BOISE, Idaho Through determination and perseverance the Boise State University men’s tennis team defeated New Mexico 5-0 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Region Team Playoff to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago Feb. 16-18.
The competition began in doubles play where Blake Boswell and Eric Roberson faced Chris Parkes and Graeme Kassautzki. The doubles partners exchanged games until the Broncos broke the serve of the Lobos at 4-3 and they never relinquished the lead thereafter en route to winning the set 8-6.
Luke Shields and Piotr Dilaj squared off against the number one ranked doubles team in the region, Max Jones and Kamil Pajkowski. After falling behind 1-3, Shields and Dilaj fought back to make it 6-7 but were unable to overcome the pair from New Mexico and dropped the set 6-8.
With the doubles point on the line, 2006 All-WAC doubles partners Clancy Shields and Steve Roberson broke the duo of Johnny Parkes and Graeme Kassautzki twice to prevail in the match 8-4, capturing the first match point of the night for Boise State.The two team then turned to singles play.
The first match featured two nationally ranked players in Luke Shields (15) and Max Jones (73). With neither player being able to break the others serve the two battled to a tiebreaker. The two exchanged points until the match was once again tied 9-9 but Luke pulled out two consecutive points to prevail 7-6 (11-9) in the first set. With Luke ahead 1-0 in the second set Jones withdrew due to health issues and the Broncos captured another match point to take a 2-0 lead in the Mountain Region Playoff.
Blake Boswell captured the third point of the night for Boise State when he defeated Pajkowski in straight sets 6-4 and 6-4. After having his serve broken in the first set Boswell found himself down 0-3 but battled back to take six of the next seven games including five straight to earn the 6-4 victory.
Needing just one more match point the Broncos turned to junior Piotr Dilaj. After falling behind in the first set 2-3 Dilaj stormed back to capture the next four games and earn the 6-3 win. In the second set Dilaj raced out to a 5-3 lead but Kassautzki stepped it up a notch and took the lead back 5-6. Dilaj, however, would not be denied and pushed the set to a tiebreaker where he prevailed 7-4 to earn the final match point Boise State needed to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Giving the Broncos a bit of insurance, Clancy Shields concluded his match simultaneously to Dilaj’s and earned a three set victory over Chris Parkes. After dropping the first set 2-6, Clancy fought back to take the following sets 6-3. To add drama to the third and final match Clancy made a diving play on game point to capture the set 6-4 and give the victory to Boise State.
Boise State vs. UNLV
Clancy Shields d. Brett Hunter 6-2, 6-0
Eric Roberson d. Wes Burrows 6-3, 6-0
Steve Robertson d. Slavko Bijelica 6-1, 6-4
Luke Shields d. Elliot Wronski 6-1, 6-2
Piotr Dilaj and Jonathon Hooper DNF
Blake Boswell and Luca Barlocchi DNF
Did not play
BYU vs. New Mexico
Kamil Pajkowski d. Cassidy Mears 6-3, 6-1
Johnny Parkes d. Chip Hand 6-3, 6-3
Miles Bugby d. Cale Planck 7-5, 6-3
Chris Parkes d. Jonathan Sanchez 6-0, 7-6 (7-4)
Max Jones and James Ludlow DNF
Graeme Kassautzki and Dominik Kaufhold DNF
Did not play
Boise State vs. New Mexico
Luke Shields d. Max Jones 7-6(11-9), 1-0 ret
Blake Boswell d. Kamil Pajkowski 6-4, 6-4
Piotr Dilaj d. Graeme Kassautzki 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
Clancy Shields d. Chris Parkes 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Eric Roberson and Miles Bugby 6-4, 1-6, 2-1 DNF
Brent Werbeck and Johnny Parkes 5-4 DNF
Roberson/Boswell d. C. Parkes/Bugby 8-6
Jones/Pajkowski d. L. Shields/Dilaj 8-6C. Shields/Robertson d. J. Parkes/Kassautzki 8-4