Boise State hosts the 16-team Red Lion Spring Break Classic Tennis Tournament
this week. The teams will play next Wednesday through Saturday at the Appleton
Tennis Center as well as the Racquet and Swim Club and at Crane Creek.
Teams from #28 Texas A & M-Corpus Christi, 64th-ranked BYU, #60 Nebraska, New Mexico State, Gonzaga, NAU, Wichita State, Marquette, Cal Poly SLO, #52 Ball State, Whitman, Montana State, Lewis & Clark, College of Santa Fe and Bradley will join the host Broncos for the tournament.
Boise State is loaded with depth, and that has helped the Broncos with a key injury to their lineup. Freshman Luke Shields is currently ranked #34 in the nation with a record of
23-8 at #1 singles. Shields has won 8 of his last 9 matches. Shields
owns a win over the #11 player in the country and has played many that are
nationally ranked this year. Junior Thomas Schoeck is 21-9 this season and
53-19 in his career as a Bronco. Senior Matias Silva is 21-8 while Ikaika
Jobe is 21-9 in singles and has won 7 of 9. Beck Roghaar is on a roll, winning
14 of his last 16 matches. Roghaar has an overall mark of
17-6. Red-hot freshman Eric Roberson is 20-6 and a winner of
10 of his last 11. Shields and Schoeck are also ranked 7th in
doubles with company in the top 50 from teammates Silva and Jobe, who have
risen to #39 nationally.
Texas A & M-Corpus Christi has a season mark of 10-6, with losses to #12 Texas Tech, #14 Clemson, #17 Texas A & M, #18 Tulane, #39 TCU and #47 Louisiana-Lafayette. The Islanders are winners in 6 of their last 8 matches and are coached by Steve Denton. They feature 4 seniors in their lineup, including Jeremy Blandin and Goncalo Figueiredo, both of whom have been ranked in the top 100 in the past year. The team from Corpus Christi was in this tournament last year, where they advanced to the finals before losing to Boise State 4-0.
BYU of the Mountain West Conference comes into the tournament as the #2 seed with a record of 9-3. Their losses are to #26 Rice, #33 TCU and #7 UCLA. BYU, coached by Brad Pearce, is a young team with 2 juniors, 5 sophomores and 3 freshman. They seem to have found their stride, however, and enter the Red Lion Tournament with 5 consecutive wins, including a 7-0 shutout over #43 Colorado. Jeff Das was ranked 91st recently but lost earlier this season to Jobe of Boise State. Sophomore and former Bronco James Ludlow and freshman Shane LaPorte both have records of 15-6 coming into this week's tournament--Ludlow has won 5 in a row at #2.
Ball State is on a streak of its own, winners of 9 of its last 11 matches coming into the Boise tournament. Overall, they are 11-5 with losses to #3 Illinois, #13 Oklahoma State, #47 UNLV, #48 Michigan, and #53 Northwestern. Ball State is led by 4 seniors and 4 juniors and is coached by Bill Richards.
Nebraska of the Big 12 Conference is 6-7, with losses to #1 Baylor, #13 Oklahoma State, #35 Texas A & M-Corpus Christi, Western Michigan, Air Force, Denver and DePaul. Jerry Posch has the best all-around game on the team and was a junior college All-American in doubles before coming to Lincoln. The Cornhuskers have lost three matches in a row and are coached by Kerry McDermott.
Wichita State sports a 5-4 record coming into the Spring Classic. The Shockers, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, lost to Nebraska earlier this season 5-2 and have a match against Fresno State scheduled for next week. Carlo Contente is the lone senior on the roster that is dominated by underclassmen. Gabriel Loredo was the number one player in Mexico before coming to Wichita State and has a record of 10-3. Boris Gubic, the Croatian Junior National champion, is 12-10 in singles for Wichita State. The Shockers are coached by Chris Young.
New Mexico State competes in the Sun Belt Conference, where they have compiled a 4-10 record. Coach Don Ball's lineup consists of 4 juniors and 3 freshmen. The Aggies were ranked as high as #75 last season but have not broken into the rankings in 2005. Benjamin Archer-Clowes came to New Mexico State from the U.K., where he won the 18-under nationals in doubles.
Marquette, coached by Steve Rodecap, is a member of Conference USA. an up and down season that includes losses to #20 Notre Dame and Iowa as well as several regional wins. Eiquntas Vedrickas plays #1 singles for Marquette, whose doubles teams usually win.
The College of Santa Fe comes into the Spring Classic as the only undefeated team. The Spin are 9-0 and ranked #3 in NAIA. They are not afraid to take on the big boys; Santa Fe defeated New Mexico State 5-2 earlier this season, have a 5-0 victory over Northern Arizona and will play #2 Auburn later this month. Ricardo Omana is the #3-ranked singles player in NAIA with a record of 11-4. Together with #4 Ivan Angulo, the two are the top doubles team in the division. The Spin are coached by Jeff Beaman.
Bradley, coached by Drew Barrett, is another member of the Missouri Valley Conference in this year's tournament. They lost to #48 Tulsa (5-2), #49 Oklahoma, #26 Louisville and #52 Ball State.
Gonzaga competes in the West Coast Conference, and carries a 2-10 record this season. The Bulldogs are coached by John Gant. The 'Zags own a win over one of the Spring Classic teams, a 5-2 victory over Whitman.
Cal Poly of the Big West are 5-10 coming into the Red Lion Invitational, struggling through a rugged schedule that includes losses to #9 USC (5-2), #13 Pepperdine (7-0), #31 Boise State (7-0) and #50 Fresno State (5-2). Fred Dewitte leads 4 freshman on the Mustang team with a 10-5 singles mark. Cal Poly is coached by Trevor Kronemann.
Northern Arizona, a member of the Big Sky Conference, is 3-7 this year including 2 matches against other Spring Classic teams. The Lumberjacks defeated New Mexico State 4-3 and fell to the College of Santa Fe 5-0. One of NAU's best performances was a 5-2 loss to #45 Arizona. Northern Arizona is coached by Albin Polonyi.
Montana State-Billings is a member of the Pacific West Conference in Division 2. They are 0-4 including a loss to Lewis-Clark State of Idaho. The team is coached by Jerry Peach.
Lewis and Clark of the Northwest Conference is 0-2 this season--they match up against 7th-seed Wichita State in the opening match of the tournament.
Whitman comes into the Red Lion Classic with a 4-8 record as a Division 3 school, where they are ranked #17. They are the defending Northwest Conference champions and include 2 seniors, a junior and 5 sophomores on their roster. The Missionaries are coached by Jeff Northam.
Boise State, the #1 seed and #31 in the country, will play Whitman Wednesday morning at 9 with the winner taking on the winner of the New Mexico State (#8 seed) vs. Montana State match Wednesday afternoon at 1:30. If the Broncos can take care of business in those two, the next best team in their bracket of 8 is 5th-seeded University of Nebraska. The semifinal match is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 1:30 on campus.
Here is a look at the brackets and match times:
Come out this week and watch some excellent tennis!