Bronco Women Lose Close Championship Match
BOISE, Idaho In its first-ever trip to the Western Athletic Conference Women’s Tennis Championship, Boise State took the four-time defending champion Fresno State Bulldogs to the wire, but came up a little bit short, April 22, at the Appleton Tennis Center.
The Broncos, ranked No. 61 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, fell 4-3 to the No. 23 Bulldogs, ending a 14-dual win streak. At 22-4, the Broncos’ 22 wins this year are a school record for most dual victories in a season.
“This was by far the best match I have ever been apart of in my 19 years of coaching,” Head Coach Mark Tichenor said. “It took a last set to win a conference championship. Unfortunately we came up a little bit short, but we kicked down the door on our way to the championship match, and we can build on this for next year.”
For the first time since March 5, and only the third time this season, Boise State lost the doubles point, ending their streak of 40 consecutive doubles victories.
Seniors Megan Biorkman and Hadley MacFarlane had Fresno State’s Lucia Sainz and Kathrin Winterhalter right where they wanted them, leading 7-4. However, the Fresno State duo, ranked No. 4 by the ITA, won five consecutive games to win the match 9-7, and clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs.
Senior Alanah Carroll, playing in her final home match as a Bronco, responded immediately, tying the dual at one with her singles victory over Magda Tokarska at the fourth position. Carroll won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, to improve her season record to 16-10.
“We have had someone stepping up all season long,” Tichenor said. “It hasn’t just been one or two girls. Alanah is just coming off an injury where she had to sit out for five weeks, and she played outstanding tennis throughout this tournament. She really elevated her game.”
After the Bulldogs went up 2-1 in the dual with a victory at the first position, Boise State responded again. Junior Tiffany Coll evened the score at 2-2, knocking off Bruna Paes, 6-4, 6-3, at the sixth position. Coll improved to 24-4 with the win, and has been victorious in each of her last 14 matches.
Fresno State once again took the lead, winning at the No. 5 position, but just as they had done all day, the Broncos answered with a win of their own. MacFarlane, also playing in her final home match as a Bronco, defeated Kathrin Winterhalter in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, at the second position. With the victory, MacFarlane improved to 32-9 this season.
With the dual tied at 3-3, all eyes were on freshman Tatiana Ganzha. Ganzha lost the first set in the tiebreaker (7-5) to the Bulldogs’ Sainz. However, just as her Bronco teammates had done all day long, Ganzha fought back and forced a third set, winning the second set 6-4. Unfortunately, Sainz was victorious in the third set, 6-2, clinching the victory for the Bulldogs.
Ganzha’s 33 victories this year are tied for the most in a single season by a Bronco women’s tennis player in the last 10 years. Ganzha’s play this year also earned Second Team All-WAC honors, voted on by the coaches.
“Tatiana is 17 years old,” Tichenor said. “She is only a year older than my daughter who is going to the prom this year. All I wanted was her best. She gave everything she had, as did each and every girl on this team. We needed a little boost this year, and we got a big boost from Tatiana and our other freshman.”
For the Bulldogs, it was their fifth consecutive WAC Championship. Although the Broncos lost, Tichenor is happy with where his program is going.
“Losing obviously hurts,” Tichenor said. “The more you put into something, the more it is going to hurt. But look at everything we accomplished this year. Last year’s seniors really got this program going, and this year’s seniors really elevated this team. We want to look at the positives and build towards next season. It will be a long 365 days, but we want to be in this exact position next year, and we will be working even harder to make sure that it happens.”
MacFarlane and Biorkman also earned All-WAC honors; each being named to the first team in both singles and doubles competition. Biorkman was also named to the All-WAC team last season.
No. 1 Fresno State (No. 23 ITA) def. No. 2 Boise State (No. 61 ITA) 4-3
April 22, 2006
Appleton Tennis Center
No. 4 Sainz/Winterhalter, FSU def. Biorkman/MacFarlane, BSU 9-7
Rowe/Tokarska, FSU def. Carroll/Ganzha, BSU 8-6
No. 51 Gloria/Haskett, FSU def. Coll/Mackova, BSU 8-2
Order of Finish 3, 1, 2
Melanie Gloria, FSU def. Megan Biorkman, BSU 6-2, 6-2
Hadley MacFarlane, BSU def. Kathrin Winterhalter, FSU 7-5, 6-4
Lucia Sainz, FSU def. Tatiana Ganzha, BSU 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2
Alanah Carroll, BSU def. Magda Tokarska, FSU 6-1, 6-2
Jacqui Haskett, FSU def. Jana Mackova, BSU 6-2, 6-4
Tiffany Coll, BSU def. Bruna Paes, FSU 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish 4, 1, 6, 5, 2, 3
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