BOISE, Idaho - The No. 52 ranked Boise State men's tennis team will kick off a stretch of six consecutive road duals to close out the regular season, this weekend (April 14-17), with a trip to California for three matches in four days, including two against top 40 opponents.
Boise State (13-10 overall, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) will open up its road swing on Thursday (April 14) with a trip to Palo Alto, Calif. to take on No. 8 Stanford at 1:30 p.m. (PST). The Broncos will look for their first win of the season against a top 25 opponent as they enter the week 0-5 so far this spring. Visit http://www.streamingtennis.com/Cardinal/livescoreboard1.html for live stats and video of Thursday's match.
On Saturday (April 16) Boise State travels to Fresno, Calif. to face its first of two WAC duals on the weekend with a showdown against conference leading Fresno State at 2 p.m. (PST). The Broncos will look to snap a two dual losing streak to the No. 39 ranked Bulldogs.
Boise State will conclude its road trip on Sunday (April 17) with a matchup against Hawai'i at 10 a.m. (PST) in Fresno, Calif.
The weekend will provide a big test for the Broncos who are 7-9 overall against ranked opponents this season, but just 2-9 against teams in the top 50. They have also managed just a 4-8 record away from Boise to date after starting the season with 12 consecutive duals on the road.
Last time out...
Boise State managed to enjoy a perfect day on its last outing, back on April 2, as the Broncos swept a pair of non-conference opponents at the BOAS Indoor Tennis Complex. The men did not lose a doubles or singles match en route to a pair of 7-0 victories over Montana State and Weber State. Most impressively, only one of all 12 singles matches went past two sets.
Against Montana State, Filipp Pogostkin, Andy Bettles, Nathan Sereke, Freddy Walsh, Erik Sheldon and Michael Gilliland each earned singles wins to help secure the shutout.
Jeff Mullen, Pogostkin, Bettles, Sereke, Walsh and Sheldon all scored wins in singles against Weber State to complete the perfect day for Boise State.
The Broncos dropped one spot to No. 52 in this week's ITA national team rankings despite not playing in a week and a half. Boise State had reached the top 50 on March 29 for the first time in four weeks, but has dropped one spot in each of the last two polls.
Damian Hume continues to be the only individual player ranked nationally in singles for the Broncos. He fell 13 spots to No. 120 this week.
Hume has also teamed up with Scott Sears to earn a national ranking in doubles. Hume and Sears came in at No. 82 this week, which is 26 spots down from the March 29 poll.
Looking at the Cardinal...
Stanford will provide the biggest challenge for Boise State this weekend as the Cardinal head into the dual ranked No. 8 nationally by the ITA. Stanford has played to a 14-5 overall record, including a 4-1 record in Pac-10 Conference competition. The only conference loss for the Cardinal came against No. 3 USC (4-2), while their five total losses were all against top 16 ranked opponents.
Stanford is currently riding a six dual winning streak, which includes victories over No. 13 UCLA (6-1), No. 31 Tulsa (4-3), No. 56 Arizona (5-2), No. 29 San Diego (5-2), No. 22 Washington (4-3) and No. 70 Oregon (6-1)
The Cardinal currently have three players ranked nationally in singles and a pair of doubles teams also ranked by the ITA. Bradley Klahn leads the way in singles at No. 10, while Ryan Thacher is currently No. 42 and Alex Clayton is No. 71. In doubles, Thacher and Klahn have played to the nation's No. 4 overall ranking, while Clayton and Ted Kelly are No. 69.
Looking at the Bulldogs...
Fresno State will host an action packed weekend of WAC competition looking to remain the only undefeated (3-0) team in conference play so far this spring. The Bulldogs have played to a No. 39 national ranking after compiling an 11-8 overall record this season.
Fresno State has been red hot as of late, winning five consecutive matches including three straight against WAC opponents. The Bulldogs are coming off wins over Hawai'i (5-2), Idaho (4-2) and Utah State (4-0). Fresno State will host Nevada on Friday (April 15) before playing the Broncos.
Remi Boutillier leads the charge for the Bulldogs as he is currently ranked nationally in both singles and doubles. This week he is ranked No. 94 in singles, while also teaming up with Rikus de Villiers for a No. 17 doubles ranking.
Looking at the Warriors...
Hawai'i will look to turn around it's up and down season with a late push to the WAC championships after playing to just a 5-10 overall record this season. The Warriors were ranked No. 56 in the April 5 ITA poll, but dropped out after losing a pair of conference matches last weekend. Hawai'i enters this weekend with a 1-2 record against WAC competition.
A big reason for the Warriors' struggles has come from their extended time on the road this spring, playing 10 of their 15 total duals away from home. Hawai'i has managed just a 1-6 record in true road matches and a 1-2 record on neutral courts. The Warriors close out the regular season with six consecutive road duals.
Hawai'i, which plays Nevada and New Mexico before facing Boise State, currently does not have any players ranked nationally in singles or doubles.