Broncos Sweep Home Opener Against Toledo
The Broncos displayed some offensive fireworks for the Kalamazoo fans, hitting a blistering .385 in their three-set win; the Broncos recorded just nine errors in the entire match, with only three errors through the first two sets combined. Jessica Brown pumped in 12 kills and hit .333, while junior Ali Gossen has 10 kills and hit .391. Richelle Ranny had the team lead for those players with more than 10 attempts, hitting .500 with seven kills.
The Broncos trailed for much of the first set against the ROckets, but were able to rally and turn the tables against the visitors from Ohio. Toledo led 12-7 at one point, but the Broncos sparked a run with a solo block from Stephenee Yancy. WMU tied the set 14-14 with a kill from Brown, and the Broncos took the lead on the next point thanks to a Toledo attack error.
The momentum now firmly in WMU's favor, the Broncos jumped out to a three-point lead of their own when Carlee Berland ripped a kill cross court to make it 19-16. The lead ballooned to four points when Gossen went down line for a kill to make it 23-19, and Gossen found paydirt against just a few points later to give the Broncos a 25-21 set win.
WMU made things easier on itself in the second set, taking the lead early and holding one for the win and a 2-0 advantage. The Broncos first took the lead when Gossen and Brown combined for a block, part of a 5-1 run that was capped by a kill from Norris. A Bronco attack error would tie the set at 13-13, but it would be the last time the Rockets sniffed the lead as WMU responded with five of the next six points. After Norris and Yancy combined for a block to make it 18-14, the Broncos expanded the lead to five points when Berland and Gossen recorded back-to-back kills to make it 21-16. Caroline Rose notched a kill from the back row to make it set point, and a Toledo attack error gave the Broncos a 25-19 set win.
Toledo gave the Broncos everything they could in the third set, but the resilient WMU squad bounced back from a deficit with a late run to snatch victory in the third set. Toledo's Lauren Rafdal recorded a service ace to give the Rockets a 20-16 lead, but the Broncos would come out of a timeout on fire; Gillian Asque ripped a kill down the middle to get things going, and Berland found paydirt on the next point to make it 20-18. Terin Norris recorded service aces on two of the next three points, and with that the Broncos took a 21-20 lead.
With the teams trading points and the set tied at 26 apiece, Gossen broke the stalemate with a high hands kill to give her team match point. The Broncos ultimately took the set and the match thanks to a Rockets' attack error.
The Broncos will be back in action on Saturday, September 29 at 5 p.m. when they host the Ball State Cardinals at University Arena.