BOISE, Idaho - The No. 61 ranked Boise State men's tennis team solidified a showdown with in-state rival Idaho, Saturday (March 26) morning, as the Broncos knocked off Wichita State, 4-2, at the BOAS Indoor Tennis Complex to advance to meet the No. 57 ranked Vandals in the championship match of the Boise State Spring Break Classic Saturday night.
Boise State (10-10 overall, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) and Idaho (13-2, 1-0) will take the court in Boise for the second time in a week as the two teams also squared off on March 19-20. The Vandals won the first meeting of the season, 4-3, thanks to dramatic victories in both singles and doubles competition.
In order to earn their chance at redemption the Broncos first had to fend off a strong Wichita State (8-5) team that gave Boise State all it could handle Saturday morning. After starting in singles competition due to time constraints, the Broncos earned an early 3-1 lead in the dual with wins at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The Shockers would respond by pushing No. 4 and No. 6 to a decisive third set, however, making for a dramatic ending to the day's opening match.
Junior Damian Hume, who entered the weekend ranked No. 89 nationally in singles, gave Boise State its first lead of the day at No. 1 as he beat Vlad Marinescu, 6-1, 6-2, to put the Broncos in front 1-0 in the dual. A loss at No. 5 immediately following would even the score at 1-1 for Wichita State, though.
Filipp Pogostkin responded next for Boise State at No. 2 as he knocked off Guillermo Nicol, 6-2, 6-3, to recapture the lead for the Broncos, 2-1. A win by Andy Bettles, 6-4, 7-5 over David Cavalcanti at No. 3, would put the team win within reach for Boise State with just two matches left to go.
The Shockers were determined not to go down quietly however, as they battled to force the final two singles matches to a third and decisive set. At No. 4, Matheus Pereira beat Scott Sears, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, to pull Wichita State to 3-2 with just the No. 6 match left to finish.
As the last Bronco left playing, Nathan Sereke needed a win at No. 6 to avoid going to doubles competition to decide the dual. After winning the first set against Adrian Chermaci, 6-1, Sereke would fall in the second, 4-6. Sereke responded by taking a quick 5-2 lead in the third, but Chermaci battled back to narrow the score to 5-4. Sereke showed his resolve with service; however, as he would score the last point of the match to secure the 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win to give Boise State the 4-2 final victory.
The win marks the third straight for the Broncos, who will look to extend that winning streak Saturday night when they face Idaho for the tournament title. Boise State will face the Vandals at 6 p.m. at BOAS. Tonight's matchup is a rematch of the 2010 Boise State Spring Break Classic championship, which the Broncos won in a 4-0 shutout.
Visit Tournament Central for complete results from Saturday.
#61 Boise State 4, Wichita State 2
1. #89 Damian Hume (BSU) def. Vlad Marinescu (WSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. Guillermo Nicol (WSU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Andrew Bettles (BSU) def. David Cavalcanti (WSU) 6-4, 7-5
4. Matheus Pereira (WSU) def. Scott Sears (BSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
5. Valentin Mihai (WSU) def. Jeff Mullen (BSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. Adrian Chermaci (WSU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4