Broncos Rally To Shock Milwaukee 3-2
The Broncos were able to right the ship after dropping the first two sets against the Panthers, with improved net play directly correlating with the changing fortunes. The Broncos were out-blocked 6.0 to 3.0 by the Panthers after three sets of play, but the Broncos reversed that trend in the last two sets, outblocking UWM 9.0 to 4.0 in the final two periods. Freshman middle blocker Stephenee Yancy was the catalyst, recording six blocks in little more than two sets of work, and setter Terin Norris added five blocks of her own.
Offensively, the Broncos had four players reach double-digits in kills, with Gillian Asque and Ali Gossen each contributing 15 kills. Jessica Brown notched 13 kills, including the set-deciding tally, and Carlee Berland wrapped the match with 12. Norris notched her fourth double-double of the season with a career-high 64 assists and 12 digs, while Lena Oliver set the team-high with 22 digs.
The fifth set went back and forth throughout, until Berland and Brown combined with a block to give WMU a 10-9 lead late in the set. Gossen would record a kill on the next point to extend the lead, and it reached three points when Asque and Yancy's block made the score 13-10. Brown would deliver the final point of the set when she went off blockers from the left side, with the ball falling just out of bounds to give WMU the point.
The match began to turn early in the third set, when the Broncos came out of the intermission with a loose, nothing-to-lose attitude. The Broncos jumped out to a 6-4 lead early on kills from Asque and Richelle Ranney, though the Panthers would come back and take the lead not long after. WMU trailed 22-20, but came out of a timeout and recorded a 3-0 run to get back into the match. Berland notched a kill to cut the lead to one point, and Yancy recorded a kill on the next point to tie it up. Defense would lead the way to the next point, with Gossen and Yancy teaming up with a block to make it 23-22. After a Panther kill tied the score, Gossen and Asque would notch kills on consecutive points to give the set to the Broncos.
The fourth set saw the Broncos fully seize the wave of momentum, coming back from an early small deficit and putting the stranglehold on the match. The Broncos tied the match at 8-8 on a kill form Asque, and Norris would record a kill on the next point to give the Broncos the lead. The teams would stay tight throughout much of the set, with Milwaukee taking their last lead in the set when a kill gave them an 18-17 advantage. The Broncos would close the set on an 8-2 run, with Berland setting up set point with a kill and Brown delivering the dagger with an ace to take the 25-20 set win.
The first set featured back and forth action between the two teams, with neither team gaining a significant upper hand on the other for most of the action. The Broncos looked like they might have taken the driver's seat when Gillian Asque notched a kill to give the Broncos a 10-9 lead; that sparked a 4-1 run for the Broncos that gave them a 13-10 lead and forced a Panther timeout. UWM battled to keep it close, but the Broncos would again force a timeout when Gossen blasted kills on consecutive points to give the Broncos an 18-16 advantage.
The teams would hold close throughout, with Milwaukee eventually taking a 24-23 lead in the set. Carlee Berland would swing through the blockers to tie the set at 24, but the Panthers would not allow the Broncos to take the lead. After Gossen and Richelle Ranney teamed up for a block to tie the set at 25, the Panthers rattled off two straight points for the set win.