Broncos capture third straight Mountain West title

Broncos capture third straight Mountain West title

Experiencing déjà vu can be uncomfortable to some. And rightfully so ­— repeating the same event in a Bill Murray Groundhog Day kind of way can be
disconcerting.

Head coach Greg Patton and the Boise State men’s tennis team are starting to get used to the same old same old routine.

For the third straight year, Boise State men’s tennis defeated New Mexico to claim the Mountain West Championship and secure a trip to the NCAA Championship.

The Broncos snagged the doubles point to start the day, and finished with three singles victories to earn the 4-0 victory.

The NCAA Championship begins May 9 for the No. 25 ranked Broncos.

“(New Mexico) is sick of us, and they don’t like us anymore,”  coach Patton said.

The team point has been the most consistent form of success for Boise State this season, and against New Mexico, the Broncos won their 18th-straight doubles point. The pair of Brendan McClain and Garrett Patton cruised with an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Boise State (28-4) hasn’t squandered a doubles point since losing to Oregon on the road on March 2.

“Doubles is all about collaboration, passion between two guys and about playing for each other,” Patton said. “Once we get the doubles point we know no one can touch us. And then it empowers the singles.”

After the team point is secured, the Broncos only have to split the six singles matches, something they are very confident in doing. That confidence comes from depth throughout the lineup and the success of the No. 3, four and five players.

Junior Garrett Patton has won 10 matches in a row while sophomore Toby Mitchell has won 12 in a row.

“Damn,” coach Patton said. “That’s impressive. These guys want to win and they’re hungry for that high.”

Boise State may have defeated New Mexico for the Mountain West Championship, but it was the win over Nevada, according to Coach Patton, which secured the title. The Broncos took down the Wolf Pack 4-2 to advance to the conference final.

Nevada also boasts arguably the most talented top-to-bottom roster in the Mountain West.

“Honestly Nevada was the best team in the conference,” coach Patton said. “Once we got past Nevada, I knew that if we won the doubles point there was no way (New Mexico) could touch us. (Nevada) didn’t play anyone, they could’ve beaten teams twice as good. That team is better than half of the teams that get into the NCAA’s.”

Now the Broncos move on to the NCAA Championship in pursuit of Boise State’s first Division I national championship. Patton and the Broncos have earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship in each of the three season they’ve been members of the Mountain West.

The last two seasons, Boise State has needed an at-large berth in order to slide into the NCAA’s. This season, however, the Broncos punched their ticket before the beginning of the conference championship.

“This year we knew we were getting in,” coach Patton said. “This is special.”

John Engel
John Engel is the sports editor of the Arbiter. He got interested in journalism when he was cut from the baseball team his junior year of high school. He started writing for his high school newspaper and swore he would one day work for ESPN, and indeed he did. He recently finished an internship with ESPN as a radio production intern where he talked to Kobe Bryant and almost fainted. He still works with ESPN Radio's Boise affiliate, ESPN Boise as a studio engineer, reporter and SportsCenter anchor. He is majoring in communication with an audio production emphasis, and plans to graduate sometime in the next decade. Follow John on Twitter: @EngelESPN