today’s match is an understatement.” 

Boise State won five of the six singles contests in straight sets and completed a shutout over the Bengals to improve to 1-1 on the year. 

The Broncos followed Friday’s shutout with another dominating win beating Portland State on Saturday, 6-1 to sweep the home-opening weekend. 

The Broncos opened Saturday’s (March 5) contest claiming the team doubles point, 2-1. Boise State earned victories on court two where sophomore Shauna Heffernan and junior Holly Stewart won 6-3 before fellow Broncos Baptista and Discenza held on to secure a win of their own.

In singles play, the Broncos dominated the opening sets claiming five of the six. Stewart extended the teams’ lead to 2-0 when she quickly put away her opponent at No. 3 singles by a 6-1, 6-1 score. The senior is now 13-5 in singles matches this year. 

Conde Vendrell was the second Bronco off the court following her close 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles over Portland State’s Makoto O’Hara. The win pushed Boise State out to a 3-0 lead and handed Conde Vendrell her 10th singles victory of the season.

Discenza brought home the match-clinching win on court five where she rolled past Maddie Egan in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 to make the team score 4-0 in favor of Boise State. The victory moved the sophomore from Venezuela to 12-4 overall in singles this year. 

Baptista followed with a three-set 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 victory on court two versus Nika Beukers to record her 12th singles win of the season.  

Boise State returns to action next weekend when they host the Idaho Vandals on Sunday, March 13.

Softball leaves Tucson with three wins at Wildcat Invitational (March 4-6)

By Jenna Vitamanti

Boise State softball kicked off the weekend with three wins in the Wildcat Invitation in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5. The Broncos fell in the last two games of the weekend ending on Sunday, March 6. 

Friday’s opener ended with a mercy-rule 13-0 against the University of North Dakota in a five-inning game. The Broncos scored in every inning as junior infielder Bella Rocco completed three hits to help secure the victory. Rocco, redshirt sophomore outfielder Alycia Flores, redshirt junior catcher Serena Huchingson and junior infielder Autumn Bennett earned two RBIs each. 

Boise State then defeated Iowa State University ending in a final score of 5-3. The Broncos scored single runs in the second and third innings. 

Fifth-year infielder Alison Seng hit an RBI single, and sixth-year utility player Kelsey Lalor walked with bases loaded to capture the win for the Broncos.

“We respect everybody we play, but we have to go into games believing we are going to win every game,” said Boise State head coach Justin Shults. “Sometimes we rely on the long ball, but it was good to see us score in different ways today. Against Iowa State, Hannah Bailey did a great job keeping us in the ballgame.”

Boise State opened Saturday with a 7-1 win over Loyola University Chicago but fell to No. 8 tournament host University of Arizona 5-4. 

“I’m proud of the way we competed all day today,” Shults said. “It had a postseason feel and that is our goal. Tomorrow will be a big test to play another competitive team and see how we respond.”

The Broncos led 4-1 after six innings and finished the seventh inning with another three runs. Seng hit a two-run home run, this hit marking her team-leading fifth of the season. Bennett finished the rally with a run-scoring single. 

Senior pitcher Sara Johnson threw a two-hitter and struck out six. 

Against the Wildcats, Flores, Lalor and redshirt senior infielder Eliyah Flores each hit a solo home run with the fourth run being scored from an error.

Arizona scored two runs off fifth-year pitcher Hannah Bailey in the fifth inning and then scored three in the sixth inning against sophomore pitcher Taylor Caudill

The final game of the tournament was a 6-2 loss against Texas State University on Sunday. The Bobcats scored three runs in the first and sixth innings against the Broncos. 

Caudill was rocked in the first inning with two hits and four walks. 

In the top of the second, the Broncos responded with an RBI double with two outs by sophomore utility player Abby Bumcrot. Flores hit a run-scoring single in the fifth putting the Broncos at a 3-2 score. 

“It was not our best softball today,” Shults said. “But we had some positives. Sara Johnson did a nice job this weekend getting back to where she was late fall and in January. Abby Bumcrot is doing a great job for us both behind and at the plate.”

The Broncos will compete in a five-game road trip beginning in Houston, Texas, with a doubleheader against the University of Houston on March 10. 

Beach volleyball closes out Cactus Classic with nail biters (March 5)

By Matthew Valento

Beach volleyball finished the Cactus Classic with a pair of contested defeats where six of the 10 pairs matches went three sets. The Broncos came up short in both matches on Saturday, March 5 falling to Santa Clara University 4-1 followed by a 3-2 loss to Arizona State University.

Three different pairs found themselves with some wins in Tucson with sophomore Kaylee Mejia and freshman Sharli O’Neil earning a victory at No. 3 pair versus Santa Clara, while sophomores Sierra Land and Rorianna Chartier, and senior Joey Benson and freshman Emilia Guerra-Acuna won against Arizona State.

In the opener against Santa Clara, Boise State wound up with a loss in four matches that were decided in three sets. The only victory in this matchup came at the No. 3 pair where Mejia and O’Neil defeated Elena Radeef and Claire Doud in straight sets 21-19, 21-18.

In the second meeting of the year against the Sun Devils the Broncos came up short, which evened the season series at 1-1. Sierra Land and Chartier put Boise State up early with the first win of the contest at the No. 2 pair where they won 21-15, 22-20 against Rylie Kael and Anya Pemberton.

The second win came from court five of Benson and Guerra-Acuna where they won in three sets 21-15, 16-21, 16-14 over Maddy Salazar and Kylie Wickley.

The Broncos wrap up the Cactus Classic with an overall record of 3-6, four of those losses coming at the hands of nationally ranked opponents. 

Boise State will now shift its focus to Corban University, Bushnell University, University of Portland and the University of Oregon when they travel to Salem, Oregon, next week.

Men’s basketball falls to CSU in regular-season finale (March 5)

By Nate Lunak

Boise State men’s basketball had three players score in double figures and shoot better than 50% from the floor for the fifth time in its last six games but were edged 71-68 by Colorado State on the road, Saturday night, March 5. 

With only three conference losses this season that tie the school record (1987-88 and 1988-89), the Broncos’ conference winning percentage of .833 established the school record.

Fifth-year forward Abu Kigab scored a team-high 15 points going 7-11, his 21st game in double digits this season. He would also lead the Broncos with six rebounds and five assists.

Redshirt senior guard Marcus Shaver Jr. scored 13 points, leading the team for the 25th time this season scoring double digits.

Redshirt junior guard Max Rice scored 11 points, his fourth game in double figures this season. He knocked down three 3-pointers, all in the first half which was Rice’s fourth game this season with at least three 3-pointers.

Boise State had 13 assists, reaching double figures for the third consecutive game, and the fifth time in the last seven.

Sophomore guard Pavle Kuzmanovic made his first appearance since Feb. 1 and knocked down multiple 3-pointers for the first time since Feb. 16. Kuzmanovic finished with six points on 2-of-2 shooting from 3-point range.

With the 2021-22 regular season now complete, the Broncos will travel to Las Vegas for next week’s 2022 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship. 

The Broncos will face the winner of Wednesday’s (March 9) game between No. 8 Nevada and No. 9 New Mexico.

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