Friday night’s win against Utah State gave the Fresno State volleyball team good momentum to face another conference rival, the Boise State Broncos, on Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs were swept by the Broncos 3-0, dropping their record to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in conference.
In the first set, the Bulldogs began by scoring the first six points of the match without an answer from the Broncos. However, the Broncos didn’t give up and kept pressuring the Bulldogs and eventually closed up the deficit to within two points.
Boise State tied the set at 19 points each, taking the momentum from the Bulldogs, who couldn’t take advantage of the Broncos’ errors.
The Bulldogs had the set point twice, but the Broncos were just not giving anything away and came back to tie it up twice. Boise State’s relentlessness helped them take the first set with a score of 27-25.
The second set of the match started with the Broncos taking the first point, but the Bulldogs didn’t take long to answer and quickly squared everything up. The set became very competitive. Both the Broncos and the Bulldogs went on back-to-back scoring bursts, but neither took a clear advantage.
Halfway through the set, Boise State took a four-point lead that would be the biggest lead of any team in that set.
The Bulldogs began to work better on offense, closing the gap to within a point of the Broncos. The back-and-forth battle ensued with Boise State holding a small lead. That lead would prove fruitful for the Broncos, winning the set 25-23 and going up on the Bulldogs in the match 2-0.
For the third set, Boise State took the lead, gaining momentum early and putting an eight-point distance between them and the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs mounted a comeback in the middle of the set, cutting the Broncos’ lead in half.
However, the Broncos continued to score on the Bulldogs, and every bit of momentum they generated was stopped by the Broncos.
Boise State’s lead was too much for the Bulldogs, who were able to come close but eventually lost the set and, subsequently, the match.
The final for the set was 20-25 in favor of the Broncos. Fresno State moved to 5-5 in conference just before the beginning of the second half of the regular season.
For the Bulldogs, outside hitter Amaria Kelly had 17 Kills and three digs, while outside hitter Amelya Thompson had 15 kills and 11 digs. Setter Madelyn Halteman had 39 assists and libero Reagan Leonard had 19 total digs.
After the game, head coach Jonathan Winder said that his team battled in the game and had close opportunities to win the first and second set. Ultimately, the absence of crucial players because of injuries played a factor in the outcome of the game.
“These [injured players], at one point in time, carried a big load for the team. So the new [players] are carrying a lot of volume, which makes it challenging for the [team],” Winder said. “I like where we are going. We are getting better all the time. This week has provided more opportunities for players, and this has allowed us to get better.”