Female Athletes at Boise State are breaking records and barriers

Cast your mind back to a time when the sports arena was an exclusive boys’ club, where the cheers of victory echoed predominantly for male athletes. Then, like a thunderclap heralding change, came the passage of Title IX in 1972 — a watershed moment that sparked a revolution in women’s sports. With this groundbreaking legislation as their rallying cry, women athletes across the nation seized the opportunity to rewrite the script, carving out a place for themselves in the pages of athletic history.

This is not just about breaking records; it’s about breaking barriers. It’s about women athletes defying gravity, stereotypes and societal norms with every match, game or meet. Through their sheer grit and determination, they have transformed the sports landscape into a stage where strength knows no gender and victory has no bounds.

What sets the narrative of female college sports aglow is its undeniable aura of empowerment. Beyond the accolades and trophies lie stories of courage and inspiration — tales of women who dared to dream big and chase their passions with unwavering conviction. They are not just athletes; they are trailblazers, challenging perceptions and redefining what it means to be strong, fierce and unapologetically female.

But the impact of female college sports transcends the confines of the stadium walls. It reverberates through classrooms, boardrooms and living rooms, reshaping societal attitudes and reimagining the possibilities for women everywhere. With each match, game and championship won, women athletes become beacons of hope, lighting the way for future generations to believe in themselves and their limitless potential.

From basketball phenoms Caitlin Clark from the University of Iowa, Paige Bueckers from the University of Connecticut and Louisiana State University’s Angel Reese, not to mention UCLA gymnast Jordan Chiles and many more, modern day female athletes are now the epitome of trailblazers for women’s athletics.

Though many of the biggest names in women’s sports come from around the country, Boise State has their fair share of incredible female athletes and trailblazers.


To know anything about Boise State Athletics is to know Abby Muse. 

Muse, a senior forward out of Brentwood, California, has been a force to be reckoned with on the women’s basketball team

In her time as a Bronco, Muse has garnered significant recognition for her defensive prowess, being named 2022-23 MW Defensive Player of the Year, 2022-23 MW All-Defensive Team as well as MW All-Freshman team in 2020-21 and MW Honorable Mention in 2022-23. 

Starting as a freshman, Muse made an immediate impact for the Broncos. 

Appearing in all 23 games, including 15 starts, she ranked second in the MW with 40 blocks and an average of 1.7 blocks per game. Her impressive performance included six games with double-digit scoring and two games with 10-plus rebounds. 

She continued to excel her sophomore year, starting in all 29 games, averaging 10.2 points per game, 1.3 blocks per game and was ranked seventh in the MW in rebounds, with 7.8 rebounds per game. She led the team with 226 rebounds and 38 blocks and recorded a team-high 11 double-doubles.

During her junior year, Muse did not slow down. She started in all 33 games, averaging 9.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Her outstanding performance earned her the prestigious title of Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. She also led the league with an average of 2.8 blocks per game and set a new single-season block record with an impressive 93 blocks. Most notably, she became the program’s all-time career-block leader.

Her senior year was just as star-studded, as she started in all 35 games, averaged 7.5 points per game, 8.4 rebounds and kept shattering records as she averaged 2.6 blocks per game. 

Muse now holds the record for most blocks in Boise State history with 262 blocks and counting. 

“It honestly felt surreal, there’s not really a way to properly describe it,” Muse said about passing the all-time block record. “When I got the record, it was just like, wow, okay, it’s a testament to my hard work. At the same time, it was never the goal to be a record setter or anything, the goal is to win with my team. The fact that we’ve been able to win and do pretty well these past few seasons, while also being able to set that record, is pretty cool.”

However, just as Muse is an absolute stud on the basketball court, she is also an academic weapon. 

Just as she rings in the athletic accomplishments, she also rings in academic accolades as well. Muse was named a MW Scholar-Athlete (2020-22), a three time Academic All-MW student-athlete and placed on the CSC Academic All-District 7 (2022-23).

Not only does Muse possess all of the capabilities of defending and defeating opponents, she also possesses the skills to be one of the top students in her MBA cohort. 

“There’s been lots of late nights, early mornings and tears,” Muse said. “It’s stressful, but at the end of the day, I get to be a student athlete. I get to represent the school and I get to do what I love, which is play basketball and also get an education … sports are honestly, amongst other things, a tool to receive an education, which is part of the reason why I’m getting my masters.”

Seeing the tremendous growth in women’s collegiate basketball across the country is remarkable and with the rising of popularity, the support for the Lady Broncos is surely inevitable. 

“It’s been really cool to ride the wave of women’s athletics in general,” Muse said. “Increasing interest in viewership and everything … that is just fantastic. I think for Boise State specifically it would just be really awesome to get more of the student body involved.”

As one of the most well known athletes in Bronco Athletics, Muse takes being a female-athlete to heart. Growing up as a well rounded athlete, she is no stranger to the impact that female athletes have on the next generation. 

Growing up, Muse was inspired by watching women’s basketball and hung up posters of female players as a form of inspiration to reach her goals. 

“For me to be on that poster for someone potentially on someone’s ceiling is the coolest thing ever,” Muse said. “Remembering that keeps me grounded. When things get tough, when seasons are hard, you’re grinding it out and it’s the dog days, I think ‘No, you’re doing this for the next generation of girls and female athletes,’ is how I think about it.”

Being a female athlete is not something Muse takes lightly, wearing the Bronco jersey with pride, Muse is an ultimate representation of leadership and dedication.

“It means everything to me,” Muse said about being a female-athlete. “Sometimes I forget to take a step back and think, ‘Oh, wow, this is what I wanted to do my whole life and I’m doing it.’”


Coming fresh off being crowned the inaugural MWC Gymnastics Champions, the Broncos gymnastics team is in one of the best places it has ever been. 

One key contributor to the wild success the Broncos have seen this season is in part to the Mountain Lakes, New Jersey native, Emma Loyim. 

Loyim is an all-around gymnast, competing in all four events: vault, bars, beam and floor. 

“It definitely feels amazing. It was something that we were kind of expecting due to all the hard work we had put in,” Loyim said. “It was our top goal of the season, to live up to our goal was amazing, we were on top of the world!”

The MWC Championship was one of the pinnacles of success for this season for the Lady Broncos, but they had a bit of help from Bronco Nation in the process. Boise State Gymnastic fans broke the average attendance record this season at 2,108. 

“It was great to have fans come out and support us,” Loyim said. “The energy has definitely been at an all time high during our meets … getting to see the growth in the sport is also really rewarding. ”

When it comes to being a student-athlete, balance is key when leading a squad of powerful gymnasts while also excelling on and off the gymnastics floor.

“It definitely is a lot to balance,” Loyim said. “Especially taking on that leadership role and being an upperclassman … I have a lot of mentors that I look up to and I just hope that I can be that kind of mentor to the other girls.”

Being a female-athlete comes with a sense of empowerment for Loyim and the growth of the sport at Boise State is a convincing aspect for this group. 

“A lot of people can look at men and of course, they are stronger, faster and can jump higher,” Loyim said. “There is so much beauty in appreciating what women can uniquely do … celebrating women athletes is something that has taken time, but it is here now!”


Boise State’s volleyball star, Paige Bartsch, is no stranger to the spotlight. Since the day she stepped on the court as a Bronco, she was destined for greatness. 

The Helena, Montana native, has been a star athlete since day one. 

In 2019, Bartsch was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Montana and also received three Montana All-State and All-Conference honors. To go along with her list of volleyball achievements, she also led her high school to two-straight Montana AA State basketball titles. 

As a Bronco, Bartsch’s career has been seemingly exquisite, each year getting better, stronger and more powerful. 

In her freshman year, Bartsch was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and was placed on the MW Championship All-Tournament Team. In her sophomore year, she led the Mountain West in kills per set (3.95) as well as points per set (4.55).  

Bartsch saw the most advancement in her game in her junior year. During the 2023 season, she not only led the MW in kills (530), attacks (1,349), aces (52) and points (614.5), but she also was ranked top-15 in the NCAA in each of these categories. 

Bartsch’s 530 kills got her name into the Mountain West record books, recording the second-most kills in a season. 

Not to mention, Bartsch is an absolute business mogul. 

She not only led the team in nearly every aspect, but she also was the first Boise State athlete to be named to a Bronco Ford NIL deal, which at the time was one of the most lucrative NIL deals for any Bronco athlete. 


The Boise State softball team has seen tremendous growth in the last few years thanks in part to a class of seniors that have led the Broncos to incredible wins over nationally ranked teams as well as regular season championships. 

Senior pitcher Taylor Caudill has been a staple piece to the success of the softball team and is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in the Mountain West and in the nation. 

Caudill was placed on the First Team All-MW after a fabulous 2023 season and there is no signs of stopping for the incredible player. To accompany her MW honor, Caudill was named to the NFCA All-Pacific Region Third Team and the MW All-Tournament team. 

With 33 appearances and 24 starts in the circle Caudill posted an impressive 15-8 record on the season with a 2.72 ERA, 147 strikeouts, 16 complete games, four shutouts and two saves in the 154 2/3 innings pitched.

With great success, comes the challenge of balancing the daily tasks of being a student athlete. Despite the challenge, the 2020-21 Mountain West Scholar Athlete never loses sight of her priorities and academics. 

“I always focus on the fact that I am a student first, I pride myself on my academics,” Caudill said. “Our team also prides ourselves on our community service and giving back to the community … it’s also our standard that we give back, that we lead in the community and that we show our support to those that support us.”

The growth of Boise State softball is undeniable, with record-breaking attendance and new stadium renovations.

“It’s honestly been amazing,” Caudill said. “Having been here all four years it’s been cool to see the growth of this team and of this sport … fans have come out in truckloads and so many people come out to support us and have lights now and the new scoreboard. All of these new aspects just make it that more appealing to fans and new players.”

As one of the team’s leaders, Caudill prides herself on the work she has put in to get to the place of leadership, after three years of being a Bronco, it is Caudill’s time to take on the leadership role.  

“I’m more of a lead by example kind of leader,” Caudill said. “I have taken on more of a background role that helps make sure everybody is on the right page … I pride myself on being the person that the girls go to when they need help … I get called mother a lot…I have definitely worked my way into this role. It wasn’t something that was just given to me overnight. It has developed over the last four years and in this season especially.”

Caudill recognized the sheer necessity to acknowledge and recognize the strides women are taking in sports.

“It is cool to see the platform that women are getting,” Caudill said. “To see how big of strides we are taking as far as the impact we are having on other people and the fact that people are starting to notice it and to notice how much work we put in and how deserving we are of that attention that we shouldn’t really have to ask for it at this point.” 

To Caudill, being a female athlete “is about empowering each other, it’s about bringing up this next generation of women and showing them that they are able to play and they are able to compete at the highest level without people telling them that they can’t.”

“It’s a joy to be an athlete,” Caudill said. “Being a woman makes it even more fun.”


As we embark on this exhilarating exploration of female college sports, let us not only celebrate the victories but also honor the journey—the trials, triumphs and transformations that have propelled women athletes to center stage. For in their stories lie the blueprint for a future where barriers are but stepping stones and every girl who dares to dream is unstoppable.

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