In a volleyball match with both offenses playing well, Seattle University overcame a 2-1 match deficit, as several players made significant contributions to help the Redhawks defeat the Boise State Broncos, 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13) Tuesday night at the Connolly Center.
Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) led all players with 27 kills, tying the third-highest single-match total in Seattle U history, and four service aces, plus she collected 13 defensive digs for her second double-double of the season as well as three total blocks. Karina Miastkowska (Northbrook, Ill.) and Karli Pedone (Granite Bay, Calif.) earned 18 kills apiece, with Pedone posting a .516 hitting percentage.
Redhawk setter Jacquie Brice (Fullerton, Calif.) finished with 61 assists, tied for sixth-most in one match in school history, along with nine digs and two total blocks. Libero Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) collected a career-high 24 defensive digs, and freshman McKenzie Daniels (Edmonds, Wash.) added 16 digs to the winning effort.
"We came out strong and aggressive, swinging hard, and I think that was the difference between Saturday and tonight," Dill said after the match. "We knew we were in the match throughout the night, and we kept pushing through the fourth and fifth sets."
Boise State (6-5) scored the first three points of the match before Seattle U recovered and won the next three points, starting a see-saw battle. Two kills apiece by Pedone and Dill helped the Redhawks pull ahead with a 5-2 run, but the Broncos responded with their own 7-1 scoring run. Dill stopped the Boise State streak with three straight kills, but two kills and a block assist from Alyssa Gammel put Boise State ahead, 20-16. The Redhawks closed out the first set on a 9-2 scoring run, punctuated by kills from Dill and Miastkowska.
Three straight kills by Fiona Jones gave Boise State the early 4-1 lead in the second set, and the Broncos would extend their lead to as much as five points later in the set. Down 16-12, Seattle U scored four straight points to pull into a 16-16 tie, and the two teams traded points the rest of the way. Boise State finally clinched the second set thanks to kills by Gammel and Taylor Murphey, tying the match at one set apiece.
The third set would see Boise State once again take the early lead, pulling out to a six-point lead four times in the course of the set. With the Broncos ahead 21-15, Seattle U scored the next four points to pull within two, and then started exchanging points with Boise State until consecutive kills by Dill and Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) cut the Bronco lead to one before a Redhawk service error clinched the third set for the visitors.
The fourth set was a reversal for the Redhawks, who started off much better than in the previous sets, eventually going ahead 11-7 on three consecutive kills by Pedone. Back-to-back kills by Gammel completed a Bronco comeback, tying the set at 19-19, but two Boise State errors and a Jaeckel kill reestablished a three-point lead for Seattle U. The Redhawks would force the deciding set on a solo block by Dill.
After a kill by Brittany Reardon gave the Broncos a 5-3 lead in the fifth set, Seattle U went on a 7-2 scoring run to pull ahead, 10-7. Back-to-back blocks by Reardon and Murphey tied the set at 12-12, but a kill by Miastkowska and two more kills from Dill completed Seattle U's second comeback from being down two sets to one this season.
Five different Boise State players earned at least 10 kills, led by Liz Harden with 17 kills and Gammel, who notched a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs. Jones collected 12 kills, nine digs, and five total blocks, while Reardon also earned a double-double with 10 kills and 12 block assists. Murphey also finished with 10 kills to go along with six block assists.
Casey Rose (31 assists) and Sarah Baugh (28 assists) split the setting duties. In the Bronco backline, libero Kersti Whitney led all players with 26 defensive digs. For the match, Boise State finished with 67 kills, a .265 hitting percentage, 65 digs, and 16.5 team blocks, but the Broncos hurt themselves with 12 service errors during the night.
Seattle U ended the match with 72 kills, a .276 hitting percentage, 77 defensive digs, and 6.5 team blocks. The victory allowed the Redhawks to equal their win total from all of 2011, and it was the third win over Boise State in three meetings since 2008.
Seattle University (5-5) opens play in the Western Athletic Conference Thursday, Sept. 13, against New Mexico State at the Connolly Center North Court beginning at 7 p.m. It will be the first-ever Division I conference match for the Redhawk volleyball program and the first league contest of any kind for Seattle U since its final year in the Division II GNAC in 2007.