FRESNO, Calif. - The No. 42 ranked Boise State men's tennis team fell short of a late rally in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Championships in Fresno, Calif., Saturday (May 1), as the Broncos were bounced from the conference tournament with a 4-2 loss to No. 29 Fresno State.
Boise State (19-11), who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, fell behind early to the No. 2 seed Bulldogs and couldn't recover despite a late rally in singles play. The Broncos dropped doubles matches at No. 1 and No. 2 to lose the crucial doubles point and fall behind 1-0 in the dual. Alex Bothe and Erik Sheldon scored the only doubles win for Boise State with an 8-4 victory over Siddharth Alapati and Tejesvi Veerepalli at No. 3.
Fresno State managed to extend its lead early on in singles with a win at No. 3. Vicente Joli scored the first point of the day for the Broncos by beating Rikus de Villiers, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 2. A 6-3, 7-6 win by Jeff Mullen over Alapati at No. 6 would even the score for Boise State at 2-2.
The Bulldogs would answer quickly, however, winning at No. 4 to put a berth in the WAC championship match within reach. With just two matches left being played out, Boise State was in search of a miraculous comeback. That comeback would fall short, though, as No. 47 ranked James Meredith would fall to Mirko Zapletal, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the No. 1 singles match to end the Broncos' rally.
The loss ends Boise State's weekend at the WAC championships and puts the Broncos as a long shot for qualifying to the 2010 NCAA tournament. After entering the conference tournament on the bubble for an at-large bid to nationals, the Broncos may now be left on the outside looking in.
The tournament field for this year's NCAA championships on Tuesday (May 4).
#29 Fresno State 4, #42 Boise State 2
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 3, 2)
- #24 Remi Boutillier/Rikus de Villiers (FS) def. James Meredith/Jeff Mullen (BSU) 8-2
- #88 Taylor Leiby/Mirko Zapletal (FS) def. Vicente Joli/Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) 8-6
- Alex Bothe/Erik Sheldon (BSU) def. Siddharth Alapati/Tejesvi Veerepalli (FS) 8-4
Singles: (Order of finish: 3, 2, 6, 4, 1)
- Zapletal (FS) def. #47 Meredith (BSU) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Vicente Joli (BSU) def. de Villiers (FS) 6-4, 6-3
- Boutillier (FS) def. Pogostkin (BSU) 6-1, 6-3
- Veerepalli (FS) def. Harry Skinner (BSU) 6-1, 7-6
- David Ayoun (FS) vs. Bothe (BSU) unfinished (6-3, 3-6, 3-2)
- Mullen (BSU) def. Alapati (FS) 6-3, 7-6