Broncos top Vandals for Spring Break Classic Title

BOISE, Idaho - The No. 61 ranked Boise State men's tennis team managed to avenge its only Western Athletic Conference loss of the season to in-state rival Idaho, Saturday (March 26) night, with a 4-3 win over the No. 57 ranked Vandals in the championship match of the 2011 Boise State Spring Break Classic.

Saturday night marked the second meeting with Idaho (13-3 overall, 1-0 WAC) in the last week for the Broncos (11-10 overall, 1-1 WAC), as the two teams also met at the BOAS Indoor Tennis Complex last weekend (March 19-20). The Vandals got the best of Boise State in the first showdown, hanging on to a 4-3 win after winning the doubles point and three singles matches.

In meeting No. 2 it was the Broncos that took advantage of an early lead and held on late, with a win in the final singles match of the dual to clinch the team win.

Boise State swept Idaho in doubles competition on Saturday, thanks in part to a strong start from Filipp Pogostkin and Andy Bettles. The Bronco duo scored the first win of the night for Boise State as they beat Abid Akbar and Alan Shin, 8-3, at No. 3. Damian Hume and Scott Sears, the nation's No. 75 ranked doubles team, secured the doubles point for the Broncos next at No. 1 with an 8-4 victory over Marius Cirstea and Alexandru Joitoiu.

Jeff Mullen and Nathan Sereke managed to complete the doubles sweep for Boise State last at No. 2 as they came back from a 4-1 deficit to beat Lachlan Reed and Jose Bendeck, 8-6.

Idaho would waste little time erasing the Broncos 1-0 lead in the dual however, as Bendeck knocked off Mullen, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 5.

Boise State recaptured the team lead, 2-1, shortly after as Sears took control at No. 4 singles for a 6-4, 6-4 win over Akbar. The Vandals quickly stole the momentum back from the Broncos, though, with wins at No. 2 and No. 1 to put Boise State on the ropes with just two matches left to go.

Reed evened the team score at 2-2 for Idaho with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Pogostkin at No. 2. Cirstea (No. 112 ranked) would give the Vandals a 3-2 lead next at No. 1 as he beat No. 89 Hume, 7-6, 6-4.

With defeat just one match away the Broncos only hope at redemption rested on the shoulders of a pair of true freshmen who were in the middle of heated battles at No. 3 and No. 6. Bettles was the first player to rise to the call for Boise State as he fought back from a first set loss to Joitoiu for a dramatic third set win. Bettles overcame a 5-4 deficit in the third to knock off Joitoiu, 6-7, 6-2, 7-5, and even the team score at 3-3 with just one match left to go.

 At the time of Bettles' comeback, Sereke had taken a lead in the No. 6 singles match with a 6-3 first set win over Shin. Sereke and Shin played to a 4-4 deadlock in the second set, but multiple service errors by Shin in the last two games helped Sereke pull away and secure a 6-3, 6-4 victory to boost the Broncos to the 4-3 win.

With the win Boise State concludes the weekend with a 3-0 record after also recording wins over Eastern Washington (6-0) and Wichita State (4-2) to reach the championship. The Broncos improve to 6-2 at home this season and 7-9 against nationally ranked opponents.

Boise State is off the court now until next weekend when the Broncos host their regular season home finale, April 2 (Saturday), at the Appleton Tennis Center. Boise State is scheduled to meet Montana State at 11 a.m. to open the day, and then take on Weber State at 5 p.m. in the night cap. Both matches would be moved to BOAS in the instance of bad weather.

For complete results from the 2011 Boise State Spring Break Classic click here.

#61 Boise State 4, #57 Idaho 3

SINGLES

1. #112 Marius Cirstea (UI) def. #89 Damian Hume (BSU) 7-6, 6-4

2. Lachlan Reed (UI) def. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) 7-5, 6-0

3. Andrew Bettles (BSU) def. Alexandru Joitoiu (UI) 6-7, 6-2, 7-5

4. Scott Sears (BSU) def. Abid Akbar (UI) 6-4, 6-4

5. Jose Bendeck (UI) def. Jeff Mullen (BSU) 6-1, 6-3

6. Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. Alan Shin (UI) 6-3, 6-4

Order of finish: 5, 4, 2, 1, 3, 6

DOUBLES

1. #75 Damian Hume/Scott Sears (BSU) def. Marius Cirstea/Alexandru Joitoiu (UI) 8-4

2. Jeff Mullen/Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. Lachlan Reed/Jose Bendeck (UI) 8-6

3. Filipp Pogostkin/Andrew Bettles (BSU) def. Abid Akbar/Alan Shin (UI) 8-3

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2


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