Broncos Close Regular Season Strong
April 23, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State women's tennis closed out the regular season with a 4-3 win Saturday, over Utah State at the Boas Indoor Tennis Center. The Broncos (12-9) fought back from an early deficit with fearless play up and down the singles lineup. They have now won four matches in a row and eight of their last 10 entering the conference tournament.
"We feel tough and ready," said head coach Beck Roghaar. "We feel like we've been through all the battles this year. We played a really difficult schedule and looked at it as a growing experience to help us be our best when it mattered most. It's really coming together with us having our best performances at the end of the year."
On a day Boise State honored its three seniors and brought tears prior to the match, it was Utah State that drew first blood. The Aggies (10-12) claimed the doubles point with a pair of tight matches at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Utah State, which entered the match 8-0 this season when winning the doubles point, took the first singles match to finish and claimed a 2-0 lead.
At the Boas Indoor Tennis Center, the singles courts are split into two buildings with the odd-numbered matches playing in one and even-numbered matches in the other. The Aggies' win on court three was coupled with a first-set victory on court one. Meanwhile, across the way Boise State was winning the first set in all three matches to make things more interesting.
"Up and down the lineup, that's why we won this match," said Roghaar. "We're understanding that it's going to take every single person getting their job done. That's why we won both of our matches last week, too. We're putting it together and understanding that it takes all of us to accomplish our goals."
On the even side, senior Teal Vosburgh collected a 6-2, 6-3 win on court two to celebrate her final home match and draw the team score even. Nancy Menjivar made quick work of a third set to wrap up a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 decision at the No. 6 position and pull the Broncos within a set of the team win.
"Attitudes can definitely change as you get word about things unfolding on either side," said Roghaar. "It was important for the 1, 3, 5 side that Ari was up and energetic. It was huge knowing that 2, 4, 6 was taking care of business. Even after we dropped the first match we knew we were still in it. There are going to be ebbs and flows in a college tennis match. We've learned to manage those so well and that's really helping us get better at winning as a team."
Kantenwein, the reigning Mountain West Player of the Week, took matters into her own hands. The freshman completed her comeback on the top court against Nini Guensler. She eventually closed it out and clinched the team victory with a cross-court, backhand winner to close out the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"Guensler always makes it tough," Roghaar said. "She did that again today and Hanna had to play some really good tennis to pull it out. She played well in the big moments of that match. To be in those situations and getting the job done as a freshman is big."
Utah State picked up a win on court four to provide the final margin. USU's Monica Van De Vondel outlasted Megan LaLone in a battle for the ages. Van De Vondel emerged victorious 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 11-9.
Boise State will travel to the Mountain West Championship next week in Fort Collins, Colo. The Broncos will learn their seeding Monday, based on final ITA Rankings and a vote of the conference's coaches, if applicable. The tournament runs April 28 through May 1, at the Colorado State University Tennis Complex.
"To win the tournament it's going to take us winning some doubles points," said Roghaar. "We understand that, but it's not a matter of reinventing the wheel, so we feel like we can do that. There are things we can execute better."
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