The Platoon won as a family at Tuscaloosa. In fact this win is as important for the program as the years-ago-match in 1997 on UCLA's home courts when the team from nowhere knocked off the Bruins and moved to #2 in the nation. That year Greg Patton's guys went on to end up #5 in the nation.
Back then the tennis community in Southern California squirmed and in unison, chanted... the UCLA Bruins lost to a team from where…huh? Boise State…somewhere in Iowa? That years ago tennis shocker, was no greater than the match against regional top seeded Alabama, who's tide is more Blue Turf Blue today than Crimson.
The 2008 version of the Patton's Special Forces Unit overcame some strange gamesmanship…in my opinion, to do something as big, maybe bigger, They came from behind, defeated the top seeded Crimson Tide from Alabama 4-3, on their courts before a home crowd, to advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" of tennis.
The match stood at 3-2 ‘Bama. Clancy came from behind to win his singles and even the score at 3-3.
Now it was up to Cristian Hodel playing at #4 singles, He lost his first set to a guy who normally plays #3 singles for ‘Bama. He won the second set 7-5. All other matches had been decided and the winner of the third set would decide which team was moving on. The set was even with no breaks. At 5-5, Cristian held serve to lead 6-5. Looked like a tiebreaker was coming. But, the pressure was too great for 'Bama…and the Tide guy lost his serve to give Cristian the third set…7-5…and the second Bronco trip ever to the sweet sixteen of big time college tennis.
The Band of Brothers play powerhouse programs all season. Many are deeper with talent. I've seen it again and again since Greg Patton returned to Boise State from coaching his USTA junior team to a world championship.
Patton's guys may not be as deep, but they play as a family with an intensity that comes from building a tight knit band of brothers.
That, BC readers, is worth an extra point every match.
Go, Bronco's. Focus on your next opponent who has not experienced the intensity of meeting a General Patton Special Forces Unit.