It's Going to be a Great Year!

The upcoming men's tennis season is the most eaglerly anticipated campaign at Boise State in nine years. An already promising group of returning players became even better with a sensational recruiting year, judged by many to be one of the best in the country. In this article, we look at the season ahead for Coach Greg Patton's troops.

Can Coach Patton's guys beat UCLA this year? They did in 1997…at their house!

This year The Bronco's get another chance. You would think Boise State was in the Pac-10. This season the Broncos will be playing UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, and Oregon. Read the news from past…about the victory over UCLA.

Jeff Northam, Whitman College tennis coach, said in1997... "Not everyone realizes this, but Boise State University has one of the strongest NCAA Division I tennis programs in the country. My time there gave me the opportunity to learn from one of the nation's best coaches, Greg Patton. This past spring, for example, the Boise State men's team beat UCLA in Los Angeles. It was only the second time this decade that UCLA had lost at home."

Billy Martin, UCLA's coach said in 1997... "We had a good year. Our loss to Boise wasn't a bad loss, and losing to Stanford is no slouch. Those losses were against top teams in the country. We achieved great things."

And from another article in 1997... "In years past, UCLA looked like it may finally have put together the firepower to shake off previous disappointments. After losing their second match of the season to Boise State, the Bruins rocketed onto a 22-match winning streak, laying claim to the No. 1 ranking and defending their National Indoor Championship in the process.

2006 Bronco tennis goes big time.

The first major event is the Mountain Region Team Playoff at Boise's Boas Center, on January 21. The winner advances to the National Team Indoor Championships.

On January 26 the Bronco's travel to Pepperdine, currently ranked #9. The next day, January 27, they drive across Southern California to play the 2005 NCAA National Champions, UCLA, currently ranked #5. Then it's back to Boise for a match against another powerhouse, Texas A & M, currently ranked #13. On April 4, they play Stanford, currently ranked # 14. Boise State is currently ranked #28.

If they are victorious at the indoor regional in Boise, the Broncos will travel to Seattle, February 17-20, for the National Team Indoor Championship.

It gets better. The spring outdoor schedule is loaded with matches against power teams. The lineup includes Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, William & Mary, Santa Clara, Colorado, and Denver.

In March the Bronco's will host Arizona, Oregon, William & Mary, and U of San Diego, playing outdoors, right next to Taco Bell Arena, at the Appleton Tennis Center. No admission charge to the public.

Then, again outdoors at Appleton, March 23-26, the Bronco's host the annual Boise State Classic Tournament, a chance to see more D-1 powerhouse college tennis. Betcha' this year they win it.

Wow! The WAC Championships will also be at Appleton Tennis Center. The dates for the competition are April 21-23.

Here is the link to the schedule.

The Broncos must step it up to compete with these teams. They will. Coach Patton has recruited at least three top-level junior players, all national tournament champions. Kean Feeder, barely short of phenomenal, is on campus and in school awaiting NCAA clearance. Some of the guys say he may be the best player on the team. That's saying a lot when you have two national champion power players like Luke and Clancy Shields.

A sad turn of events is the loss of 2003 star, senior Nils Klemann, to another injury requiring his third surgery in the past ten months. He is out for the season. We hope he can recover and come back for 2007.

The team is short one or two players, especially with the loss of Nils. Not to worry. Coach Patton says he may have a few more surprise announcements in the next few weeks.

How does scoring a tennis match work?

To win a team competition a team must win four of the seven points in a match. There is one point for doubles and six points for singles.

There are three doubles matches that will decide the doubles point. A doubles match is played in a pro set format with one eight game set. The first team winning eight games leading by two games wins that doubles match. In the event of an eight games to eight tie, a tiebreaker is played. The team taking two of the three matches wins the doubles point.

Next are the six singles matches. The team that won the doubles point needs to split the singles by winning three of them. The pressure is on the loser of the doubles point. That team must take four of the six singles to win the team match.

To win a national championship, or a major tournament, a team must be strong through number four, five, and six singles. The players in a team competition are slotted according to their ability on their team. Boise's top singles player would play UCLA's top singles player in the number one singles match. Boise's number two plays against UCLA's number two in the number two singles match…and so on.

So how does it look for 2006? This writer thinks this team may be the best team in Boise State history. This year's version is deep with exceptional talent through all six. Maybe stronger yet…with a few more great players added to the roster.

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