Boise State's men's tennis team scored a 4-1 victory over #34 North Carolina of the Atlantic Coast Conference to advance to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tennis Tournament tonight, before a possible record Appleton Center crowd of an estimated 1,000 fans. Coach Greg Patton's Broncos, ranked #31 in the country, took a huge step towards the victory by capturing the doubles point, meaning the Tar Heels would have to win 4 of 6 singles matches to win. They never got close.
Freshman Eric Roberson was on fire, putting away North Carolina's Jonathan Janda in a quick, 6-0, 6-4 match to make the score Boise State 2, North Carolina 0. Thomas Schoeck then downed Brad Pomeroy in a thrilling 6-4, 6-4 match featuring excellent tennis by both players and the Broncos were just one point away from victory. Sebastian Guejman scored UNC's first and only win of the night, beating Beck Roghaar 7-6 (4), 6-2 to make it 3-1 when all eyes turned to the #1 court. Boise State's Luke Shields, who had won the first set 6-4, had Raian Luchici down 5-4 in the second set but wasn't able to put him away so the match went into a tiebreaker. Shields scored a service break early in the tiebreaker, then held on to win his match 6-4, 7-6 (6) and send the huge crowd home happy.
Although the score was 4-1, all the matches were tightly contested, which is what you would expect from the #31 and #34 teams playing. Still, all 3 of the singles wins for Boise State were won in straight sets, and that result was surprising. Matias Silva, the #3 for Boise State, was ahead in the third set of his match and #4 Ikaika Jobe was down in the third set of his when Shield's win stopped play.
Boise State takes on the #16 Texas A & M Aggies of the Big 12 Conference in tomorrow's second round. The Aggies easily blanked Big Sky champion Montana State 4-0 in the tournament's first match. Introductions begin at 5:15 with the match getting underway at 5:30. The Broncos lost to A & M's satellite campus team from Corpus Christi in the championship match of the Red Lion Invitational earlier this year, and this A & M team is better than the one Boise State played. Can the Broncos overcome the odds and shock the Aggies? Come out to the Appleton Center and find out!