It took seven hours to determine the winner of the quarterfinal matchup of the Mountain West Championship between Boise State and Wyoming. The Broncos fell, 4-3, after being unable to win the doubles point in the sixth and seventh hours of competition.
“Slug fest. That’s the only way I can describe it,” Boise State head coach Beck Roghaar said.
The match began at 9:30 a.m., and it wasn’t until the sun was setting over Fresno, Calif. that a winner had emerged.
Leading the match 3-2 in the team score, the Broncos had an incredible opportunity to move ahead 4-2, and clinch a semifinal spot in the tournament, at No. 6 singles. Junior Sammie Watson was up 5-2 in the third set, but an injury timeout called by Wyoming stole all of the momentum away from Boise State.
Watson ended up losing her match 0-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5.
“It was a back-and-forth battle and Sammie left everything she had out there. She played her heart out,” Roghaar said. “With the whole team there cheering for her, she was living and dying on every point. At the end of the day, it didn’t go our way.”
Seven hour matches are by no means ordinary and playing through a day-long battle is difficult on both the players and the coaches. However, Roghaar believes his team was sufficiently conditioned and prepared for the uncharacteristic match.
“When it’s that important to all of us it’s not difficult to keep your spirits up because we wanted it so bad,” Roghaar said. “We were all doing everything we all good as a team and as a coaching staff to support the players who were out there.”
“Attack the future.”
This is the mantra seen repeatedly across social media and the internet which was adopted by the rejuvenated Boise State football program during a difficult transition.
Much like the football team, the Boise State women’s tennis team has had to deal with some changes of their own, resulting in a similar catch phrase.
The Broncos are still struggling from NCAA sanctions imposed in September of 2011 and haven’t completely adjusted to the move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West.
Hoping to continue the upward trend will be next season’s senior class of Watson, Kaitlyn Brown, while the team is losing crucial leaders Morgan Basil, Sandy Vo and Anissa Bryant-Swift.
“We’re on the rise,” Roghaar said. “When you look at what some of the girls have gone through over the past few years with NCAA penalties and what they’ve been able to do for the program it’s absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t be more proud of our girls for what they’ve done over the last three or four years and how much the program has moved forward.”