Gammel has career-high 24 kills to lead Boise State.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Boise State volleyball lost a five-set heartbreaker on the road Thursday night in Albuquerque, N.M., in a match it could have won before falling to New Mexico 20-25, 25-13, 28-26, 29-31, 17-15. After winning the opening set the Broncos found themselves down 2-1 in the contest, forcing them into must wins in the fourth and fifth sets.
Boise State responded with an extra points win in the fourth, then after giving itself a chance to win it all with a match point at 15-14 in set five the Broncos came up short as the Lobos rallied for the win with three straight points. Alyssa Gammel led Boise State with a career-high 24 kills while hitting .315 percent, followed by Liz Harden who added 15 kills. The tough loss moves the Broncos to 8-10 on the year and 1-3 in Mountain West play. Boise State will now travel to California for a nonconference match at CSU Bakersfield Saturday night.
The match was a battle down to the wire as momentum swung back and forth. After the Broncos opened the contest rallying from three down to win set one 25-20, the Lobos countered with a decisive 25-13 victory in set two to tie the match at one set apiece.
The next two matches were tight going to extra points before they were decided. New Mexico gained a 2-1 match lead when it came from behind in the third set to defeat the Broncos 28-26.
Down one set in the match, Boise State faced a must-win situation in the fourth in order to have a chance for the road victory. The Broncos responded by running out to a nine-point advantage midway through the period, then held on as UNM rallied once again to force the set into extra points. This time Boise State fought off the Lobos to come away with a hard fought 31-29 win, setting up a decisive fifth set. The third and fourth sets saw a combined 17 ties and 10 lead changes.
The fifth set open with the Broncos falling behind by four, 6-2, early before they rallied with four straight points to tie the score at six. The set then saw the teams trade points on the next nine possessions with the Lobos taking the one point lead only to see Boise State tie it on the next serve. New Mexico broke the streak with a two-point run to take a 12-10 advantage. This time the Broncos responded with a 5-2 run to give themselves a match-point at 15-14. Unfortunately, they came up short as the Lobos rallied with three consecutive points for a 17-15 set win and 3-2 match victory. The set was tied 10 times with three lead changes before it was all settled.
Gammel led the Broncos with her 10th double-double of the year on 24 kills and 13 digs to go with one service ace and four blocks. She also had a career and team-high 27 points in the contest. Harden was next with 15 kills and one block, followed by Leah Stevens who added 12 kills and team-high five blocks. Brittany Reardon finished with 10 kills and two blocks. Casey Rose led the team with 35 assists followed by Sarah Baugh's career-high 33. Kersti Whitney and Rose tied for a team-best 19 digs apiece.
Boise State finished the match hitting .165 percent to go with 72 kills, 69 assists, five service aces, 76 digs and eight blocks. New Mexico countered by hitting .249 percent with 66 kills, 65 assists, four aces, 83 digs and 15 blocks. Chantale Riddle led the Lobos with a team-high 23 kills, 16 digs and seven blocks, followed by Alijah Gunsaulus with 20 kills.
It was a disappointing defeat for Boise State at New Mexico who improved to 16-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play. The Broncos played hard and came so close to an upset of the Lobos, a team that knocked off Mountain West power Colorado State two weeks ago in Albuquerque.