BOISE, Idaho - Boise State volleyball turned in an impressive performance Friday night in a straight set 25-14, 25-22, 25-21 win over Air Force in a Mountain West showdown in Bronco Gym. Boise State opened the first set with a 9-0 run and never let up as the Broncos collected their first conference win of the season against the Falcons. Alyssa Gammel and Liz Harden led the Broncos to the victory with 11 kills apiece as Boise State improved to 8-9 overall and 1-2 in league play.
"It was a good night for Boise State, we played very well," said head coach Shawn Garus. "We needed a win like this to give us some confidence heading into the conference road schedule. I thought we had a good effort from the entire team tonight under the leadership of Liz (Harden) and Alyssa (Gammel). Now we need to keep the momentum going next week at New Mexico."
Boise State opened strong with Kersti Whitney serving her team a 9-0 lead before the Falcons knew what happened. The Broncos were dominant in the first and second sets never trailing during the two frames. Air Force made the second set interesting as it rallied to pull within one late at 23-22 before Taylor Murphey and Sarah Webster teamed up to score the final two points of the period giving Boise State a 2-0 advantage heading into the break.
The third set was a battle from the start as they traded four leads and were tied nine times. Boise State held the small lead to 10-9 before Air Force rallied to claim its first lead of the match at 11-10. The set then went back and forth until the Broncos regrouped to take momentum with 8-1 run that turned a 17-15 deficit into a 23-18 lead. The blue and orange then put the match away with a 25-21 third set victory.
Boise State hit .299 percent on the night as a team to go with 41 kills, 37 assists, one ace, 38 digs and 10 blocks. Alyssa Gammel led with 12.5 points on 11 kills, one ace and one block. Harden had 12 points on 11 kills and two blocks while hitting a team-high .524 percent. Taylor Murphey followed with nine kills and four blocks, while Sarah Webster added four kills and career-high eight blocks. Casey Rose had a team-high 20 assists followed by Sarah Baugh with 14. Defensively, Kersti Whitney and Fiona Jones each collected 11 digs each to lead Boise State.
Air Force hit .159 percent with 40 kills, 39 assists, one ace, 37 digs and three blocks. Cami Richan led the Falcons with 12 kills followed by Maggie Sherrill with 10, Felicia Clement had eight kills and team-high three blocks.
The win concludes a three match homestand for Boise State as it hits the road next week for a Thursday night encounter at New Mexico followed by a nonconference match at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.