LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Boise State’s dream of advancing deep into the NCAA tournament came to a end Saturday morning when the Broncos stumbled in the opening round falling to No. 39 San Diego 4-2 in a hard fought men’s tennis match at Los Angeles. The 25th-ranked Broncos opened by winning their 19th-straight doubles point. Toby Mitchell led the Broncos by recording a win in doubles and the only one singles victory of the match for the Blue and Orange.
The loss ends the Broncos campaign with a very impressive 28-5 overall mark in 2014. Meanwhile, San Diego rallied from two team points down for the victory to improve to 18-7 on the year and advance onto tomorrow’s second round.
Boise State opened the match by winning its 27th doubles point this spring. However, it started slow as San Diego claimed the first doubles victory on court one where the 36th-ranked tandem of Clarke Spinosa and Filip Vittek defeated Boise State’s Andy Bettles and Thomas Tenreiro 8-4. The Boise State duo finishes the year at 19-7 overall.
Down one match the Broncos rallied winning the final two doubles contests to claim the key team point. Brendan McClain and Garrett Patton evened the score when they handed Romain Kalaydjian and Uros Petronijevic a 8-4 set back on court two. That was followed by Mitchell’s and Nathan Sereke’s 8-5 victory at No. 3 doubles over USD’s Ciaran Fitzgerald and Andrew Raphaelson.
McClain and Patton conclude the year with a 18-10 overall record, while Mitchell and Sereke finished the year on a 13-match win streak to go 17-4 this spring.
Up the team point, Boise State extended its advantage to 2-0 with a quick straight-set victory by Mitchell at No. 6 singles. The sophomore from England dispatched San Diego’s Raphaelson 6-3, 6-3 to improve to 24-7 on the year.
San Diego rallied from two down to tie the match at two all with a pair of straight-set victories. The first for the Toreros’ came from Petronijevic who handed the Broncos’ Sereke a 6-3, 6-4 loss on court two, followed by Kalaydjian’s 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 win over Patton at No. 4 singles. Sereke concludes his senior campaign at 16-13 in singles on the year, while Patton finishes at 26-13.
Vittek gave San Diego the lead at 3-2 following his come from behind victory over Tenreiro. The Bronco won the opening frame but could not put Vittek away as the Teroro rallied to defeat Tenreiro 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. The Boise State sophomore finishes the season at 20-14 overall.
The decisive point came on court one where two nationally ranked players battled in Boise State’s No. 87 Andy Bettles and USD’s No. 58 Clarke Spinosa. After dropping the opening set Bettles rallied back to force a third before falling to Spinosa 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. The senior fell to 23-16 in singles on the year. Bettles will continue his season in two weeks when he makes his second-straight appearance at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship being held at Athens, Ga.
The No. 5 singles match was abandoned once the team victory was decided. However, Boise State’s McClain was leading and near victory when it stopped at 7-6 (7-5), 5-1. The freshman finishes his debut season with a team-best 26-9 singles mark.
FINAL MATCH SUMMARY
No. 25 Boise State (28-5) vs. No. 39 San Diego (18-7)
NCAA Championship Regional at UCLA
May 10, 2014 at Los Angeles, Calif. (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
San Diego def. Boise State 4-2
1. #36 Spinosa/Vittek (USD) def. Bettles/Tenreiro (BSU), 8-4
2. McClain/Patton (BSU) def. Kalaydjian/Petronijevic (USD), 8-4
3. Mitchell/Sereke (BSU) def. Fitzgerald/Raphaelson (USD), 8-5
Order of finish: 1,2,3
1. #58 Clarke Spinosa (USD) def. #87 Andy Bettles (BSU), 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
2. Uros Petronijevic (USD) def. Nathan Sereke (BSU), 6-3, 6-4
3. Filip Vittek (USD) def. Thomas Tenreiro (BSU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
4. Romain Kalaydjian (USD) def. Garrett Patton (BSU), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
5. Brendan McClain (BSU) vs. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD), 7-6 (7-5), 5-1 DNF
6. Toby Mitchell (BSU) def. Andrew Raphaelson (USD), 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 6,2,4,3,1