The Boise State tennis team, ranked 32nd nationally, rolled to a surprisingly easy 4-0 win over #36 Middle Tennessee State yesterday in the quarterfinal round of the Blue-Gray Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama. The Broncos meet head on with the 20th-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame this afternoon at 1 in the semifinals. The Irish won a hard-fought match against Western Athletic opponent Fresno State 4-2. In the tournament's other semifinal match, Tulsa, which shocked #1 seed Louisville 4-0 today, will meet 3rd-seeded Virginia Commonwealth. VCU, which defeated Texas Tech 4-2 today, is gunning for its 3rd Blue-Gray title in the last four years.
The Broncos' top doubles team of Luke Shields and Thomas Schoeck were tied with the number two team in the nation, Marco Born and Andreas Siljestrom at 8-8 and 5-5 in the tie-breaker, when the match was stopped because Boise State's other two doubles teams (Steve Robertson and Clancy Shields at two and Pitriok Dilaj and EricRoberson at three) had each won to secure the team doubles point.
In singles, Shields, Schoeck and Brent Werbeck all won in straight sets to give the Broncos the victory. At the time Boise State clinched th match, both Clancy Shields and Piotr Dilaj were ahead as well. With the win, Boise State has won ten matches in a row to advance their season mark to 10-3.
Notre Dame has a powerful lineup at singles, featuring four nationally-ranked players. It will be crucial for the Broncos to capture the doubles point; their chances perhaps being helped by the shuffling of Notre Dame's doubles pairings throughout the season.
Here's the expected lineup for tomorrow's semifinal match between Boise State and Notre Dame:
#1 Thomas Schoeck and Luke Shields of Boise State, 14-7 (17th in the nation) vs. Ryan Keckley and Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame (2-1)
#2 Steve Robertson and Clancy Shields (12-0) for the Broncos against Eric Langenkamp and Roth from Notre Dame (4-0)
#3 Piotr Dilaj and Eric Robertson for Boise State (5-3) vs. Notre Dame's Santiago Montoya and Barry King (0-1)
#1 Boise State's Luke Shields (6-1, So.) 18-6, #23 in the country vs. Notre Dame's Stephen Bass (5-11, Jr.) 23-5, #13 in the country
#2 Boise State's Thomas Schoeck (6-2, Sr.) 13-6 vs. Notre Dame's Sheeva Parbhu (5-11, So.) 21-5, #32 in the nation
#3 Boise State's Clancy Shields (6-1, Fr.) 9-3 vs. Notre Dame's Brett Helgeson (6-4, Fr.) 17-6, #89 in the nation
#4 Boise State's Eric Roberson (6-2, So.) 11-7 vs. Notre Dame's Ryan Keckley (6-1, Jr.) 15-3
#5 Boise State's Piotr Dilaj (Jr.) 6-0 vs. Notre Dame's Barry King (6-4, Jr.) 9-5, #106 in the country
#6 Boise State's Brent Werbeck (6-1, So.) 13-8 vs. Notre Dame's Eric Langenkamp (6-0, Sr.) 10-7
#32 Boise State 4, #36 Middle Tennessee State 0
1. L. Shields/Schoeck, Boise State, vs. Born/Siljestrom, MTSU, 8-8 DNF
2. Robertson/C. Shields, Boise State, def. Schledorn/Allen, MTSU, 9-7
3. Dilaj/Roberson, Boise State, def. Pollack/Richard, MTSU, 8-2
1. Luke Shields, Boise State, def. Andreas Siljestrom, MTSU, 7-6 6-1
2. Thomas Schoeck, Boise State, def. Marco Born, MTSU, 6-3 6-4
3. Clancy Shields, Boise State, vs. Kai Schledorn, MTSU, 7-5 5-2 DNF
4. Eric Roberson, Boise State, vs. Brandon Allen, MTSU, 7-5 2-6 0-1 DNF
5. Piotr Dilaj, Boise State, vs. Morgan Richard, MTSU, 6-4 6-6 DNF
6. Brent Werbeck, Boise State. def. Greg Pollack, MTSU, 6-3 6-3