Sports

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The Boise State men’s golf team heads into their biggest tournament of the year this weekend—the Mountain West Championship.

Head coach Dan Potter and the team understands the implications of this tournament—this is their last opportunity to leave a mark on the season.

“At the end of the day, there is some finality to this tournament,” Potter said. “This is the biggest tournament of our year. Every other tournament, we could say that we had another coming up. This one we really do not.”

For some, it is an opportunity to play in the MW tournament. For the five Treasure Valley natives on the team—like sophomore Kyle Mitsunaga who graduated from Boise High School—it is a chance to represent the city they grew up in.

“You have people in the community that knew you personally way before you were thinking of playing college golf,” Mitsunaga said. “Just to get that support, knowing that they are backing us up is pretty cool.”

David Elliott and Ty Travis, natives of Eagle, Idaho, also hope to represent their hometown with pride in his last tournament as a Bronco.

“Growing up around here being a big Boise State fan, whether it was football, basketball or the golf team, just being able to wear the blue and orange and carry the bag is a pretty big deal,” Elliott said. “It is something that was important to us as kids—looking up to the guys on the team. Now we are able to carry the torch and do that on our own.”

The team has one goal left this weekend—to win.

“Seeing as how we have  a conference this weekend, it would be to win,” Travis said. “Going into the third round with a shot to win individually and as a team—I would say that is our goal, to get ourselves into the hunt for the tournament.”

Potter hopes his team is able to rise to the occasion and end their season on a high note.

“When they get back this summer. They are going to ask them how they did in the Mountain West Conference Championship,” Potter said. “It doesn’t change what they need to do on the course and how they need to prepare and what they need to do to be successful. It is a bigger deal and I want them to feel that and embrace it.”

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Every week The Arbiter sports staff will be selecting a Bronco student-athlete for their athletic performances over the week. Selections will run on Monday, based off of the previous week, running from Sunday to Saturday.

Devon Bridges has been named the Arbiter Athlete of the Week for April 19-25.

The Boise State softball  team hosted Colorado State this past weekend. On Friday, the Broncos poised a comeback they will never forget. Redshirt Senior Devon Bridges was at the center of attention.

With the Broncos down 2-5 in the final inning, Bridges stepped up to the plate with all the bases loaded.

Bridges hit a line drive shot over the right field wall, and the Broncos went on to win the game with her grand slam.

It was Bridges’ seventh home run of the season and the 50th homerun in her illustrious
career.

Bridges home run improved the Broncos record from 11-35 to 3-13 within the MW
conference.

Bridges went 1-4 within the game with her lone hit coming at the most significant time.

This season she is hitting .362 with seven homeruns and 29 RBIs.

No hit this year mattered or was more important than the one she had in Friday’s game.

Bridges hopes the spark she gave will give the team  with the grand slam will give the team hope and boost of energy to get the Broncos on a positive roll and more wins.

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Genevieve Ling- Special to The Arbiter

When the Boise State women’s tennis team concluded its season at the MW Championships last week, it said goodbye to its two seniors, Sammie Watson, from Denver, Colorado, and Kaitlyn Brown, from Boise, Idaho.

Brown is a health science major with a minor in Spanish, and Watson is a creative writing major.

Boise State was a no-brainer for Brown.

“I grew up playing with all the Boise State tennis coaches. Ever since I was 12, Boise State was the first court that I walked onto,” Brown said. “I was always a Boise State fan.”

It was not so simple for Watson, who transferred from the University of Utah midway through her freshman year.

“I had always wanted to attend Boise State, but unfortunately things did not work out at first, and I had committed to the University of Utah,” Watson said. “I did not feel like Utah was the place for me to grow into the person that I want to become, so it was at that point that I decided to transfer schools midway through season. I had always loved the atmosphere and the vibe of Boise.”

For Brown, the best part of the experience has been the people that she has met as a part of the
growing team.

“My best experience has really been meeting some of my best friends that I have had.” Brown said, “Every year has been different, with different girls on the team, but every year you get to be around different people with different cultures.

Watson, on the other hand, points to last year’s conference championship as one of her most memorable experiences.

“I remember last year’s match against Wyoming at conference,” Watson said. Even though we lost, I remember being the last one on the court fighting until the end, surrounded by my sisters and my family.”

Looking back at her experience, Brown admits that if given the chance the one thing that she would do differently would be to take a step back and realize that these were the four great years.

“I would learn to breathe and let loose every once in a while,”  Brown said. “Now that I’m graduating, I want to be here and now, every moment.”

Watson is taking an important life lesson that was ingrained by head coach, Beck Roghaar.

“Working hard is one thing, working smart is where improvements are made,” Watson said. “I learned and fully embodied these concepts—that nothing worth fighting for comes easily and that what you put into this life is what you are also given in return.”

Watson and Brown have both contributed to the women’s tennis team for the past four years.

According to Roghaar,  the thing that he will miss their positive attitudes.

“Their leadership together as seniors has been incredible.,” Roghaar said. “Positivity is one of the six pillars that we base our program on, and I think that they embody all of those pillars but they really excel in that one.”

Watson and Brown both have exciting futures awaiting them. Brown will further her education at the University of Montana in a doctorate in the physical therapy program, and Watson will graduate in December with her creative writing degree.

Watson aspires to find a job that taps into her creative side or a job that will allow her to travel, help people and  make a difference in the world.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Boise State’s impending quarterback battle just took an interesting turn.

Boise State redshirt sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley was arrested early Saturday morning.

Finley was charged with resisting or obstructing officers and minor in possession or consumption of alcohol.

According to the Boise Police arrest report, officers were called to investigate a noise complaint near the residence of West Hale Street and South Euclid Avenue at 11:32 p.m. Friday.

When officers arrived at the scene, they saw a car pull up with a couple of individuals exiting the vehicle. The inhabitants, however, got back in the car once they saw the officers.

One of the passengers, later identified as Finley, took off running and a pursuit ensued. The officers located Finley crouched in a nearby backyard.

Upon being booked, signs of intoxication were evident, according to the officers.  The officers expressed that Finley smelled of alcohol and had glassy eyes.

There was no immediate punishment issued by Boise State, a spokesperson for Boise State said they were aware of the situation and would handle it in accordance with student conduct guidelines.

Finley is the likely replacement for Grant Hedrick and the only quarterback on the roster with any in game experience.
Last season he went 12-27 for 161 yards with two touchdowns and an interception backing up the then senior Grant Hedrick.

During the Spring Game he began the game with the first team offense, going 13-25 for 196 yards.
Before this incident, Finley had kept a clean record with only a speeding ticket to his name, according to the Idaho Repository.

 

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There she was, getting ready for the final routine of her career. Boise State senior gymnast Kelsey Morris was only seconds away from doing her vault routine at the NCAA Nationals on April 17.

“Right before I was getting ready to salute I was trying to push all those thoughts out of my head,” Morris said. “I was thinking ‘I have to make the last one worth it.”’

She ran down the mat, bounced off the vault, soared high through the air and stuck the landing. It was the perfect  end to one of the most prolific gymnastics to ever set foot in the Boise State program.

“It is so humbling as an athlete because you see how many people come out and show their love for the sport,” Morris said. “Having all those people there who appreciate the sport and all the high caliber teams was the perfect way to go out of the sport.”

Morris’ journey to becoming one of the all-time greats at Boise State began nearly 20 years earlier, when at the age of three, she enrolled in gymnastics.

“I was actually in a ballet class and they kicked me out because I was tumbling around too much,” Morris said. “They told my parents to put me in gymnastics class and they did.”

Shortly after, Morris enrolled in the Leading Edge Gymnastics Academy in Everett, Washington, only a few miles away from her hometown of Snohomish, Washington.

It was where she would spend her entire club career.

From there, she would make connections with future Boise State gymnasts.

“I knew a couple girls on the team from club experiences and I had been with Neil (co-head coach Neil Resnick) before,” Morris said. “I knew this would be such a good fit for me because I trusted him as a coach and knew all the great athletes that he had produced.”

Over the course of her career, Morris has accumulated 13 all-around titles—eight this season. Her career total is the third most in school history.

“She has just been so valuable to this team over the years and has really carried us at times with her consistent excellent scores,” Resnick said. “She has made up most of our routines over the years, and we wouldn’t be where we are without her.”

In addition, she has the highest uneven bars score at nationals in school history with a 9.85. She won three Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Specialist of the Week awards this season, finished with 29 career event wins, had back-to-back nationals appearances and was the co-captain of this year’s team.

“She has been an awesome leader and has really led the team to greatness during her time here,” senior Ciera Perkins said. “She is strong in everything she does, and in and out of the gym she has been a phenomenal gymnast.”

Morris, upon sticking the final routine of her career, looked at Resnick and then her parents.

“As soon as I saw my mom and my dad’s faces in the stand, I lost it,” Morris said. “It was just such a cool experience to have them there for my last competition.”

She finished 26th overall in the all-around with a score of 39.075

“I was really happy with the way I performed,” Morris said. “My main goal was to go in there and hit all four of my events. That is what I did and I walked away with no regrets.”

With her gymnastics career in the books, Morris is looking to turn her attention to other things.

She has plans on becoming a pediatric nurse and joining Cirque Du Soleil in the future.

“Both of them are going to take a lot of pursuing,” Morris said.  “I am going to have to put in some work physically and mentally these next couple months to see what can happen.”

No matter what she does next, Morris will be an athlete the Boise State gymnastics program won’t soon forget.

“I am really thankful for all the things that I was able to achieve,” Morris said. “I know I wouldn’t have been able to achieve them without all the teammates, training staff and coaches I have had through the years. I am just so grateful for everyone here.”

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NIK BJUSTROM/THE ARBITER – The BSU swimming and diving team placed first in the WAC after four years of existence.

The Boise State swim club has come onto the scene with a bang.

Within the first semester of being reinstated as a club, the team has traveled to Utah for a swim meet, gained a total of 18 members on their roster and will have the opportunity to host the first ever MW Invitational Swim Meet.

Club president, freshman Sean Kierce, took on starting a team to even out a rivalry with some of his friends at Western Washington University.

“I took it as a challenge and went, ‘Alright, let’s see what we can actually do.’” Kierce said. “Then I realized we didn’t even have a team for guys here at Boise State.  I was already coaching and teaching a few people how to swim.”

The new club welcomes those swimmers who are already experienced veterans of the sport or have never been swimming a day in their lives before. The club works with both types of swimmers equally to promote an atmosphere of family and a close-knit
community.

First-time swimmer and freshman Alyssa Bistline has experienced this first hand.

“I didn’t think that I could learn to swim so well so fast, because I didn’t even know how to swim but just with everyone there supporting you and all the workouts, I actually caught on,” Bistline said. “I didn’t think it would be that fun, but everybody is swimming and talking to each other during workouts. I just love how we feel kind of like a family.”

The club plans to continue it’s growth into next year. They hope to have a team roster of at least 30 swimmers and will be recruiting at the Bronco Venture Orientations this summer.

Swim club currently practices on Mondays at 8:30 -10:00 p.m. and on Thursdays 7:30-9 p.m. and welcomes anyone that is interested in joining regardless of experience or history with the sport.

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Nick Duncan - Arbiter Online, Boise State University Broncos

Freshman Arianna Paules Aldrey decided to play club tennis once she graduated high school in her home country of Spain. After a year filled with negative experiences with her coaches, however, she talked with her parents about attending a university in the United States. Her parents wanted her to focus on earning a degree.

Once she saw closeness of the Boise State women’s tennis team and the level of academics at the university, she signed on as a Bronco.

“This is a safe place. The girls were really nice and like a family to me, so that was the deciding factor,” Paules Aldrey said.

Paules Aldrey is one of the 31 international student-athletes currently competing for the 14 sports at Boise State. Both players and coaches have seen numerous benefits from having players from different countries on their teams.

The appeal

Assistant coach for men’s basketball and Australian native John Rillie was highly involved in the Australian tennis world for 16 years, competing professionally and coaching youth.

In Rillie’s experiences, he has seen international schools put an emphasis on either academics or athletics, especially in college. In many countries, athletes have to choose between playing professional or attending higher education.

“The U.S. is probably the only country in the world that has a great system that utilizes both athletics and academics at the same time,” Rillie said.

This can make attending a U.S. university appealing for a prospective international student-athlete.

“That’s the trend with international student-athletes,” Rillie said. “They see the value (in education) where once upon a time, you could say a lot of those kids came over to enhance their professional chances in the athletic form.”

Recruiting process

Having connections can help recruit athletes from a different country. While he played tennis from 2001-2005 at Boise State, women’s tennis head coach Beck Roghaar bonded with many of international student-athletes on his team.

After they graduated, Roghaar stayed in touch with his former international teammates. They inform him of top players and players who may be interested in playing for an American college.

“That’s how you find out about a lot of them is through networking,” Roghaar said. “The Internet is an amazing tool now as well.”

Coaches can contact players from another country via email, text messaging, phone calls, Skype and other forms of communication. Both Roghaar and Rillie find this extremely helpful in the recruiting process.

“The way you can communicate these days really makes it pretty simple or a whole lot easier than say 20 years ago,” Rillie said.

Multiple benefits

The Boise State men’s basketball team currently has three Australian natives on the roster: sophomore Nick Duncan and seniors Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic. The No. 25 ranked team traveled to the NCAA DI National Tournament this year.

“As you can see with the success that we’ve had at Boise State, some of that’s been due to international kids,” Rille.

Athletic ability is not the only benefit that Roghaar and Rillie have seen from international student-athletes.

Both coaches have experienced and seen the eye-opening experience that both international and American student-athletes have and the life-long friendships that are formed.

“We all kind of get sheltered in our own little universe from time to time,” Rillie said. “There’s cultural things and life lessons that if we had a locker room full of American guys, you wouldn’t know any different.”

While it was difficult for Paules Aldrey to leave her family in Spain, she has found a family at Boise State. She believes this experience has brought the team even closer and compete better.

“Since we are not in our homes and we are not even close, I think we bring the meaning of family even more because we don’t have anything more than the team and the coaching staff,” Paules Aldrey said.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015