Broncos Close Weekend With Win over Missouri State
Faced with the prospect of going winless in their first tournament of the season, the Broncos took their frustrations out on the Bears by holding their opponents to .181 hitting and recording 9.0 team blocks. The Broncos received dominant offensive performances from both Ali Gossen and Jessica Brown, who each recorded 18 kills in the match; meanwhile, teammate Gillian Asque also broke double figures with 12 kills.
Setter Terin Norris recorded her second straight double-double, notching an impressive 55 assists in just four sets of work and also adding 12 digs. Lena Oliver had a match-high 20 digs, and freshman Caroline Rose contributed 10 digs to the cause as well.
The Broncos dropped the first set to the Bears in tough fashion, as they led for most of the set before the Bears came back near the end. The teams battled back and forth and were tied at 28-28 before Missouri State scored two straight points to take the first 30-28.
The second set would go much the same way, except Brown was determined not to allow the same fate to strike again. With the set tied at 21-21, Brown broke the stalemate with kills on consecutive points to give the Broncos a 23-21 edge. The Broncos' lone senior would combine with Terin Norris on the next point to block Christine McCartney to set up set point, and two points later would notch the deciding kill to give the Broncos a 25-22 set win.
The third set was neck and neck until the score reached 12-12, at which time the Broncos uncorked a 10-2 run, courtesy of a .467 hitting percentage for the set. Carlee Berland recorded the first point of the run to break the stalemate, and the Broncos would score eight straight points on Brown's serve to take the 21-12 lead. Berland would notch a kill to make it 23-15, Asque would add another to set up set point, and Brown delivered the coup de grace with a kill to take the set 25-16.
The Broncos leapt out to an early lead in the fourth set before the Bears briefly took control, but consecutive MSU attack errors would give WMU a 14-13 lead, as well as all the daylight they needed to close the match. Gossen would record six of her 18 kills in the fourth set, and would also provide the set to Berland that gave the Broncos match point. Leading 24-18, the Broncos were able to force a Missouri State attack error down the stretch to seal the win.
The Broncos will be back in action next weekend, when they participate in a tournament hosted by Wisconsin-Milwaukee.