BOISE, Idaho The No. 40 Boise State men’s tennis team (9-9) fought down to the wire on Sunday, but was unable to hold off No. 43 Pepperdine University 4-6), dropping their first home match of the season, 4-3. The teeter-totter type match was thrilling to all watching as the match came down to the No. 1 singles match to decide the team winner.
The Broncos got off on the right foot, winning two of the three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. Pepperdine put the pressure on immediately, winning the first doubles match with Bassam Beidas and James Lemke topping Boise State’s Paul Koenke and Eric Roberson, 8-5, in the No. 2 doubles spot. Boise State’s No. 41 ranked doubles team of Luke and Clancy Shields upset the Waves’ No. 26 doubles team of Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann, 8-6, in the No. 1 doubles match to even the scoreboard. In the No. 3 doubles match, Boise State’s Piotr Dilaj and Steve Robertson battled Rikus de Villiers and Alex Moreno to win 9-8 and clinch the doubles point for Boise State.
In singles play, Boise State pulled ahead 2-0 after No. 5 singles player Dilaj earned a quick 6-4, 6-4 win over de Villiers. Pepperdine answered back with a 6-4, 7-5 win for Mahmoud Kamel over BSU’s Roberson in the No. 6 match to bring the team scores to 2-1. The Waves were able to even the playing field when No. 25 Beidas topped No. 55 Clancy Shields 7-6, 6-4 in the No. 2 singles match. Pepperdine was able to add a twist to the storyline of the day when they took the team lead at 3-2 when Lemke sealed a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Robertson. The Broncos did not give up hope and with the help of Brent Werbeck answered back with an upset victory over No. 97 Altmann, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the No. 3 singles match.
With the team scores tied at 3-3, the team dual came down to the winner of the No. 1 singles match. In a barnburner of a match No. 59 Luke Shields was able to snatch away a 6-4 victory in the first set to go up over No. 19 ranked Begemann. Begemann answered back with a 6-4 victory of his own, pushing a third set to decide the overall team finish. The two No. 1 singles players battled to a third-set tie-break where Begemann was able to confirm a Waves victory with a 7-3 tie-break victory. Although Shields gave his all the Broncos were unable to keep their unblemished home season alive with Shields falling to Begemann 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), in a heartbreaking loss.
The Broncos now hold a 7-1 home record, including an outstanding 5-1 record over ITA nationally ranked teams. Boise State will continue its season next weekend when the Broncos head to Montgomery, Alabama to participate in the Blue/Grey Tennis Classic. The tournament, hosted by Alabama, is scheduled from Thursday, March 13 through Sunday, March 16. Boise State returns home the following week when they host the BSU Spring Break Invitational March 21-23 at the Appleton Tennis Center.
#43 Pepperdine University 4, #40 Boise State 3
1. #19 Andre Begemann (PEPP) def. #59 Luke Shields (BSU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
2. #25 Bassam Beidas (PEPP) def. #55 Clancy Shields (BSU) 7-6, 6-4
3. Brent Werbeck (BSU) def. #97 Omar Altmann (PEPP) 2-6, 7-5, 6-3
4. James Lemke (PEPP) def. Steve Robertson (BSU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. Piotr Dilaj (BSU) def. Johannes de Villiers (PEPP) 6-4, 6-4
6. Mahmoud Kamel (PEPP) def. Eric Roberson (BSU) 6-4, 7-5
1. #41 Clancy Shields/Luke Shields (BSU) def. #26 Omar Altmann/Andre Begemann (PEPP) 8-6
2. Bassam Beidas/James Lemke (PEPP) def. Paul Koenke/Eric Roberson (BSU) 8-5
3. Piotr Dilaj/Steve Robertson (BSU) def. Johannes de Villiers/Alejandro Moreno (PEPP) 9-8
Pepperdine University 4-6; National ranking #43
Boise State 9-9; National ranking #40
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,6,2,4,3,1)