Boise State Falls In Second Round of NCAA Championships
AUSTIN, Texas The No. 23 Boise State University men’s tennis dropped a highly competitive match to No. 11 Texas 4-2, Saturday, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
For the first time this season the Broncos failed to win the match after capturing the doubles point.
Kean Feeder and Eric Roberson earned to victory at No. 2 doubles when they defeated Milan Mihailovic and Miguel Reyes Varela 8-5. The match was tied at five apiece before Feeder and Roberson broke Texas’ serve and completed two of their own to rattle off the three game winning streak for the victory.
Steve Robertson and Piotr Dilaj were tied with Luis Diaz Barriga and Jon Wiegand 6-6 before the Boise State duo converted their serve and broke Texas’ for the 8-6 victory. This was the fourth consecutive victory for Robertson and Dilaj who did not play together until the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Championship. The victory gave Boise State the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.
Although the Broncos battled fiercely at the No. 1 through No. 6 positions, only Luke Shields walked away with a singles victory.
Luke Shields, ranked No. 15 in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, defeated No. 41 Dimitar Kutrovsky at the No. 1 position 6-1 and 6-4. With the victory L. Shields improved to 34-6 in singles play including 24-3 in dual match play, with all victories coming at the No. 1 position. L. Shields began the match strong jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, before finishing Kutrovsky off 6-1. In the second set, the two players exchanged serves and L. Shields found himself down 1-2 but he would go on to convert his next two serves while breaking Kutrovsky’s serve to take the 4-3 lead which L. Shields did not relinquish en route to the 6-4 victory. Even with the team losing, L. Shields will continue his season at the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships May 23-28 at Athens, Ga. He will be competing in both the singles and doubles competition.
Victory narrowly escaped Steve Robertson at the No. 6 position as he and Jonah Kane-West needed a tiebreaker to decide the second set. In the first set, Robertson jumped out to the early 2-0 lead before Kane-West broke and converted his own serves to take the 3-2 lead. Robertson then stormed back, capturing three straight games of his own for the 5-3 advantage. The two players then exchanged points as Robertson ended the first set with the 6-4 win. In the second set the two players where neck-and-neck through as they were tied at three, four, five and six, forcing the second set tiebreaker which Kane-West won 7-1. Robertson was one of two members of Boise State to earn 20 victories in singles during dual match play as he finished the dual match season 20-4.
Kean Feeder and Luis Diaz Barriga also required a third set to decide the fate of their match at No. 3 singles. Feeder won the first set 7-5, then Diaz Barriga won the second 6-4 to force a decisive third set. In the third set, the match was tied 1-1 before Diaz Barriga broke Feeder’s serve and converted his own for the 3-1 advantage which he would not relinquish. Feeder took the next game to make 2-3 but Diaz Barriga then went on a three match wining streak to capture the third set 6-2 giving Texas the victory.
In other singles action, Clancy Shields dropped his match to Miguel Reyes Varela 6-1 and 6-3, while Piotr Dilaj fell in straight sets to Milan Mihailovic 6-1 and 6-4. Blake Boswell also lost at the No. 5 position to Josh Zavala 6-3 and 6-2.
“I am so proud of the all the guys,” said head coach Greg Patton. “We fought till the very end. We were down in all three doubles matches and battled back for the doubles point. I think this sets the tone heading into next season. I just wish we could start the (2007-08) season tomorrow.”
This is the third consecutive year Boise State has lost in the second round of the NCAA Championships. The Broncos have not advanced to the Round of 16 since 1997 when they made the quarterfinals. Boise State finished the season 30-6 for their best winning percentage (83.3) in a decade. The six Bronco losses all came against teams ranked in the top 20.
The season will continue for Luke Shields and Piotr Dilaj May 23 when they travel to Athens, Ga., to compete in the doubles portion of the NCAA Championships. Clancy Shields is also the second alternate in the singles competition.
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