LAS VEGAS - The Boise State volleyball team's 2010 season came to an end on Monday night (Nov. 22) when they fell in a barnburner of a match to in-state rival Idaho. The No. 4-seeded Broncos (21-12) dropped a 3-2 (25-16, 25-27, 20-25, 27-25, 7-15) match to No. 5-seeded Idaho (14-14) in the quarterfinal round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament held at the Orleans Arena.
The Broncos came out hot in the first set, earning a 25-16 win to gain an early advantage. Boise State started the set a quick 2-0 lead, followed by a battle with Idaho for the next few points but maintaining the lead. The 7-4 mark was the closest score thereafter with the Broncos extending the lead as much as nine points in the win. As a team Boise State tallied a .455 hitting percentage and 16 kills. Sadie Maughan led the way with four kills and a .800 hitting percentage. Alisha Young, Amanda Remy and Kersti Whitney all recorded aces, with Whitney sealing the first set win on an ace. Idaho was held to a .235 hitting percentage and 13 kills in the first set.
In the second set, Boise State gained an early lead, ahead by as much as eight points at the 16-8 mark. Idaho worked their way back into the match, going on an 8-0 run to tie it up at 20-20 and taking over at the 21-20 point. The match was tied back up at 23-23 after excellent hustle by the Bronco backcourt and a front row block. Thereafter Idaho went up twice on Boise state service errors before they were able to earn a 26-24 win over Boise State, tying the match at 1-1. Both teams had a tougher time offensively with Idaho hitting .180 and Boise State hitting .196 in set two.
Set three was the closest with five lead changes and 10 ties throughout the set. Idaho's energy stepped up a notch and the Vandals pulled ahead at the 16-15 point, cruising to a 25-20 set three win. Both teams tallied 16 kills in the third set, but Idaho held the advantage with a .342-to-.273 hitting percentage benefit.
The fourth set was again a battle with Boise State earning a 27-25 nail biter to push the match to a fifth set. Boise State racked up 16 kills and a .135 hitting percentage for a slight advantage over Idaho's 15 kills and .107 hitting percentage.
In the fifth set, Idaho jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Boise State could get on the board, thanks to a Cailin Fellows kill. The Vandals forced a Bronco timeout at the 7-3 mark, but Boise State came out of the timeout with fire, pushing the score to 7-6 in favor of the Vandals. Idaho was then forced to call a timeout and came out on a 4-1 run, leading 11-7 and forcing the Broncos to a second timeout. A pair of Bronco errors and a Vandal service ace gave Idaho the advantage they needed to win 15-7 and advance to the semifinal match.
The loss is their second to the Vandals this year, and a mirror image of last season's finish when Boise State upset Idaho in the quarterfinal round of the WAC Tournament.
Boise State's seniors gave it their all in the match with Young tallying 20 kills, a .404 hitting percentage, one ace, six digs and three blocks. Maughan racked up 13 kills, a .143 hitting percentage and a team-leading five blocks, while Lauren Hamm added one ace and 13 digs in their final match as Broncos.
Also playing well for the Broncos was setter Breann Nesselhuf who tied her career match-high of 59 assists, tallied three kills, a .375 hitting percentage, added eight digs and three blocks. Fellows tallied a career match high of 15 kills (.306) and four block assists, while Fiona Jones added 12 more kills and 17 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Kersti Whitney led the Broncos with two aces, while adding 18 digs, while Amanda Remy added one ace and 23 digs.
Idaho's Allison Walker led the match with 21 kills, while Kelsey Taylor racked up a match-high six blocks and added 15 kills. Jennifer Feicht tallied 51 assists, while Julia Church had a team high of two aces and added 17 digs. Cassie Hamilton led the Vandal backcourt with 30 digs.
Boise State's season ends with the loss, while Idaho advances to the tournament semifinal.