Meet the newest Bronco tennis player, Piotr "Peter" Dilaj, aka- The Mirage, from Gdansk, Poland, one of the three new guys who will be a big part of the future success of Boise State tennis.
He arrived on campus last week, was cleared to play by the NCAA, and quickly made his mark. On February 4, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Peter won all three matches he played in.
He comes with big time tennis credentials. In 2002 he was ranked #1 in Poland in junior doubles with his twin brother Pawel, and #3 in singles. His world junior ranking listed by ITF was #121 in doubles, and #178 in singles. Most impressive is his tournament record. He reached the quarters, semis, or finals in twenty-five International European tennis tournaments.
The Dilaj family is similar to the Luke and Clancy Shields family. They all play tennis. His mother, Wanda is the coach. His twin brother Pawel was his doubles partner in many of his competition matches. Pawel is presently playing #3 doubles and #5 singles for Auburn University. Then there are two other members of the family, Maciej and Macial who play.
Gdansk, his hometown, is similar to Boise. The population in 2004 was listed as 460,000. There is a river, like the Boise River, the Matawa, running through it.
The similarities end there. Boise's first European settlers arrived around 1819, when trapper Donald MacKenzie held a rendezvous with Native Americans on the banks of the Boise River. In 1834, Fort Boise was established.
Gdansk was first settled in the year 970 AD and has 1000 years of history. In the 16th and 17th century the city was the leading commercial center in Europe. Those who travel to Poland say that Gdansk is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The city is rich in medieval history, architecturally magnificent, and a center of historic conquests and victories. World War II began in Gdansk, and it can be said communism in the Eastern Block Countries ended in Gdansk. The city is the home of Lech Walesa, President of Poland, 1990-1995, the union leader who rose to power and was responsible for bringing down much of the iron curtain.
Welcome to Boise State Piotr Dilaj! We look forward to watching you play at Appleton.
This weekend is another big one.
The Broncos are after revenge. The Utah Utes knocked the Broncos out of the National Indoor Qualifier at Boise's Boas Tennis Center last month. They travel to Salt Lake City on Feb.10th, to play them again. Match time 5 PM. Last weekend Utah beat Denver 4-3, and lost again to Colorado, 3-4.
On Feb.11th the Broncos drive down the Interstate to Provo to play the BYU Cougars, match time also 5 PM. The Cougs, like the Broncos, got beat up pretty badly on a recent trip to Southern California. They lost to Santa Barbara 3-4, then Pepperdine 1-6, and UCLA 1-6.
Ex-Bronco, BYU's James Ludlow faired a bit better than Luke did against UCLA's Ben Kohlloeffel, the third ranked singles player in the nation. Ludlow lost 2-6, 3-6. Luke lost 0-6 and 0-6.
Head-on collision scheduled down the road…the Stanford Cardinals.
Last weekend, February 4th, Stanford, #12, upset UCLA #4.
The Bronco's will be traveling to Northern California to play Fresno on April 2. On April 4 they travel further north to the San Francisco Bay Area for a match with Stanford. The Broncos will be a different team when this match rolls around. Another chance for a major national upset.
The big questions for the weekend ahead, will Piotr Dilaj elevate the level of team play like he did last weekend? And will the rowdy and raucous "Intimidators", Clancy Shields and Steve Robertson, continue their undefeated streak and get wins #7 and #8?