Broncos Win Third Consecutive WAC Championship
BOISE, Idaho The No. 23 Boise State University men’s tennis team captured it third consecutive Western Athletic Conference Championship, Sunday, as it defeated Fresno State 4-0, in front of the largest crowd of the season at the Appleton Tennis Center.
The Broncos close out the regular season with a 29-5 record, including winning their last 13 matches, with seven coming via the shutout. The team also posted a perfect 20-0 record at home this season while reaching No. 16 in the standings. The team will now await their seed in the NCAA Championship tournament which will be announced Tuesday, May 1, at approximately 12:30 p.m. on ESPNEWS.
Boise State earned third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship tournament by winning No. 1, No. 5 and No. 6 singles as well as the doubles point for the uncontested victory of Fresno State.Piotr Dilaj and Steve Robertson got the scoring started for Boise State by ousting Taylor Leiby and Rudolf Siwy at No. 3 doubles 8-2. The Bronco duo broke the first serve of Leiby and Siwy while completing their first two to take the initial 3-0 lead. Fresno State then held serve to bring the match back to 3-1 but the Dilaj and Robertson would not be denied as they won the next four games to take the 7-1 lead before closing out the match on a break at 8-2.
Luke Shields and Clancy Shields, playing together for the second consecutive match clinched the doubles point for the Broncos as they defeated Jakub Cech and Mirko Zapletal at No. 1 doubles 8-3, for their third win of the year and second at the WAC Championship. The Shields brothers also broke the first serve from Fresno State and completed their first two serves to take the 3-0 lead. The two doubles team then traded serves until the 5-2 mark where the pair from Boise State once again broke Fresno State’s serve this time to take the 7-2 lead. Zapletal and Cech then completed one more serve before the Shields brothers complete one of their own for the victory.
With the critical doubles point secured for Boise State the match shifted to singles play with the Broncos leading 1-0.
Blake Boswell quickly knocked off Tejesvi Veerepalli at No. 5 singles 6-1 and 6-2, to give Boise State the two point advantage. In the first set, the two players exchanged serves to even the match at 1-1, but Boswell then broke Veerepalli’s serve twice as he rattled off five consecutive games to close the set out at 6-1. Boswell jumped out to the early 3-0 lead in the second set and won 6-2.
Luke Shields, ranked No. 15 nationally according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, collected the third match point for Boise State as he dropped No. 85 Jakub Cech in straight sets at No. 1 singles 6-2 and 6-4. The first set was tied 2-2, when Shields broke Cech’s serve to make it 3-2 before taking the next three games for the 6-2 set victory. Cech battled Shields better in the second set but still fell 6-4, as the Broncos went ahead 3-0.
Steve Robertson clinched the 2007 WAC Men’s Tennis Championship for Boise State at No. 6 singles by defeating Flavio Mollinedo 6-3 and 6-4. Down 4-3 in the second set, Robertson completed his serve to even the match at 4-4. Robertson then broke Mollinedo’s next serve to take the 5-4 lead. Robertson then finished Mollinedo off with the serve for the 6-4 victory, before being swarmed by teammates and coaches in celebration.Three singles matches were unable to be completed due to time restrictions. Kean Feeder was leading Mirko Zapletal in the third set 3-6, 6-3 and 2-0, Clancy Shields was down a set to Siwy 7-6 and 2-3 and Piotr Dilaj was also down a set to Charles Irie 3-6 and 5-5.
The conference tennis awards were also announced at the match with seven members of the Boise State team receiving awards. Luke Shields was name the 2006-07 WAC Player of the Year, while also receiving first team honors in both singles and doubles. This is the third consecutive season Luke Shields has been selected to the all-conference team. Clancy Shields earned All-WAC first team honors in both singles and doubles for the second consecutive season. Piotr Dilaj was named First Team All-WAC in doubles with partner Luke Shields while receive second team honors in singles. Steve Robertson was named to the all-conference first team in doubles with Clancy Shields while receiving second team honors in singles. Eric Roberson was placed on the All-WAC second team for his play in doubles along with Blake Boswell. In addition to second team all-conference honors in doubles Boswell also earned second team honors in singles. Greg Patton was also named the WAC Men’s Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
The NCAA Championship tournament will begin May 11, for the Broncos with the opponent and site still to be determined.
Tennis Match Results
#23 Boise State 4, #72 Fresno State 0
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