ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 37 Boise State men's tennis fell in a heartbreaking defeat to No. 33 Florida State at the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday. The Broncos jumped out to an early 3-0 lead only to see it disappear during the final four singles matches as the Seminoles came back to hand the Orange and Blue a 4-3 defeat.
It appeared the Broncos had done everything right to win the match. They won the doubles point which foreshadowed a win in each of the 22 matches they had done so this season. Andy Bettles and Damian Hume each won singles matches to extend the lead to 3-0. Even when the match was tied at three, Nathan Sereke won his second-set tiebreaker to stay alive.
The win just was not in the cards for Boise State, as Nathan Sereke Meredith's loss at the top spot came during Sereke's second-set tiebreaker. Sereke had lost the first set in tiebreak fashion but rebounded with a 7-2 win during the second to see a third set. In the third set, he and Florida State's Benjamin Lock traded a service break in the before Lock broke Sereke's final serve to win 7-6, 6-7, 7-5.
Despite starting the match at 7 a.m. MT, the Broncos showed they were awake and ready during doubles play. The No. 3 team of Bettles/Pogostkin jumped out to a 4-0 lead while the No. 1 duo of Meredith/Sereke took a 5-0 lead to start the match. Bettles/Pogostkin went to a 8-2 victory. Meredith/Sereke survived a late charge by the No. 54 doubles team in the nation to finish on top of an 8-5 decision.
In singles, 69th-ranked Damian Hume cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 win on court two to make the score 2-0.
Andy Bettles followed closely with a 6-2, 6-3 straight-sets wins at the number three position to extend the lead to 3-0, one point away from the four-point finish line.
The Seminoles showed no surrender though, taking wins on courts six, five and one to even the score at three apiece.
Florida State 4, Boise State 3
NCAA Tournament - First Round, May 12, 2012
1. James Meredith/Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. #54 Blake Davis/Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 8-5
2. Andres Bucaro/Benjamin Lock (FSU) def. Damian Hume/Scott Sears (BSU) 8-3
3. Andy Bettles/Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) def. Dominic Cotrone/Anderson Reed (FSU) 8-2
Order of Finish: 3,2,1
1. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) def. #94 James Meredith (BSU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
2. #69 Damian Hume (BSU) def. Blake Davis (FSU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Andy Bettles (BSU) def. Andres Bucaro (FSU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Benjamin Lock (FSU) def. Nathan Sereke (BSU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (2-7), 7-5
5. Cristian Gonzalez (FSU) def. Filipp Pogostkin (BSU) 7-5, 6-4
6. Jason Zafiros (FSU) def. Scott Sears (BSU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,6,5,1,4