The Fresno State Rivalry Continues

Fans in both Boise and Fresno are well aware of the friendly but competitive rivalry that exists in football. That fierce competive spirit has spread to other WAC sports, including tennis. Boise State looks to attract a large, loud crowd for Saturday morning's battle between the #21 Broncos and the #62 Bulldogs.

The Boise State tennis team faces one of their toughest battles of the year with archrival Fresno State, #62 in the country, visits the Appleton Center Saturday morning.  The day will also feature a match with Western Athletic Conference foe Utah State at 6 p.m. at Appleton, weather permitting.

Although the Broncos and Bulldogs have only been facing each other regularly since 2001 when Boise State joined the WAC, the rivalry between the two talented and competitive schools has spread from football to other sports.  Last year, Boise State downed Fresno in the finals of the WAC Championships to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Boise State is #21 in the nation with a 23-5 record.  Coach Greg Patton's team has defeated 13 ranked opponents this year.

After a rest last weekend, Luke Shields returns to the top of the lineup.  Shields is ranked 12th in the country with a 19-3 singles record.  Brother Clancy is #62 in the country with a 13-5 singles record.  Sophomore Steve Robertson has become one of the key cogs in the Broncos' success, sporting a 15-2 record in singles play.  Junior Piotr Dilaj has also aided the Bronco cause of late with key victories.  Dilaj and Luke Shields are also ranked #52 in doubles.

 Junior Eric Roberson will need to continue his hot streak to give the Broncos the win over Fresno State Saturday.  Roberson has won seven matches in a row to advance his record to 19-14.  The other starter for Boise State will likely be either Blake Boswell (13-10) or Brent Werbeck (12-7).  

Boise State owns a 14-match winning-streak against Utah State dating back to 1987.  If Boise State can emerge victorious from their battle against Fresno State and they're not exhausted, they'll go for a second win against Utah State later in the day.

According to Bronco star Clancy Shields, the match at Fresno State last year sparked a new rivalry between the two schools.  "This match will be a war, and will be very exciting to watch," Shields said.  "Just like the NCAA Tournament, the level of play will be dramatically intensified due to the rivalry," he added.  Shields encourages Bronco fans to come out and be "loud and intimidating".  "Opponents have admitted getting nervous playing against our crowd, and we will need another one Saturday," he said.  "Tell everyone you know, and I'll see you on Saturday!"

 

 


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