Broncos Show Resolve In Sweep Over SEMO
The Broncos handled the first set against the Redhawks with little difficulty, but SEMO showed resilience and made the final two sets close affairs. Still, the Broncos proved to be tough under pressure, separating themselves at key times and taking the three-set win.
"Our team showed the ability to handle the adversity in the last two sets and come out with the win," said head coach Colleen Munson. "They showed their character with the way they battled."
The Broncos hit .295 as a team, and were led offensively by Jessica Brown's match-high 13 kills and .458 hitting percentage; the senior also contributed a match-high five blocks. Ali Gossen and Gillian Asque provided the offense from the perimeter with 12 and 11 kills, respectively, and Terin Norris notched her third double-double of the season with 38 assists and 12 digs.
Defensively, the Broncos saw four players reach double-digits in digs, led by Lena Oliver with 17 saves; Oliver finished just one assist shy of a double-double, wrapping the match with nine helpers. Norris and Kaycee Acree each recorded 12 digs, and freshman Caroline Rose aided the cause with 10 digs.
The Broncos showed they meant business in the first set when they began the match on a 6-0 run, highlighted by three kills from Gossen and a pair from Brown and Asque. The Broncos would reach double figures when Brown and Carlee Berland combined for a block to make it 10-4, and Brown would team with Norris two points later to post another block and take the 12-4 lead.
The Broncos maintained roughly an eight-point lead for much of the set, but that deficit eventually reached nine points when SEMO's Taylor Masterson recorded an attack error to make it 24-15, and the final deficit would be 10 points when Richelle Ranney posted a kill to clinch the set 25-15 for the Broncos.
The Redhawks would not go quietly, though, and the final two sets saw either tied scores or SEMO leads late in the proceedings. In the second set, SEMO tied the score at 21-21 with a service ace before the Broncos rallied for two straight points, with Asque and Brown recording kills on consecutive points to force a Redhawk timeout. SEMO would tie it with two straight points of their own, and the teams would trade jabs back and forth for the rest of the set. The Redhawks took a 26-25 lead on a Brittney Kalinoski kill, but Stephenee Yancy would tie it up with a kill and Gossen would give WMU a 27-26 lead with a kill on the next point. A SEMO attack error would seal the nail-biter for the Broncos, who took a two-set lead into the break.
The Redhawks would again threaten in the third set, but the Broncos' showed resolve and were able to wrap up the victory. SEMO rallied from a 17-15 deficit to take a 21-18 lead on the Broncos, but the Broncos regrouped in a timeout and went back on the offensive. After the Redhawks gave WMU a point on an attack error, Asque went cross court for a kill to make it 21-20, and Brown notched a kill from the right side to tie the set at 21-21 and force a Redhawk timeout. The teams would trade points until the scored was tied at 23-23, at which point Brown notched her 13th kill to set up match point. On the next point, Berland would pound her fourth kill of the third set to lock up the 25-23 set win.