BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking five-set loss on Monday (Oct. 25) evening, falling to Fresno State 3-2 (25-18, 19-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13). The Broncos (17-9, 4-6 WAC) fall to a 0-2 record against the Bulldogs (10-11, 4-5 WAC) this season, but still hold the series lead 16-8.
The match was a battle between two evenly matched teams, who both depended on waves of intensity and emotion to help gain advantages throughout the match. Neither team was extremely consistent with their level of intensity, bringing spurts of energy in waves throughout each set.
Fresno State won a quiet first set 25-18 with both teams getting into the tempo of the match. In the second and third sets Boise State raised their energy levels, which reflected in 25-19 wins in both sets. The Broncos improved from a -0.079 hitting percentage in the first set, to .350 and .500 hitting percentages in the second and third, respectively, also reflecting their higher energy.
In the fourth set Fresno State was able to capitalize on the energy brought by Kelli Parker who came off the bench and revitalized the Bulldogs. Fresno State was able to sneak past the Broncos at the 20-20 mark to push a 25-21 win to tie the match up 2-2. In the final set, both teams were neck-and-neck with each improving point-by-point. It wasn't until the 13-13 point that Fresno State was able to capitalize and allow Parker to seal the Bulldog win with a cross court kill.
Boise State senior Alisha Young gave a valiant effort to keep the Broncos in the game, tallying 19 kills, a .421 hitting percentage, one ace and eight blocks (two solo). Breann Nesselhuf read the energy of Young, feeding her many of her 53 assists. Nesselhuf also added three blocks (one solo), one ace and 11 digs. Sadie Maughan also added three blocks, as well as, 16 kills (.273) while Amanda Remy led the team with 19 digs.
Fresno State's Marissa Brand led the match with 23 kills (.300), while Parker added 13 kills after only playing two and a half sets. Kasey Van Grouw ran the offense with her 45 assists, while Kelly Mason added 24 digs. Brianna Clarke and Lauren Berger led the team with five blocks apiece, while Berger also added a match-high of five aces.
Overall, the two teams tied at 62 kills each, while Boise State had a .251 to .218 hitting percentage advantage. The Broncos had a 21 to 20 individual block lead, while also leading 12.0 to 10.0 in team blocks. Fresno State relied on their backcourt defense leading 73 to 61 in digs, while also taking advantage of a seven to four lead in aces over Boise State.
Boise State continues their season on the road, traveling to Honolulu, Hawai'i to face the No. 4 Rainbow Wahine on Friday (Oct. 29). The match is slated for an 11 p.m. (Mountain) start and will be the team's second-to-last regular season road trip. The team then heads to Utah State on Nov. 4, followed by a No. 6 match at Nevada to close out their regular season road matches.