SEATTLE, Wash. (2/17/08) - Boise State rallied to knock off No. 10 seed Alabama 4-3 in the ITA National Men’s Tennis Indoor Championship consolation round Sunday night at the Seattle Tennis Club in Seattle, Wash. The win snapped a six-game losing streak and got the Broncos back on track with the big victory over the SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Senior standout Luke Shields won the decisive match at number one singles to give Boise State the 4-3 win.
Boise State opened the match by dropping the doubles point to Alabama. All three matches were hard fought contests with the decision coming at the number one position. The Crimson Tide struck first winning at the three’s when Sammy Struyf and Javier Bes defeated Boise State’s Steve Robertson and Blake Boswell 8-5 to go up 1-0 in the doubles competition.
The Broncos evened the score when Paul Koenke and Eric Roberson won a tough 8-6 match at the number two doubles position over Bama’s Michael Jung and Saketh Myneni. That set up the number one doubles as the deciding factor on which team would win the doubles point. The match between Boise State’s Shields brothers, Luke and Clancy, and the Tide’s Matt Thibaudeau and Daniel Buikema went to a tiebreaker before Alabama’s team hold off the Broncos 9-8 (5) for the point.
Down one entering the singles portion of the competition Boise State needed to rally with four victories. The singles did not start well for Boise State as they found themselves down 2-0 when Alabama’s Daniel Buikema downed Boise State’s Steve Robertson at the number five singles 6-1, 6-0.
The Broncos began to rally from the two point deficit when Paul Koenke gave Boise State their first point with his romp at the number six singles over the Crimson Tide’s Housaam Yassine 6-1, 6-3 to make the match score 2-1 Bama. Not long after that Boise State’s Clancy Shields pulled the Broncos even with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at the number two position over UA’s Matt Thibaudeau.
Boise State then claimed their third straight decision in singles for a 3-2 lead in the team match score. Senior Piotr Dilaj rolled to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Alabama’s Michael Jung to give the Broncos momentum. Unfortunately, Boise State’s lead was short lived as the Crimson Tide battled back to tie the score at three all when Sammy Struyf defeated the Broncos’ Brent Werbeck 7-5, 6-1. That win setup the number one singles as the deciding match for the team victory.
Alabama’s Saketh Myneni opened with a 6-4 victory in the first set to take the early lead. However, Boise State’s three-time All-American Luke Shields battled back taking the second set in easy fashion 6-1. The senior standout refused to let up in the third as he handed the Broncos the victory with a commanding 6-3 win in the decisive set.
The win gets the Broncos back to .500 on the year at 6-6 overall against one of the hardest schedules in the NCAA to date. The schedule does not get any easier for Boise State who travels to California this weekend for two matches. They open at national power Stanford on Friday followed by a match at WAC rival Fresno State on Sunday.
ITA National Team Indoor Championship
Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Tennis Club)
Feb. 17, 2008
No. 14 Boise State def. No. 10 Alabama 4-3
1. Thibaudeau/Buikema (UA) def. C. Shields/L. Shields (BSU), 9-8 (5)
2. Koenke/Roberson (BSU) def. Myneni/Jung (UA), 8-6
3. Struyf/Bes (UA) def. 3. Robertson/Blake Boswell (BSU), 8-5
Order of finish (3, 2, 1)
1. Luke Shields (BSU) def. Saketh Myneni (UA), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. Clancy Shields (BSU) def. Matt Thibaudeau (UA), 6-3, 6-4
3. Sammy Struyf (UA) def. Brent Werbeck (BSU), 7-5, 6-1
4. Piotr Dilaj (BSU) def. Michael Jung (UA), 6-3, 6-3
5. Daniel Buikema (UA) def Steve Robertson (BSU), 6-1, 6-0
6. Paul Koenke (BSU) def. Housaam Yassine (UA), 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish (singles): 5, 6, 2, 4, 3, 1*