BOISE, Idaho - The No. 52 ranked Boise State men's tennis team finally returns to Boise this week after a challenging month and a half that featured nine out of 10 duals away from home. There will be no time to rest for the Broncos, however, as they prepare for a Thursday (March 25) double-header before hosting the 2010 Boise State Spring Break Classic presented by SpringHill Suites Parkcenter, Saturday-Sunday (March 27-28).
The Broncos will look to use a strong finish at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic this past weekend to propel them into an action packed four days ahead. Boise State will open up the weekend by hosting No. 63 Idaho at 10 a.m. Thursday and No. 47 UC Irvine at 5 p.m. Thursday evening. The Broncos will then turn their attention to the eight-team Spring Break Tournament which will feature three nationally ranked opponents.
Ready for home cooking...
If there is one place the Boise State men's tennis team has been dominant this spring, it's been at home. Unfortunately for the Broncos, they haven't been home much at all through the first three months of the 2010 season. This weekend will mark just the second time Boise State has played at home since Feb. 6.
"We've been on the road so long we had to call for directions to find out the way back to where we lived," Head Coach Greg Patton said. "Like Dorothy said, there's no place like home. So we've been clicking our heels together, and we're really glad to be back."
Heading into this weekend Boise State has only played four home duals. The Broncos have been extremely successful in those matches, however, compiling a 4-0 record at home this season. Coach Patton hopes that success will carry over into the Broncos long weekend ahead, as they prepare for a big push towards the NCAA tournament.
Last time out...
Boise State is coming off a tough weekend at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., in which the Broncos managed to scrape to a 2-1 record. After dropping their opening round dual to No. 26 Fresno State, 4-0, the Broncos responded with a 4-0 win against Middle Tennessee State on Friday. Boise State capped off its' weekend with a 4-3 win over No. 63 Harvard.
"The Blue Gray and this Spring Break Tournament, we feel, is always a tipping point for our season," Coach Patton said on Tuesday. "We're going in the right direction. Our guys have improved and we've got some good wins because of it."
Jumping up in the national rankings...
Boise State made its' biggest positive move in the ITA National Team Rankings this week as the Broncos jumped from No. 71 to No. 52 after a 2-1 finish at the Blue Gray Classic. With their last win against Harvard, Boise State improved its' overall record to 8-6 this season (1-1 Western Athletic Conference) with a 3-5 record against nationally ranked opponents.
The Broncos are still led by sophomore sensation James Meredith, who is ranked No. 41 nationally in singles.
Looking at the week ahead...
Boise State will face no easy tests this weekend, which begins on Thursday with a pair of duals against nationally ranked opponents. The Broncos first host in-state rival Idaho, who is ranked No. 63 after starting the season with a 14-4 record (1-2 WAC). The Vandals enter this weekend with a load of confidence, having won eight consecutive duals.
Following their dual with Idaho the Broncos will then square off against UC Irvine, who is currently ranked No. 47 nationally. The Anteaters have also experienced their share of success this year, boasting an 11-4 overall record to date.
Boise State's Thursday double-header will just be a warm up, however, as the Broncos will then host the 2010 Spring Break Classic, Saturday-Sunday. The eight team tournament will feature UC Irvine, Idaho, Boise State, No. 71 Purdue, Ball State, Cal Poly, Cornell and Portland.
"There's no stagnation on this team," Coach Patton said about where the Broncos are at. "We're either going to sink or we're going to fly. This is a great chance for us to do some good stuff. I think it's an opportunity that is knocking at the door and we're ready for it."
Duals will be held at four locations: Boise State's Appleton Tennis Center, the Boise Racquet and Swim Club, Crane Creek and Julia Davis Park. Duals begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday and will run through Saturday afternoon. Sunday will feature four matches, including three at 9 a.m. and the championship dual at 11 a.m.