Nov. 30, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West Conference announced its volleyball postseason honors Monday, and the Broncos placed five on the all-conference team while Shawn Garus was named coach of the year.
The five Broncos on the 18-member All-Mountain West Team are: senior Sarah Baugh, junior Maddy O'Donnell, and sophomores Sierra Nobley, Kaitlyn Oliver and Maddi Osburn. The five all-conference accolades are a school record for the Broncos. Baugh, O'Donnell and Nobley are repeat all-conference honorees from 2014, while Oliver was the MW Newcomer of the Year and Nobley was the MW Freshman of the Year last season. With the exception of Baugh, who is a senior, the other four will return for next year.
"It was great to see so many of our players recognized for a tremendous season they had individually," said Garus. "They each had great seasons and they each had a impact on our teams overall success getting to 23 wins. I am just so proud for each and everyone of them for the accomplishments they worked hard for and earned. I also look forward to returning four of them next year."
Shawn Garus, Mountain West Coach of the Year
Garus' MW Coach of the Year accolade is the first such honor in program history. He coached the 2015 Broncos to their most successful season since the 1990 team went 23-12 and 11-5 in Big Sky Conference play. His team finished 23-7 overall and 15-3 in league play to finish second in the Mountain West - the best result since joining the league in 2011 and the top conference finish since the 1998 squad placed second in the Big West Conference's Eastern Division. The 23 wins tied for third-most in school history, and the 15 league victories tied for most in program history. Boise State won 15 of its last 16 contests and recorded 13 victories by 3-0 sweeps, sixth-most in program history and the most during the rally scoring era (since 2001). The 23 wins gave the Broncos their 10th 20-plus win season and second under his leadership. Garus' 2015 Broncos finished the regular season ranked No. 1 nationally in kills and assists per set at 15.54 and 14.56, respectively, the first time in Boise State history that the Broncos have ranked first nationally in any category at any point in the season.
"I was very excited to learn that I was being recognized as the coach of the year," said Garus. "But I feel that is a credit to the season we had as a whole. So I want to thank my coaching staff and all the players for the hard work that they each put in this year, helping me get this honor."
Baugh earned her second-consecutive All-Mountain West recognition as a setter. The senior from Poulsbo, Wash., finished the regular season leading the Mountain West and ranking third nationally for assists per set at 12.17, the second-best mark in program history. She led the MW and was 15th nationally in total assists with 1,326, the third-most for a Bronco all-time. Baugh finished her four-year career ranked fourth all-time at Boise State in career assists with 3,751. As the setter she had the team ranked first nationally in kills and assists per set at 15.54 (second all-time) and 14.56 (school record), respectively, as well as 11th in the NCAA for hitting percentage at 28 percent, also a school record. Other honors in 2015 included being named to the Boise State Invitational and North Texas Invitational All-Tournament Teams, Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 19) and CoSIDA Academic All-District.
"Sarah Baugh was tremendous for us all season long being a senior captain and leading this team," Garus said. "Being the setter means she is in control of our offense which was really a high point for our team this season. We are going to really miss her next year on and off the court everyday. I am going to miss being around that kid every day because she is the type of player you aspire to recruit more of all the time... she is really special."
O'Donnell also earned her second-consecutive All-Mountain West accolade. The junior middle blocker/outside hitter from Irvine, Calif., was a force at the net for the Broncos with 247 kills and a team-high 96 blocks to go with 26 services aces. Her 325.5 points on the year ranked second on the team. She hit 35 percent on the year to rank third in the MW and 79th nationally. O'Donnell was part of a dominating offensive attack that led the MW and was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA for kills per set at 15.54 (second in school history). She was also named to the North Texas Invitational All-Tournament Team, helping the Broncos to the title.
"Maddy (O'Donnell) really improved as the season went on," commented Garus. "She started the season playing a different position than what she was use to, but when we got to conference play and we felt pretty comfortable with what our lineup was going to be we put her back at middle blocker ... her numbers continued to rise. She played injured much of the season and was a warrior battling through it everyday."
This is Nobley's third MW postseason honor, as she also garnered 2014 all-conference and freshman of the year recognition. The sophomore outside hitter from Scottsdale, Ariz., did not let up following and outstanding freshman campaign, as she continued to be a force in 2015. Nobley led Boise State with 513 kills, ranking first in the MW and 15th in the NCAA on the year. The total also established Boise State's school record and was the fourth-most in MW history. Her 4.75 kills per set ranked first in the MW, sixth in the NCAA and was also a Bronco record. Nobley had 316 kills in league play, a MW record for a conference season and also a sophomore record (she now owns the freshman and sophomore records). Nobley's 572.5 points led the MW, was 17th in NCAA and set the school record. Her 5.3 points per set was first in the MW, seventh in the NCAA and established a Boise State record. She was a major factor in Boise State's league-leading 1,632 kills this season, which ranked 36th in the NCAA. The Broncos also ranked first nationally in kills per set at 14.56. Nobley's season honors include: Preseason All-MW, Northwest Challenge All-Tournament Team, North Texas Invitational All-Tournament Team and MVP, five MW Offensive Player of the Week accolades (school record) and CoSIDA Academic All-Region 7.
"Once again Sierra (Nobley) had a tremendous offensive season for us," Gaurs said. "She continues to expand her role within our program and keeps getting better at all phases of the game. But her offense is just outstanding, she was the leading point scorer and led the league in kills. Again everybody knows where she is going to be hitting and what her tendencies are, but she is still able to score. Sierra continues to improve in other parts of her game, her digs per set were much better this year and I know she will work on improving her blocking. I look forward to another record breaking season for her next year."
This is Oliver's first All-Mountain West accolade, though she was also named MW Newcomer of the Year in 2014. The redshirt sophomore from Helena, Mont., was part of an impressive front line for the Broncos at the net, finishing with 269 kills and 94 blocks, each mark ranking second on the team. She finished with 322.5 points this season. Oliver led Boise State in hitting with a school-record 40.1 percent, a mark that ranked second in the MW and 24th nationally. Like O'Donnell and Nobley, Oliver was a major factor in Boise State's offensive attack, helping the Broncos to their No. 1 national ranking for kills per set at 15.54 and a No. 37 ranking in total kills with 1,632. Her other honors in 2015 included Boise State Invitational All-Tournament Team and MW Offensive Player of the Week (twice).
"Oliver did a really nice job this year," said Garus. "Everybody knows what she is going to do offensively for us and yet she was still among the conference leaders in hitting percentage. Her blocking continues to be a major focus for her and I know she will continue to improve on that. It was a tremendous season for her playing injured for much of it, but she did not let it slow her down. I look forward to her coming back next year."
This is Osburn's first postseason accolade. She played a major role on Boise State's defensive backline, starting at libero. She led the Broncos in digs with 493, the third-most in program history, the fifth-most in the MW in 2015 and the 103rd-most nationally. She averaged 4.52 digs per set, third-most in the MW, 90th in the NCAA and second all-time at Boise State. Osburn earned Boise State's only MW Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Nov. 2.
"Maddi Osburn had a terrific year for us at libero," commented Garus. "It was probably the major adjustment we had for us from last year to this year with her moving from a defensive specialist playing sparingly in sets, to being the libero and in the match all the time controlling our defensive efforts. She continues to improve ... her leadership on the floor got better and better as the season wore on as she got more comfortable with the bigger role. She did a great job for us."