|Idaho beats Boise State|
BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho volleyball team absorbed Boise State’s best shot and battled its way to a 3-2 victory Thursday night, the 200th of coach Debbie Buchanan’s career.
“Numbers are great, but I’m not chasing numbers,” Buchanan said of the milestone win. “Anytime we beat Boise State, it’s such a rivalry and it’s big for these kids. We’re here to come out and compete each game. It’s an honor, obviously many players down the road have helped get us there, but we’re taking it one game at a time and we have a goal in mind at the end of the year and we’ve got to keep working towards that.”
The Vandals (4-4) were on the ropes early after BSU (3-4) took a 25-16 win in set one, but Idaho clawed its way to a 28-26 win in the second set to even the match heading into the break. Each team failed in its first chance to close out the second set before the Vandals were able to take the decisive point.
The Broncos came out strong again in the third set, cruising to a 25-14 win to push Idaho to the brink with a 2-1 lead in the match. The Vandals, however, evened the match and forced a fifth set with a 25-22 win in the fourth. With Idaho leading the fifth set 14-13, hundreds of Vandal fans in the crowd of 938 went wild as Casey Rose’s serve went into the net giving Idaho a 15-13 fifth-set win to clinch the match. It was Idaho’s first five-set win in 2013.
“This was a great crowd and I’m very thankful that we had a lot of Idaho fans here tonight to watch these kids,” Buchanan said. “I thought that we got better as the match went on and they started to break down as the match went on. That shows a little bit of character, but we still have a long way to go.”
Boise State led Idaho in nearly every statistical category, including hitting percentage (.285-.230), blocks (9.0-8.0) and digs (69-57). The Vandals did have six aces, to BSU’s five, but Idaho also committed 12 errors at the service line, while BSU had 10.
“This was a battle,” Buchanan said. “Unfortunately, the times that we were behind we were doing it to ourselves, and that’s something that we’re going to have to figure out as we keep working through this season.”
Idaho junior Jessica Hastriter led the team with 16 kills and added a block and a dig while hitting .250, and junior Alyssa Schultz had 12 kills and a team-best .385 hitting percentage.
Sophomore Katelyn Peterson had 11 kills, senior Taylor Wilkinson had eight and freshman Ali Forde came off the bench and tallied seven kills. Sophomore Jenna Ellis had a team-high 18 digs and freshman Terra Varney added 11. Sophomore Meredith Coba had 47 assists, six digs and two blocks.
“We had a lot of young kids make some big plays tonight,” Buchanan said. “We put Ali in, and that was one of the differences in the match that really turned us around. “
The Vandals improve to 52-30 all-time against the Broncos, and Buchanan is now 200-192 in her 14-year career, all at Idaho, including 17-4 against Boise State.
The Vandals continue the Bronco Classic on Friday at 12:30 (PT) against Sacramento State. Idaho will square off against North Texas at 9 a.m. (PT) on Saturday to wrap up the tournament.