What’s Happening - The No. 23 Boise State University men’s tennis team will host its final home meet of the year, Saturday, Apr. 21, as Eastern Washington and UC Irvine come to Boise, Idaho. The first match will be against Eastern Washington at 10:30 a.m., followed by UC Irvine at 6:00 p.m.
Eastern Washington enters the match with a 7-8 record and having won two of their previous three matches. Boise State has not lost to Eastern Washington in the previous six meetings between the schools. The last meeting between the school was Apr. 26, 1996, in which the Broncos won 7-0.
UC Irvine currently holds a 10-10 record. The Anteaters are coming off a 4-3 loss at Cal Poly and enter the match with Boise State having won six of their previous eight matches. Boise State holds a 3-1 advantage in the series over UC Irvine.
The Team - The Broncos defeated Western Athletic Conference rivals Fresno State and Utah State last week at the Appleton Tennis Center to improve to 3-0 versus WAC opponents and 25-5 overall. Boise State has gone 14-5 this season against nationally ranked opponents, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, including wins over No. 9 Stanford at Palo Alto, Calif., and No. 16 South Alabama at the Blue Gray Classic at Montgomery, Ala.
The Broncos own a perfect 16-0 home record in 2007. The Broncos also have a 29-match home winning streak in Boise, Idaho, dating back to Jan. 29, 2006, when Boise State defeated No. 13 Texas A&M 4-3.
The Players Six members of the Boise State men’s tennis team have recorded 20 singles victories this season.
Luke Shields, ranked 15th in the nation, leads the Broncos with 31 singles victories. L. Shields has posted a 21-3 record for the Broncos at No. 1 singles and a 10-5 record at No. 1 doubles. L. Shields has received two WAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week honors this season. The first came Jan. 29, after Shields led Boise State to an undefeated road trip to the Bay Area, where the team knocked off No. 9 Stanford 5-1. The second came Mar. 12, after L. Shields led the Broncos to three victories in two days. Luke Shields also earned the USTA Sportsmanship award at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for displaying outstanding sportsmanship and exemplifying the spirit of college tennis throughout his career. Shields currently carries a 10-match winning streak into the match against Eastern Washington having dropped only one set during the run.
Clancy Shields, ranked 53rd nationally, owns a 23-11 singles record including a 14-5 record in dual match play. He has also posted a 17-8 record in doubles including a 7-2 record while playing No. 2 doubles. C. Shields was named WAC Tennis Player of the Week for Jan. 22, after going 2-0 in the ITA Mountain Region Team Playoff including capturing the decisive match point on a diving volley to advance the team to the National Team Indoor Championships.
Sophomore Steve Robertson was named WAC Tennis Player of the Week for Mar. 5, after leading Boise State to three victories over a two-day period. Robertson sports a record of 16-3 in singles play and 14-8 in doubles in dual match play. Robertson’s emergence and ability to shift throughout the order has provided Boise State with yet another reliable racquet.
Junior Piotr Dilaj has proven to be a force at the No. 3 position behind the Shields brothers. He has come through with critical wins in dual match play throughout the season en route to going 15-9 in singles and 15-7 in doubles. Dilaj has also teamed with Luke Shields to create the No. 56 doubles team in the country as the pair has accumulated an 8-5 record at No. 1 doubles and a 14-8 record overall
Junior Eric Roberson carries an eight-match winning-streak into the Eastern Washington match. Roberson owns a 20-14 record on the year including a 15-9 mark in dual match play. Robertson has collected victories at the No. 3 through No. 6 positions as he demonstrated his ability to adapt to the situation and be successful.
Blake Boswell is the sixth member of the team with 20-plus victories. Boswell has posted a 22-14 record this year including a 14-10 record in dual match play. Boswell has won three straight matches and seven of his previous eight. he currently owns a 6-0 record while playing No. 2 singles.
Brent Werbeck has recorded 19 victories this season including 13 in dual match play. He carries a six match winning streak into the weekend. He has also posted a 3-1 record in doubles.
Stanley Sarapanich has won five of his previous six matches to post a 6-2 record in singles during dual match play. Sarapanich has also been a doubles specialist for the Broncos compiling a 11-2 record while playing with five partners.
Jamaal Hepburn remained undefeated in singles during dual match play as he ousted Utah State’s Dantley Young in straight sets 7-6 and 7-6 to improve to 4-0 during match play and 9-3 overall.