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Mountain West Championship Season Review



NCAA Tournament, First Round - Boise State advanced to its first ever NCAA National Tournament seeded No. 3 in the Stanford Bracket played at Stanford, Calif., in historic Maples Pavilion.  Boise State opened the tournament by defeating 20th-ranked Western Kentucky (30-3) in the first round by a 3-0 sweep.

NCAA Tournament, Second Round - The Broncos win over WKU in the first round of the tournament advanced them into the second round where they fell 3-0 to their host and the eventual national champion Stanford Cardinal.

Mountain West Champions - The Broncos won the Mountain West Championship going 16-2 overall during regular season play. After a pair of early losses at UNLV (Sept. 22) and to Nevada (Oct. 1) in Boise, the Broncos rolled through the next 14 MW matches winning 12 by 3-0 sweeps to claim the conference title. The MW does not sponsor a post-season championship tournament, the regular season champ earns the league's automatic NCAA bid.

Conference Championships - The Broncos' 2016 Mountain West championship was the first since joining the league for the 2011 campaign, it was also the first conference title overall since 1988 (Big Sky) and only the second championship in program history.

Broncos Finish 26-7 Overall - Boise State's remarkable season finished with an overall record of 26-7, the top mark in the Mountain West. The 26 wins are the second most in program history since the 1981 squad went 28-5.

Home Court Advantage - Boise State has turned Bronco Gym in to quite the home court advantage over the last two seasons going a combined 22-3. They were an impressive 12-1 during the 2016 campaign and a solid 10-2 in 2015.

Home Attendance Spikes - The Broncos saw their home attendance grow during the 2016 season drawing over 10,000 for the first time since moving back into Bronco Gym for the 1999 campaign. This year Boise State had 13 home matches that drew a combined 10,963 fans for an average of 843 per contest. The Broncos had three matches draw over 1,000 each, Nevada (1,137), Colorado State (1,461) and Air Force (1,562).

Most Conference Wins - The 16 league wins during the 2016 MW conference season are the most conference wins ever in program history breaking the old record of 15 reached twice in 2015 and 1988.

Winning Seasons - This marks the third-consecutive year that the Broncos have finished with a winning record and the sixth time in coach Shawn Garus' eight-year tenure.

20-Win Seasons - 2016 was the second-straight year that the Broncos won 20 or more matches having recorded 23 victories in 2015, it is the third under coach Garus. The Broncos have a total of 11 20-win seasons in program history.

Win Streaks - Boise State closed the regular season on a 14-match win streak, then stretched it to 15 straight with the win over 20th-ranked Western Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the 15-match streak the Broncos dropped only three sets going 45-3.

17 Sweeps - Of the Broncos' 26 wins during the 2016 campaign 17 came by sweeps (3-0). The 17 rank as second-most in program history behind 24 during the 1981 season.

Fifth Most Wins in the West - Boise State's 26 wins were the fifth most by any school in the six western NCAA Division I conferences, a total of 62 teams. Teams finishing ahead of the Broncos were BYU (29-4), Washington (29-5), Stanford (27-7) and UCLA (27-7).

Seventh Best Win Percentage in the West - Boise State's win percentage of .7879 ranked as No. 7 among those same six western conferences. The six leagues include: Big Sky Conference (12), Big West Conference (9), Mountain West Conference (11), Pacific-12 Conference (12), West Coast Conference (10) and Western Athletic Conference (8) for a total of 62 schools. The Broncos' win percentage was ranked 28th nationally.

First Wins Over Ranked Opponents - Until 2016 Boise State had never defeated a nationally ranked opponent, the Broncos not only accomplished it once this year but did it twice with wins over No. 17 Santa Clara (3-1) and No. 20 Western Kentucky (3-0), rankings were as of the date of the match.

AVCA National Rankings - Boise State finished the 2016 campaign in the receiving votes category of the final AVCA national poll. The Broncos had 60 points which ranked them 27th nationally in the final poll, their highest ranking in school history. Four teams Boise State had played during the season finished in the top-26: Stanford No.1 (national champ), BYU No. 8, Missouri No. 16 and Western Kentucky No. 26. MW member UNLV was also receiving votes coming in at No. 34.

National RPI Rankings - The Broncos finished the year ranked No. 26 in the final NCAA RPI, their highest finish in school history. That was the top ranking for the MW followed by UNLV at No. 30, Colorado State at No. 48, Wyoming at No. 76, San Diego State at No. 83 and Nevada at No. 84. In all Boise State played 12 schools who finished in the NCAA RPI top-100, for a total of 15 matches in which the Broncos went 8-7 in those contests. Other national RPI rankings for the Broncos were No. 26 in the Rich Kern RPI and No. 35 in the Pablo RPI.

AVCA Postseason Honors - For the second year in a row Boise State had two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region Honorees and two Honorable Mention All-Americans. This year's honorees were senior middle blocker Maddy O'Donnell and junior outside hitter Sierra Nobley bringing the total of honorable mention All-American honorees over the last four years to four individuals and a total of five awards. It was Nobley's second straight season receiving both the region and national honors.

Garus Earns Two Coach of the Year Honors - Boise State head coach Shawn Garus was the first Bronco coach ever to be named a conference coach of the year in program history when he was named the 2015 Mountain West Coach of the Year. This year he repeated as the MW Coach of the Year and added the AVCA Pacific North Region Coach of the Year award to his resume.

Mountain West Player of the Year - Boise State junior outside hitter Sierra Nobley was named the 2016 Mountain West Player of the Year. Nobley is the first Bronco in program history to be named a conference player of the year.

Five Broncos Earn MW Postseason Honors - Four Broncos were named to the All-Mountain West Team, the honorees included: Maddy O'Donnell, Sierra Nobley, Kaitlyn Oliver and Maddi Osburn. All four of Boise State's all-conference representatives are repeats from 2015, while Nobley and O'Donnell are three-time honorees joining a select group of nine Broncos all-time who have achieved all-conference status three or more times. A fourth Bronco, sophomore Sabryn Roberts received honorable mention recognition in 2016.

Nationally Ranked for Kills - For the second consecutive year the Broncos finished in the top-10 nationally for kills per set coming in at No. 7 during 2016 averaging 14.48. Last year the Broncos finished second nationally at 14.03. This is the third consecutive year they have been in the top 20 in the NCAA ranking No. 17 (14.21 kps) during 2014.

Nationally Ranked for Assists - Boise State has finished in the top 20 of the nation for three years straight finishing ranked 12th this season. The Broncos led the nation during most of the 2015 campaign before finishing second nationally at 14.03 aps, they were 15th in 2014 (13.25 aps).

Hitting Percentage Among Best Nationally - Boise State has been among the nation's best for hitting percentage over the last three seasons finishing 24th (.263) in 2014, 11th (.280) in 2015 and 31st (.257) in 2016.

 Shawn Garus                                                                              AVCA Region Coach of the Year  |  Mountain West Coach of the Year
 Head Coach  |  Eight Years

Shawn Garus was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) North Pacific Region Coach of the Year, his first at Boise State. Last year (2015)  Garus became the first Boise State coach in program history to earn conference coach of the year, he repeated as the Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2016. He is also the first Bronco coach in history to earn AVCA region coach of the year recognition.

 Maddy O'Donnell                                                            AVCA Honorable Mention All-American  |  AVCA All-Region  |  All-Mountain West 
 Senior  |  6-1  |  Middle Blocker |  Irvine, Calif. (Irvine HS)

Maddy O'Donnell was the lone senior on the Boise State team. O'Donnell is the fourth Bronco to receive honorable mention accolades by the AVCA. All four Broncos recognized have been since Boise State joined the MW in 2011. She finished her incredible four-year career helping the Broncos to new heights as conference champions and NCAA participants. The three-time All-Mountain West honoree finished the season ranked second in the MW and 44th nationally for hitting percentage at .362. She was fourth in the conference and 45th in the NCAA for blocks per set at 1.27, as well as fourth in MW and 41st in the nation for total blocks with 145. She finished her career second in career hitting percentage (.366) at Boise State and top-10 in the MW. O'Donnell tallied 924 career kills, 19th in school history, and 391 blocks, seventh all-time.

 Sierra Nobley          AVCA Honorable Mention All-American  |  AVCA All-Region  |  Mountain West Player of the Year  |  All-Mountain West
 Junior  | 6-1  |  Outside Hitter | Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS)

Sierra Nobley is the first Bronco to receive AVCA Honorable-Mention All-American recognition twice in a career. She is also a two-time all-region honoree making the first team the last two seasons preceded by honorable mention honors as a freshman. Nobley is the first Bronco ever to earn conference player of the year recognition. The 2016 Mountain West Player of the Year and three-time All-MW honoree capped the season off with a league-high 18 double-doubles, including two during the NCAA Tournament. This season she led the MW and ranked 12th in the NCAA for kills per set at 4.58, led the conference and was 16th in the nation for total kills with 522, led the MW and was 13th nationally in points per set at 5.17, and led the league and ranked 15th in NCAA for total points. Nobley set the school record for kills in a season with 522 and has moved into second on the career list with 1,467, 43 short of the school record. Her 4.58 kills per set this year ranks second in program history behind her mark from 2015. Nobley is now the career leader at Boise State for career kills per set at 4.47, well above the second place mark of 3.67 kps.

 Kaitlyn Oliver                                                                                                                                                               All-Mountain West
 Redshirt-Junior  | 6-4  |  Middle Blocker | Helena, Mont. (Helena HS)

Kaitlyn Oliver is a two-time All-MW honoree earning the same recognition as a sophomore last year. She had 270 kills and 107 blocks on the year, while averaging 2.37 kills and 0.94 blocks per set. The redshirt-junior from Helena, Mont., was second on the team, third in the MW and 58th nationally for hitting percentage at .356. She is also the current school record holder for career hitting percentage at .372.

 Maddi Osburn                                                                                                                                                     All-Mountain West
 Junior  | 5-7  |  Libero | Nampa, Idaho (Vallivue HS)

Maddi Osburn earned her second straight postseason accolade as a libero. She is coming off an outstanding regular season where she set the school record for digs in a season with 544. That total led the MW and was 63rd nationally. The junior from Nampa, Idaho, also led the MW and was 57th in the NCAA for digs per set at 4.77.

 Sabryn Roberts                                                                                                                       Honorable Mention All-Mountain West
 Sophomore  | 5-9  |  Outside Hitter | Torrance, Calif. (North HS)

Sabryn Roberts received honorable mention recognition as an outside hitter. Roberts tallied 306 kills, third on the team, 79 digs and 52 blocks during the season. The sophomore from Torrance, Calif., averaged 2.68 kills and 0.46 blocks per set.

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