MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Boise State’s men’s tennis team defeated VCU 4-2 Sunday morning to claim the Broncos’ second-straight Blue Gray National Tennis Classic championship at Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery, Ala. Boise State once again rallied from behind, this time a 2-0 deficit, to get the victory as the Rams claimed the team doubles point and the first in singles. Leading the Bronco rally were Nathan Sereke, Brendan McClain, Brian Foley and Andy Bettles, who recorded the match clinching win, as Boise State extended its win streak to eight and improved to 9-2 overall. Tournament honors went to freshman Brendan McClain who was named tournament MVP, while senior Andy Bettles garnered the Sportsmanship Award.
“We are living the dream!,” said head coach Greg Patton
. “We played so well this weekend and have put ourselves in position for a top-25 ranking with these three wins over Alabama, No. 21 Clemson and VCU. My guys gave it everything they had and they are bringing home their second championship in two years from the Blue Gray.”
It was a big weekend for the 41st-ranked Broncos who for the second year in a row defeated three teams ranked higher than them to claim the championship of this prestigious tournament. The Blue and Orange went through No. 36 Alabama (W 4-0), No. 21 Clemson (W 4-3) and No. 37 Virginia Commonwealth “VCU” (W 4-2). Boise State was forced to rally from behind for the victories in both the semifinal and the championship, just like they did last year on their run to the title. This is the third BGNTC title in Boise State program history as the Broncos became only the fourth team ever to repeat in back-to-back years and the third to win the tournament three times.
The day opened with VCU earning the early momentum claiming the doubles point with victories over Boise State’s McClain and Garrett Patton 6-2 on court one, as well as a tiebreak 6-5 (5) win on court three against Toby Mitchell and Sereke. The Broncos lone doubles victory was on court two where Bettles and Thomas Tenreiro handed the Rams’ Michal Voscek and Wilder Pimental a 6-2 defeat.
Singles started off with the Rams extending their lead to 2-0 with No. 66 Alejandro Argente’s defeat of Garrett Patton 6-3, 6-3 on court four.
Sereke started things off for Boise State in singles cutting the Broncos deficit in the team score to 2-1 following his straight-set victory on court two over VCU’s Nick Jones. Brian Foley drew Boise State even when he downed Vuc Velickovic 6-5 (3), 6-4 at No. six singles, his record is now 11-5 on the year.
Boise State took its first lead of the day on court five where McClain put away Jean Baptiste Mateo in straight sets as well, 6-3, 6-4. The freshman is now an impressive 14-6 overall in singles this season.
The match clincher came on court one from the veteran Andy Bettles ranked 90th nationally. The senior from England rallied from one set down to defeat 73rd-ranked Alexis Heugas 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to improve his singles mark to 15-8 overall.
The sixth singles match was stopped before it could finish when the team victory was clinched. Sophomore Thomas Tenreiro was tied in the third set with VCU’s Michal Vocsek 3-6, 6-3, 4-4 when play ended.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SUMMARY
Blue Gray National Tennis Classic
Feb. 21-23, 2014
Montgomery, Ala. (Lagoon Park Tennis Center)
No. 41 Boise State (9-2) def. No. 37 Virginia Commonwealth (10-5), 4-2
1. Heugas/Jones (VCU) def. McClain/Patton (BSU), 6-2
2. Bettles/Tenreiro (BSU) def. Vocsek/Pimental (VCU), 6-2
3. Argente/Mateo (VCU) def. Mitchell/Sereke (BSU), 6-5 (5)
Order of finish: 2,1,3
1. No. 90 Andy Bettles (BSU) def. No. 73 Alexis Heugas (VCU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
2. Nathan Sereke (BSU) def. Nick Jones (VCU), 6-3, 6-4
3. Thomas Tenreiro (BSU) vs. Michal Vocsek (VCU), 3-6, 6-3, 4-4 DNF
4. No. 66 Alejandro Argente (VCU) def. Garrett Patton (BSU), 6-3, 6-3
5. Brendan McClain (BSU) def. Jean Baptiste Mateo (VCU), 6-3, 6-4
6. Brian Foley (BSU) def. Vuc Velickovic (VCU), 6-5 (3), 6-4
Order of finish: 4,2,6,5,1