Boise State Starts Championship Run Friday

BOISE, Idaho - The No. 55 ranked Boise State men's tennis team will start its run at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference tournament title, Friday (April 29), as the Broncos are scheduled to meet Hawai'i at 3 p.m. at Julia Davis Park in Boise in quarterfinals action of the WAC Championships hosted by Boise State University.

The Broncos (15-14 overall, 3-3 WAC) enter the conference tournament as the No. 4 overall seed and will begin their run at the weekend title against the No. 5 seed Warriors. Boise State beat Hawai'i 5-2 in the first meeting between the two teams on April 17. The winner of the Broncos and Warriors will advance to face No. 1 Fresno State in the semifinals on Saturday (April 30).

Tournament info...

Tickets for this weekend's WAC tournament can be purchased for both single-session and all-session. Single-session prices are: Adult ($5), youth (17-under; $3) and WAC students with ID (free). All-session prices are: Adult ($12), youth ($7) and WAC students (free).

The men's tournament will kick-off at 12 p.m. on Friday. The last quarterfinals match on Friday is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday the action will resume with semifinals matches being played at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The men's champion will then be crowned on Sunday with the final match slated for 12 p.m.

Friday's two matches will be played at Julia Davis Park, weather permitting. The semifinals and championship match are scheduled for the Appleton Tennis Complex at Boise State.

Fans can visit for full tournament results throughout the weekend, as well as updated brackets and any changes to the schedule due to poor weather.

Last time at the WAC tournament...

The Broncos fell short of capturing the 2010 WAC tournament title with a 4-2 semifinals loss to No. 29 Fresno State. The Bulldogs earned an early advantage in the dual after winning the doubles point and never looked back. Boise State won at No. 2 and No. 6 singles to narrow the final score  but the rally was too little too late.

The Broncos have won four WAC tournament championships, with their titles coming in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Looking at the field...

Boise State will face a tough conference tournament field this weekend which boasts four teams currently ranked in the top 75 nationally. Fresno State (No. 42), Idaho (No. 51) and New Mexico State (No. 52) join the No. 55 ranked Broncos in the April 26 ITA poll.

The conference also currently has four singles players ranked nationally by the ITA, as well as three doubles teams. The current singles players ranked nationally are: No. 84 Arthur Surreaux (New Mexico State), No. 100 Remi Boutillier (Fresno State), No. 114 Dennis Lajola (Hawai'i) and No. 119 Damian Hume (Boise State). The doubles teams currently ranked nationally are: No. 16 Rikus de Villiers and Boutillier (Fresno State), No. 49 Hume and Scott Sears (Boise State) and No. 79 Surreaux and Jim Brouleau (New Mexico State).

Last time out...

The Broncos are coming off a tough trip to Las Cruces, N.M. where the men went 1-2 to close out the regular season with a 15-14 overall record. Boise State opened the weekend with a 4-0 win over Nevada, but would suffer losses to No. 73 New Mexico State (4-2) and No. 61 Arizona (4-2) to end the road trip.

The Broncos appeared to be rolling against the Wolf Pack with a sweep of the doubles matches and three quick singles wins to finish off the shutout. Andy Bettles, Scott Sears and Erik Sheldon each earned singles wins in the 4-0 victory.

Boise State struggled to keep its momentum going from there however, as the Broncos dropped the doubles point against both New Mexico State and Arizona en route to the two losses.  Against the Aggies Boise State's lone singles wins came from Sheldon and Nathan Sereke. Sereke and Filipp Pogostkin would earn the only two wins against the Wildcats.

With the two losses the Broncos finished the regular season with a 7-13 record against ranked opponents. Boise State was also just 1-8 in two road duals and 5-4 on neutral courts.

National rankings...

Following the regular season finale in Las Cruces, N.M. the Broncos dropped five spots to No. 55 in the April 26 ITA national team rankings. Boise State had returned to the top 50 for the first time since March 29 but its climb proved to be short lived. After beginning the season ranked No. 43 the Broncos rose as high as No. 35 in February.

Boise State currently is represented in both the ITA national singles and doubles rankings. Hume re-enters the national rankings this week in singles at No. 119, while he and Sears dropped 13 spots to No. 49 in the national doubles rankings.

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