What’s Happening - The No. 23 Boise State University men’s tennis team will travel to Austin, Texas, to play Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the first round of the NCAA Championships Friday, May 11, at noon (MT). The No. 41 ranked Islanders (15-5) made the 64-team field by winning the Southland Conference Championship to receive the conference’s automatic bid. No. 11 Texas (18-8) and Patriot League Champion Navy (15-10) complete the region.
The Team - The Broncos earned the automatic berth in the NCAA Championships by winning their third straight Western Athletic Conference title. Boise State is 29-5 on the season and ride a 13-match winning streak into the NCAA tournament. Last season the Broncos knocked off North Carolina State in the first round before falling to Duke in the regional championship. Boise State’s best finish at the NCAA Championships came in 1997 when they advanced to the quarterfinals.
The Players Seven members of the Boise State men’s tennis team have recorded 20 or more singles victories this season.
WAC Player of the Year, Luke Shields, ranked 15th in the nation, leads the Broncos with 33 singles victories. L. Shields has posted a 23-3 record for the Broncos at No. 1 singles and a 11-6 record in 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 12-match winning streak into the NCAA Championship having dropped only one set during the run.
Clancy Shields, ranked 61st nationally, owns a 23-11 singles record including a 14-5 record in dual match play. C. Shields was named
First Team All-WAC in both singles and doubles for the 2007 season. He was also honored as the 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 to the All-WAC first team in doubles along with C. Shields, while receiving second team honors in singles. Robertson sports a record of 19-3 in singles and an 18-8 record 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 for the Broncos backing up the Shields brothers primarily at the No. 3. He earned First Team All-WAC honors for his play in doubles and Second Team All-WAC in singles. He has come through with critical wins in dual match play throughout the season en route to going 17-9 in singles and 17-7 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 9-5 record at No. 1 doubles and a 14-9 record overall. The duo received a berth in the NCAA Doubles Championship which will begin May 23, at Athens, Ga. Dilaj also earned WAC Player of the Week honors for the week of Apr. 16-22, in which he when 2-0 in singles and 1-1 in doubles, as Boise State defeated Eastern Washington and UC Irvine.
Junior Eric Roberson carries an 11-match winning streak into the NCAA Championships. Roberson owns a 23-14 record on the year including a 18-9 mark in dual match play. He was named to the All-WAC second team for his play in doubles. Roberson has collected victories at the No. 3 through No. 6 positions as he demonstrated his ability to adapt to the situation and succeed.
Blake Boswell has posted a 23-15 record during his freshman campaign including a 15-11 record in dual match play. Boswell owns a 6-0 record while playing No. 2 singles. He was also named to the all-conference second team for his outstanding play in doubles.
Brent Werbeck has recorded 20 victories this season including 14 in dual match play. He carries a seven match winning streak into the weekend. He has also posted a 3-1 record in doubles.
Kean Feeder won the first match of his collegiate career Apr. 21, as he defeated Pannhara Mam at No. 1 singles 6-2 and 6-3. He then followed up with a straight set victory at No. 2 singles to run his record to 2-0. This was only a glimpse of the potential Feeder possesses and his ability to help the team win.
Stanley Sarapanich has won seven of his eight previous matches to post a 8-2 record in singles during dual match play. Sarapanich has also been a doubles specialist for the Broncos compiling a 14-2 record while playing with five partners.
Jamaal Hepburn has posted a 9-4 record on the year including 4-1 in dual play. He opened the season winning four straight before falling to Eastern Washington’s No. 6.