By Brandon Walton
The Boise State Men’s tennis team returned home from a long difficult road trip and got back into the winning column when they defeated the Utah Utes 6-1 Saturday afternoon on a beautiful day of tennis at the Appleton Tennis Center. They were quite happy to be playing back at home as they hadn’t played a home game since Jan 19.
“On the road for 5 weeks, absolutely no place like home,” Head Coach Greg Patton said.
During the road trip, the Bronco men had a huge victory against Minnesota but during that time spent away they lost 6 out of 7 contests. It was quite the grueling experience for the Broncos.
“I feel like we have been crawling through, trying to survive the deserts, through the jungles, through the mountains,” Patton said on the road trip.
The Broncos certainly responded to being back in front of the home crowd as there were many supporters out to welcome the men back. They started it off with a bang by sweeping the doubles competition going 3-0. Starting it off for the men was sophomore Garrett Patton and senior Scott Sears, who decimated Dmytro Mamedov and Alejandro Medinilla 8-3. Patton and Sears were firing on all cylinders and were emotionally charged for this contest.
“We fit each other’s game styles well, makes it easy to work together and win,” Garrett said.
Next for the Broncos were juniors Nathan Sereke and Andy Bettles who had little trouble taking apart Slim Hamza and Devin Lane 8-2.
Finally closing it out for Boise State and completing the sweep in doubles were freshman Toby Mitchell and senior Filipp Pogostkin who were involved in the most competitive and most exciting doubles match of the day. They jumped out to the early lead but then Ben Tasevac and Cedric Willems rallied back to make it interesting. But Mitchell and Pogostkin held them off to defeat them 8-6.
The singles play is where Boise State really cranked up the heat and left Utah in the dust. Starting it off for the Broncos was Patton, who defeated Ben Tasevac in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
“It was good to get a win finally; the best cure for a loss is a win,” Patton said.
Next for Broncos was Bettles who breezed past Dmytro Mamedov in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Bettles has been having quite the year for Boise State as he is currently ranked the 30th rank player in the nation in singles.
“We had a couple losses before so we were really focused on doing the right things and it was great to see the result as a win,” Patton said.
Continuing the winning ways for the Broncos was Sereke, who outplayed Slim Hanza 6-4, 6-1. Boise State would get one final straight set victory when Pogostkin defeated Cedric Willems 6-2, 6-4. The final two singles contests would prove to be the most exciting matches of the day.
First was freshman Thomas Tenreiro who after dropping the first set rallied back in a big way to dominate the rest of the match by winning in a tie breaker 3-6, 6-2, 10-4 over Devin Lane. Finally the last match of the day to conclude was Scott Sears and Alejandro Medinilla.
It was the most exciting match of the day and had everyone on the edge of their seats. After dropping the first set Sears would rally back to force a tie breaker. He would go on to lose a heart breaking 6-3, 5-7, 11-9. That would be the Broncos only loss to the Utes on the day.
With the win the Broncos extend their home court winning streak to 22 games.
“Warriors become warriors in war; we’ve been at war with every match we have been fighting for our lives,” Patton said.
With the victory the Broncos improve to 4-7 on the year as team. Boise State next hits the road again with matches at San Francisco next Saturday and Stanford next Sunday.