BOISE, Idaho - The No. 42 ranked Boise State men's tennis team will look to keep its season alive this weekend as the Broncos (19-11) travel to Athens, Ga. for the first round of the 2010 NCAA Team Championships. The men open their weekend at regionals against No. 29 Florida State, Saturday (May 15), in a dual that is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. (EST).
Looking at the tournament...
The 64-team NCAA Team Tournament kicks off this weekend (May 15-16) with matches being played at 16 different regional locations around the country. The first two rounds of the single elimination tournament will be played out this weekend, after which the 16 teams left standing will advance to the final rounds in Athens, Ga. The last four rounds of the tournament will be held May 20-25.
Boise State will be competing against FSU on Saturday for the chance to meet the winner of Georgia and UNC Greensboro on Sunday (May 16). The winners of those two duals will meet at 2 p.m.
Fans can visit www.georgiadogs.com for live video and live scoring of all the matches being played at the University of Georgia this weekend.
Boise State in the NCAAs...
The Boise State men's tennis team is entering familiar territory this weekend as the Broncos make their sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Team Tournament. The Broncos have qualified for the national team championships every year since 2005, which included a trip to the round of 16 in 2009. Boise State's best finish in the NCAA tournament came in 1997 when the Broncos tied for fifth-place after reaching the quarterfinals. Since its first trip in 1994, Boise State has reached the NCAAs 14 times.
Last time out...
The Broncos will look to make the most of their extended season following an early exit from the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Championships. After entering the conference tournament with the No. 3 seed, Boise State fell to No. 2 seed Fresno State, 4-2, in the semifinal round. The Broncos fell behind early by losing the doubles point and could never recover, losing at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 singles to drop the match.
Boise State did open the WAC tournament with a big win, however, as the Broncos topped No. 68 ranked New Mexico State, 4-1, to advance to the semifinals.
Boise State remained steady at No. 42 in last week's ITA National Team Rankings, having not played a dual in over a week. The Broncos have been No. 42 for two consecutive weeks and have managed to stay in the top-50 since March 30. The final ITA Team Rankings will be released following the conclusion of the NCAA Team Championships.
Individually, Boise State continues to be led by sophomore James Meredith, who dropped eight spots to No. 55 in the May 3 singles rankings after going 1-1 at the WAC tournament. Meredith's drop marks his worst ranking of the season, and the only time he has fallen out of the top-50 all spring.
Looking at the Seminoles...
The Florida State men's tennis team presents a load of concern for the Broncos, as the Seminoles have enjoyed a great deal of success both as a team and individually this season. FSU has played its way to a 14-9 overall record, which includes 10 wins over nationally ranked opponents. The Seminoles also boast three singles players currently ranked in the top-70 nationally, to go along with two top-60 doubles teams.
In singles, FSU is led by Jean-Yves Aubone who is ranked No. 31 nationally. He is followed by Vahid Mirzadeh at No. 54 and Clint Bowles at No. 66. In doubles, the Seminoles are paced by Connor Smith and Mirzadeh at No. 37. Rounding out the group of ranked doubles teams is Aubone and Bowles, who are currently No. 57.
Other teams in Athens...
Should Boise State find success against Florida State on Saturday, the Broncos would be met by another big challenge on Sunday with a dual against the winner of Georgia and UNC Greensboro. Both teams have been highly successful already this season, although Georgia holds the distinct advantage of playing at home.
The No. 12 ranked Bulldogs are 12-2 in Athens this season, which has helped propell them to a 17-7 overall dual record. Georgia's one area of struggle, however, has been against nationally ranked opponents in which the Bulldogs are just 4-6 this spring.
UNC Greensboro enters regionals as the only team in the pairing currently not ranked nationally by the ITA, but has played to a strong 17-5 overall record this season. The Spartans earned an automatic bid to the NCAA championships after winning the Southern Conference Tournament title a few weeks ago.