Men's Tennis Will Test Mettle at Blue-Gray Classic

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The No. 44 Boise State men's tennis team (7-1) will travel to the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., this weekend where they will face three top-25 teams from the SEC. The Broncos will start the weekend against No. 14 Auburn, Friday before taking on No. 15 Mississippi State, Saturday and No. 21 Tennessee, Sunday. The first two matches will start at 11 a.m. (CT) and 1:30 p.m. (CT), respectively, while Sunday's match is to be announced. The tournament is a round-robin format with the top two teams facing off in a final match to determine the champion.

Live Coverage - Live stats and the complete draw are available at www.bluegraytennis.com.

National Rankings - Boise State men's tennis jumped to No. 44 in ITA rankings that came out Feb. 22. The Broncos were No. 45 in the previous poll.

Damian Hume and James Meredith received national rankings individually.

Meredith is ranked 34th, nationally. He has manned the No. 1 singles spot for most of the season and holds a 4-2 dual-match record.

Hume checks in at No. 51 on the heels of a successful fall season that included the Mountain Region singles title and a run to the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

What Happened Last Time - The Broncos are coming off three big wins over Montana State (6-1), Idaho State (7-0) and Idaho (7-0) two weekends ago.

Looking at No. 14 Auburn - The Tigers enter the weekend with a 7-2 record with two losses at the ITA Indoor Championships last weekend. Auburn has one player ranked in the top 125 - No. 23 Andreis Meis who is 4-1 at the team's No. 1 spot. Meis has teamed with Alexander Stamchev to earn the No. 7 doubles ranking.

Looking at No. 15 Mississippi State - The Bulldogs have four members of their squad ranked in ITA's top 125. George Coupland leads the team in the rankings at No. 42 but has played a majority of the season in the five hole. Artem Illyushin is 3-1 as the team's top singles player and is currently ranked No. 71. Louis Cant (No. 83) and Malte Stropp (No. 109) are also ranked. Cant and Stropp are the No. 20 doubles tandem in the country.

Looking at  No. 21 Tennessee - The Volunteers enter the weekend with a losing record of 4-6 and are on a five-match losing skid, all of which were against top-25 teams. Tennessee has one player ranked by the ITA - Mikelis Libietis enters the weekend at No. 81 and owns a 4-3 record. Libietis is partnered with Hunter Reese to make the No. 41 doubles pair.

Too Easy - Nathan "Big Easy" Sereke is still undefeated this season at 7-0, playing primarily at the No. 5 spot. The Stockholm, Sweden native also owns a 7-1 record in doubles, making for a 14-1 combined record.

Grub and Greet - The Boise State men's and women's tennis teams will be hosting a "Grub and Greet" event where fans and boosters will have the opportunity to have the opportunity to dine with both teams in the Stueckle Sky Center. The event will be held March 9 at 7 p.m. To make reservations, call the Boas Tennis Center at 208-426-5737, Greg Patton at 208-484-2432 or Beck Roghaar at 208-631-2842. Reservations can also be made via email and sent to tapsey@boisestate.edu, gpatton@boisestate.edu, or beckroghaar@boisestate.edu.

Best in the West - Sophomore Andy Bettles was named Mountain West Co-Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the span of Jan. 31-Feb. 7. Bettles helped the Broncos defeat Washington by teaming with Scott Sears to defeat the tandem of Jeff Hawke and Max Manthou (8-5) at the No. 2 position in doubles before clinching the match for Boise State in singles action, defeating Washington's Emmett Egger, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, at the second singles spot to give Boise State its fourth point of the duel.

Next Home Match - The Boise State will have two weeks before they return to play in Boise. The Broncos will next face Radford, March 7 in a match scheduled to be played at the Appleton Outdoor Tennis Center.