Boise State volleyball unable to overcome Wyoming rally

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Boise State volleyball fell to the Wyoming Cowgirls in four sets on Saturday, Oct. 19 in the Bronco Gym. Despite winning the first set of the match, the Broncos were not able to keep their momentum going throughout the rest of the game. 

The Broncos were looking to snap a two-game losing streak but ended up losing 3-1, which brought their record to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Wyoming (12-7, 7-1) remains No. 2 in the Mountain West. Along with the loss, the Broncos lost senior outside hitter Janell Walley to an apparent injury in the fourth set. 

“I think [Walley] got a little stinger and lost a little sensation in her arm or maybe hyperextended the elbow or something, so that can freak you out a little bit because volleyball isn’t really a contact sport,” said head coach Shawn Garus. “So you hope we don’t have any serious injuries, but we will give her a little time to rest and see the doctor and hopefully have her back to play next week.”

The first set kicked off with a kill by Walley and a huge block by sophomore middle blocker Jessica Donahue. The Broncos forced the Cowgirls to use their first timeout at 7-2, with Walley on a five-point run.

The Cowgirls tied up the set at 10 a-piece, until freshman outside hitter Lauren Ohlinger got a kill and sophomore outside hitter Shae Duffey put up a solo block to put the Broncos ahead by two, making the score 12-10.

Freshman Allison Casillas, the libero for the Broncos, got a tremendous dig that set up Walley for a kill, who slammed the ball straight down and extended the Broncos’ lead to 16-12. A missed serve by Walley, however, kept the Cowgirls in the game.

“It’s the best feeling in the world when you get a great dig, the feeling of it and the sound of it, it makes me so happy,” Casillas said. “Then when your team follows it up with a kill, it is just the best feeling in the world when you can help out your team in that way.”

The Cowgirls attempted a comeback, but fell just shy and the Broncos won the first set 25-23. But the Cowgirls were heating up heading into the second set. 

Sophomore setter Danielle Boss started off the second set with an ace, but that was not enough to hold back the Cowgirls. The teams battled back and forth for the first half of the set, making it 10-10. The Broncos tried to pull ahead with a combined block by redshirt freshman middle blocker Alyssa Wissinger and Boss, making it a two-point lead at 15-13. 

“I feel like our blocks were pretty solid today, but we need to work on getting in position and pressing over the net for the block,” Wissinger said. “I think we just need to work on being more consistent at the net all together.”

The rest of the second set continued to be a lot of scoring by both sides until the Cowgirls started to string some points together, giving them a 19-16 lead over the Broncos. They would hold on to this three-point lead and win the second set by five points, 25-20. 

The Broncos started off the third set the same way they ended the second set: slow. This made it difficult for the Broncos to come back in the middle of the game.

At a television timeout, the Broncos were down 9-15. They kept trying to claw their way back into it, but it was too late. The Broncos lost the third set 15-25.

“There was no quiet in them, which I’m proud of,” Garus said. “They work hard from start to finish. But when you show the ability to come out and play as well as you did in the first set, you want to be able to sustain that. It is something well have to grow into and hopefully we’ll be hungry when we get to practice and to get ready for our next opponent.”

Despite starting off the fourth set with back-to-back aces, the Broncos had trouble getting things going early in the set. They strung together a few points lead by Walley, which got them within two of the Cowgirls. 

In the middle of the set, Walley left the game due to an apparent injury. After being down 11-14, the Broncos were not able to get form a solid play and lost the set 16-25, and overall lost the match 3-1. 

The Broncos will travel to San Diego State University to play the Aztecs (9-10, 2-6) on Thursday, Oct. 24. 

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