Broncos Knock Off #10 Alabama At Nationals

It took a little longer than everyone thought, but Boise State's tennis team has shown it can beat a top ten team this season. The Broncos rallied from a 2-0 deficit to topple the Crimson Tide of Alabama 4-3 yesterday at the National Indoor Tennis Championships.

Boise State's tennis team came back from the doldrums with an electrifying 4-3 victory over #10 Alabama yesterday in the final round of the National Team Indoor Championships.  Luke Shields battled back from a first-set defeat to win his match and propel the Broncos to victory at a time when they needed it most.


After a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to #11 Illinois and a 4-0 defeat at the hands of #3 Ohio State, Coach Greg Patton's team proved it could beat a top ten team.  They did so without one of the top players in school history, Kean Feeder, who is out with an injury.  After losing the doubles point, Boise State had to win four of the six singles matches to earn victory.  They did it in dramatic fashion.


After Alabama's Daniel Buikema  out pointed Steve Robertson at #5 singles, Clemson transfer Paul Koenke led the rebirth by emerging victorious at #6 over Housaam Yassine 6-1, 6-3.  Clancy Shields then came through at #2 singles by defeating Matt Thibaudeau in a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4 thriller and when Piotr Dilaj took his match at #4 over Michael Jung by identical 6-3 counts, the spotlight was squarely on Court One, where Luke and Saketh Myneni of the Crimson Tide were doing battle.  Myneni surprised Shields in the first set 6-4, but Skywalker came back to dominate the final two sets 6-1, 6-3 and the Broncos had their first win over a top ten team this year.


"I can't express enough how ecstatic our team and the coaching staff are right now," Coach Patton said. "We got the monkey off our back.   It is the same terrifying story that we have had in most of matches this season. We are scrapping from behind after losing a close doubles point to tie the score at 3-3 and then we drop the tie breaker to lose the match. Tonight we exorcised the demons by winning the decisive point in the 3rd set of the singles."

"The most important aspect of this win is that our players have never given up their faith in our dreams and goals," he continued. "We have had to suffer through the tie breaker heartbreakers three times this season. Our players have learned to embrace those critical times in the matches with optimism and focus. Tonight for we got a candy gram instead of the boot when we captured the deciding point."


Boise State 4, Alabama 3

1. Thibaudeau/Buikema (
Alabama) def. C. Shields/L. Shields (Boise State), 9-8(5)
2. Koenke/Roberson (
Boise State) def. Myneni/Jung (Alabama),  8-6
3. Struyf/Bes (
Alabama) def. Robertson/Blake Boswell (Boise State), 8-5

Alabama wins doubles point

1. Luke Shields (
BOISE STATE) def. Saketh Myneni (Ala.), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. Clancy Shields (
BOISE STATE) def. Matt Thibaudeau (Ala.), 6-3, 6-4
3. Sammy Struyf (
Ala.) def. Brent Werbeck (BOISE STATE), 7-5, 6-1
4. Piotr Dilaj (
BOISE STATE) def. Michael Jung (Ala.), 6-3, 6-3
5. Daniel Buikema (
Ala.) def. Steve Robertson (BOISE STATE), 6-1, 6-0
6. Paul Koenke (
BOISE STATE) def. Housaam Yassine (Ala.), 6-1, 6-3

Order of finish: 5, 6, 2, 4, 3, 1*
* - clinched win

Bronco Country Top Stories