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Broncos defend Mountain West title in last match victory

Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Nathan Sereke came to the  rescue this past weekend to help lift the Broncos to their back-to-back Mountain West conference title win and their 14th title in school history.

Sereke, a junior, capped off the Broncos’ comeback to claim the fourth point of the match sealing the victory. Sereke defeated New Mexico’s Connor Berg on a third-set tiebreak.

For Sereke, this comes as a sweet victory after getting out of the gates slowly, losing his first five matches, before winning 17 of his last 20 matches. This game exemplified the entire season for the Broncos.

The team finished with a record of 20-10 but not after losing their first seven matches and turning it around where they played with a sense of urgency for the last 20 matches.

The Broncos will draw Clemson in the NCAA tournament, and Sereke will look to avenge his first-round early exit from just a year ago.

New Mexico was able to claim the doubles points getting wins from: Connor Berg/Andrew Van Der Vyver defeating Andy Bettles and Nathan Sereke (8-5), Jadon Phillips/Hegelund (UNM) def. Toby Mitchell/Adrian Reid (9-8). The lonely doubles victory for the Broncos was from Garrett Patton/Scott Sears def. James
Hignett/Gegelund (8-4).

The score quickly became 1-1 when Garret Patton defeated Andrew Der Vyver in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 respectively.

The Broncos’ dynamic freshman, Thomas Teneiro, was able to extend his remarkable win streak to 18 matches. Teneiro upended James Hignett (6-3, 6-2). With the seasonal play coming to an end and post-season play looming, Teneiro will look to extend his win streak in the NCAA tournament.

After Scott Sears fell to Samir Iftikhar (6-3, 6-1) and Fillip Pogostkin fell to Mitch McDaniels (6-2, 6-4) making the score 3-2 in favor of the Lobos, the Broncos looked to their leader Andy Bettles.

Bettles kept the Broncos’ title hopes alive by taking Jadon Phillips out in straight sets (6-2, 6-4). With the pressure on, Bettles once did not falter or blink, even when the conference title was on the line, which is why he is Mountain West Player of the Year.

After Bettles was able to keep the Broncos’ hopes alive, as Sereke topped off the sweet victory in dramatic fashion to capture back-to back titles for the Broncos since 2006-2007.

The Broncos will face Clemson, an at-large team that fell in the semi-finals of the ACC tournament.  Both teams will be squaring off in Knoxville, Tenn. May 10 where the opening round is taking place.

For the Broncos to make a better run in the tournament, they will need Andy Bettles, Nathan Sereke, Thomas Teneiro and all of their players to be on point with their games.

If the Broncos manage to get past Clemson they will face the winner of No. 7 ranked Tennessee and South Carolina State.

Before the Broncos even think about upsetting the Vols they will need a strong showing against Clemson.