No. 47 Boise State Heads to South Bend for NCAA First-Round

BOISE, Idaho - The No. 47 ranked Boise State women's tennis team has its eyes set on capping off a historic season by making a run at the 2010 NCAA Team Championships, as the Broncos head to South Bend, Ind. this Friday (May 14) for the opening round of NCAA regionals. Boise State (22-5) is set to meet No. 21 ranked Iowa at 10 a.m. (EST) on Friday on the University of Notre Dame campus.

Looking at the tournament...

Boise State earned its spot in the 64-team NCAA tournament after winning the first Western Athletic Conference title in program history. The first two rounds of the NCAA Team Championships are broken into 16 regional sites, which each host four teams. The Broncos will be joined by Iowa, IPFW and No. 6 ranked Notre Dame.

The top team from each region will advance to Athens, Ga., which is the host site for the last four rounds of the tournament. The winner of Boise State and Iowa will meet the winner of Notre Dame and IPFW on Saturday (May 15) at 12 p.m. (EST) for the right to move on to the round of 16.

Fans can visit for live scoring of all the matches in South Bend, Ind. this weekend.

Boise State in the NCAAs...

The Broncos will look to build upon their growing tradition this weekend as they make their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Team Tournament. Since their inaugural trip to nationals in 1996, the Boise State women's tennis program has qualified seven times; including five trips since 2001. The Broncos are coming off a historic NCAA tournament appearance in 2009, in which they advanced to the second round by beating No. 24 ranked Alabama, 4-3, for the first NCAA tournament win in program history.

Last time out...

Momentum is certainly on Boise State's side as the Broncos are currently riding a 10 dual winning streak that led the women to capturing the first WAC regular season and tournament titles in program history. After beating Hawai'i, 4-0, to open the WAC tournament, the Broncos met No. 3 seed Fresno State in the championship match. Boise State showed its grit against the Bulldogs, as the Broncos fought back from a 3-1 deficit to win the conference title with a 4-3 final. Senior Bianca Jochimsen secured the Boise State win by prevailing at No. 3 singles in the third set to score the final point for the Broncos.

National Rankings...

Despite ending the 2010 regular season on a roll, Boise State dropped four spots to No. 47 in the May 3 ITA National Team Rankings. Thanks in part to winning 19 of their last 20 matches to date, the Broncos have managed to stay in the top-50 of the ITA rankings since March 3, however.

Boise State continues to be led by senior Pichittra Thongdach, who is currently ranked nationally in both singles and doubles. In singles, Thongdach enters the NCAA tournament ranked No. 49 in the country. She has also teamed up with doubles partner Lauren Megale to earn a No. 45 national ranking.

Looking at the Hawkeyes...

The University of Iowa women's tennis team heads to the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid after falling short of capturing the 2010 Big Ten Conference tournament title. The Hawkeyes are 17-6 overall this season which has led them to their No. 21 national ranking. Individually, Iowa is led by Sonja Molnar who is currently the No. 67 ranked singles player in the country. Molnar has also teamed up with Merel Beelen to earn the No. 14 doubles ranking.

Other teams in South Bend...

Nothing will come easy in South Bend, Ind. this weekend as the winner of Boise State and Iowa will have plenty of work left ahead in their second round dual. Notre Dame and IPFW have combined for a 46-8 record this season heading into tournament play.

Notre Dame is 22-3 this spring and enters the NCAA tournament on a seven dual winning streak. The Irish earned the Big East Conference automatic bid to nationals by winning the program's third straight conference title. Notre Dame finished the season ranked No. 6 by the ITA, but was awarded the No. 5 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

IPFW is embarking on a historic journey to nationals as the Mastodons will compete in their first NCAA tournament in program history. IPFW is 24-5 overall this season and heads to South Bend, Ind. on an impressive 21 match winning streak. The Mastodons won the 2010 Summit League Championship, earning them an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

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