Boise State Wins MW Tennis Championship

Coach Greg Patton has enjoyed a stellar 35-year career coaching men's tennis, but he may have just achieved his best performance. Patton took a 12-15 team into the Mountain West Championships, and today won the Conference title and automatic NCAA berth.

Boise State finished an improbable run to capture the Mountain West Men's Tennis Championship for the fourth consecutive year in Albuquerque, New Mexico today with a 4-3 win over Nevada.

Brian Foley scored two service breaks in the third and final set, then served for the match for a dramatic victory. Boise State topped #4 seed Fresno State and #1 seed New Mexico to reach today's finals.

Nevada got on the board first by winning the doubles point. Robert Allan and Moez Chargui downed Abe Hewko and Brian Foley 6-2. After Garrett Patton and Toby Mitchell won at #2 doubles, the #1 Nevada doubles team of Andrew Poustie and Fernand Sunago beat Thomas Tenreiro and Lewis Roskilly of Boise State 6-4.

For the second consecutive day, that meant that Boise State would have to win four of the six singles matches to win the championship. Hewko (#6 singles) and Mitchell (#3 singles) both won first sets, with Abe winning 6-2 and Toby 6-0.

Roskilly captured a late break at #5 singles, and went on to win his opening set 6-4. But when late breaks at both #1 and #2 singles went against the Broncos, Nevada grabbed a huge momentum swing. Chargui topped Patton 7-5 in the opening set, while Andrada defeated Tenreiro 6-4.

Hewko won his match 6-2, 6-2 to even the team score at one apiece. Mitchell followed shortly afterwards with a 6-0, 6-2 win. Roskilly then scored a break in his second set and emerged victorious 6-4, 6-2 at #5 singles. Boise State held a 3-1 lead at this point, and was one match away from victory.

Tenreiro fell at #2 singles, 6-4, 6-3, and when Patton went down at #1 singles, 7-5, 6-2, the scoreboard read Boise State 3, Nevada 3.

That focused all attention on #4 singles between Foley and Sunago, a match that had gone back and forth all day. Foley was down two set points in the opening set before battling back and winning 7-6 in a tense tiebreaker. He broke serve early to go up 3-1, and scored another break to lead 5-2. Brian then went up 40-0, setting up four match points.

Sunago battled back to save two of them, but with the score 40-30, a Sunago swing ended up in the net, and the victorious Broncos rushed towards the winning Foley to celebrate their championship.

Boise State won its fourth consecutive Mountain West title--the Broncos have still never lost a match in conference championship play. Coach Greg Patton's team will advance to the NCAA Championships against a team to be named later.

The win gave Boise State its fifth conference title this school year, and ensures the Broncos will get at least 25 more points in the Learfield Cup. The Learfield Cup is awarded annually to the college with the best overall sports department. Boise State currently ranks #61 in the nation.


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