No. 14 Seeded BSU Men's Tennis Prep for ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 15-18

The Bronco men’s tennis team enters a pivotal point in their 2008 indoor season. BSU will travel to Seattle, Wash. to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Washington from February 15-18, 2008. Competing in a field of 16 of the nation’s finest teams, Boise State has pulled the No. 14 seed for the tournament. They are slated to play No. 3 seeded Ohio State at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Washington. If the Broncos were to top Ohio State, they would face the winner of the No. 6 seeded USC vs. No. 11 seed Illinois at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Nordstrom Center. If they drop their opening match, they head to the consolation bracket where they play the loser of the USC vs. Illinois match at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Seattle Tennis Club.

Full tournament information can be found on the University of Washington’s website. Fans can access the tournament program, schedule, venue directions, team brackets, live video and streaming, a photo gallery, and ticket information.

The ITA National Team Indoor Championships will consist of 16 teams that currently fall within the ITA National top-40 rankings. The tournament’s No. 1 seed is the University of Virginia whose national ranking matches their tournament seed. Also included in the tournament will be: No. 2 seed Georgia, No. 3 seed Ohio State, No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 Mississippi, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Texas, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 Alabama, No. 11Illinois, No. 12 North Carolina (#13), No. 13 Oklahoma State (#21), No. 14 Boise State (#35), No. 15 Washington (#36), and No. 16 Penn State (#38). (ITA National Rankings that are different than the team’s tournament seeds are listed in parentheses).

No. 37 ranked Boise State will bring four athletes to the table this weekend who are ranked in the top-100 in singles play. Junior Clancy Shields holds the No. 19 rank in singles play while older brother Luke Shields sits at No. 47. Eric Roberson and Brent Werbeck also hold ranks at No. 65 and No. 69, respectively. BSU also has one ranked doubles team, Roberson and Paul Koenke, who rank No. 41 in the nation.

Ohio State also brings four ranked singles players to the table. Justin Kronauge holds the No. 6 spot, Steven Moneke sits at No. 60, Bryan Koniecko at No. 85, and at No. 95 Drew Eberly. The Buckeyes also contain two ranked doubles teams, No. 19 Mike O’Connell and Matt Allare and No. 29 ranked Eberly and Kronauge.

The Broncos passed two points of criteria to be able to participate in this weekend’s championships. The first was to be within acceptable ITA national rankings, most likely the top-40. Not only did BSU need the rankings, but they had to win the Mountain Region Playoffs which was held in Boise on January 19. In the playoffs, BSU quickly topped then No. 70 UNLV followed by a narrow 4-3 win over No. 54 New Mexico to clinch the tournament berth.

The Broncos are returning after a 0-3 weekend in Southern California. There they began their play at unranked UC-Irvine on Thursday, February 7, a team they fell to 4-3. On Friday, February 8 BSU faced No. 8 UCLA and dropped a 7-0 decision to the Bruins. In their final match of the weekend, BSU played a tough 5-2 loss to No. 6 ranked USC. The three losses brought the team to a 5-4 season record. The Broncos also hold a 3-3 record against ranked teams this season.

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