TULSA, Okla. - Boise State’s Andy Bettles split two tennis matches on his first day at the ITA All-American in Tulsa, Okla. Bettles did not have the start he had hoped for in Tulsa this morning but he did finish the day on a high note with a split at the D. Case Tennis Center at the University of Tulsa. The senior lost his opening match in the round of 64 in three sets, then regrouped this afternoon to win his first contest in the back draw to keep his tournament alive, as well as his dream of qualifying for the ITA National Indoor Championship in November.
“You have to keep in mind that playing in a tournament like this that every match is going to be of a high caliber and there really isn’t a bad loss,” said head coach Greg Patton. “Andy needs to play hard and work his way through the back draw where every win will increase his national status and if he wins the back draw it would get him into the national indoors.”
Bettles started this morning at 8 a.m. (Mountain) against Texas’ George Goldhoff going three sets before falling 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3. The senior opened by winning set one in a tie break over the Longhorn’s freshman who is ranked eighth in the ITA’s preseason polls for freshmen and newcomers. Unfortunately, Goldhoff recovered from Bettles opening set victory to rally back winning the next two sets, sending the Bronco into the back draw/consolation round draw.
Approximately two hours after finishing the first match, Bettles faced his next challenger in the first round of the back draw. Standing on the other side of the net was UCLA’s Dennis Mkrtchian, ranked 45th nationally. The Somerset, England, native wasted little time in putting away his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. The win improves Bettles, ranked 21 nationally, record this fall to 6-1 and keeps his trek through the All-American alive via the back draw where he will play again tomorrow at 8 p.m. (Mountain) against No. 14 Tsvetan Mihov from South Carolina.
One note on Goldhoff who defeated Bettles in the opening round, the Texas freshman knocked off the No. 1 ranked player in the nation this afternoon Mikelis Libietis from Tennessee 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3.