Utah State Men's Tennis Returns to Boise, Idaho To Continue Mountain West Play This Weekend
April 4, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's tennis (9-8, 0-1 MW) continues its first season in the Mountain West when it travels to Boise, Idaho, this weekend to face Boise State (18-4, 2-0 MW) on Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The Aggies will also face Middle Tennessee State in a neutral court, non-conference battle on Sunday, April 6 at 11 a.m.
"I think this match against Boise State has been a matchup the team and I have been looking forward to all season," said USU head coach Clancy Shields, who will be leading his current team against his former team. "Boise State is by far the best team in the conference, and this will give us a good idea of the level we need to be at to win conference championships."
The trip to Boise marks first-year USU head coach Shields' first visit to his former team. Shields was a player at Boise State and won three Western Athletic Conference titles while being named the WAC Player of the Year in 2009. Shields was also an assistant coach at BSU from 2010-2013, helping the Broncos win back-to-back MW Championships in 2011 and 2012.
"Boise State will always be apart of who I am, and this will be a very special experience to compete against my former players, my college coach, and my brother (assistant coach)," Shields said. "However, at the end of the day, this weekend is about our team competing harder than the two opponents we have in front of us, and for us to start writing our success story in the Mountain West Conference."
Utah State is led by freshman Dennis Baumgartner with nine dual match wins in singles play at the No. 1 spot. Junior Matt Sweet and freshman Sebastian Schneider each have eight wins. In doubles, Baumgartner pairs with junior Marcus Fritz, while Sweet and Schneider comprise a second duo. Both tandems have six wins on the year in doubles.
Boise State, who is ranked No. 22 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, looks to Brendan McClain's steady performance at the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, as he leads the team with 16 singles wins. Nathan Sereke has 12 wins, primarily at the No. 2 spot, and the Broncos have four players with 10 singles wins, including Andy Bettles, the No. 86-ranked singles player in the nation. The Broncos' four losses have all come against nationally-ranked opponents, while posting seven victories against ranked opponents.
Middle Tennessee State is currently on a season-long three-match winning streak, however they face Boise State before squaring off against the Aggies. The Blue Raiders are led in singles by Ettore Zito and his 10-6 record playing the majority of his matches at the No. 1 position. The No. 1 doubles team of David Fox and Victor Cornea are ranked No. 57 in the nation with a 7-7 record in duals this spring.
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