As if Greg Patton needs any more reason to get fired up, his Boise State men’s tennis team has won nine of its past 11 matches.
“Every match, we’ve fought for our lives, and it’s been so much fun,” the excitable Patton said. “It’s been wild and woolly. They’ve gone down the black diamond and know they can get through it. We’ll be up 3-0, and the other guys will make a run, or we’ll be down that, but not out.”
The Broncos host their home finales Saturday against Gonzaga (10 a.m.) and Idaho (6 p.m.). They will be played at the Appleton Tennis Center on campus, unless weather forces them indoors to the Boas Tennis Center.
In the Broncos’ only two losses since early March, they fell 4-3. They also won back-to-back 4-3 matches March 23 and 26 at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. Senior Thomas Tenreiro earned Mountain West player of the week honors Wednesday after he came back from a 5-1 first-set deficit April 15 against San Diego State to win in a tiebreaker, then took the second set.
Tenreiro (9-2 at No. 2 singles) is one of three seniors on the roster, including Toby Mitchell (7-4 at No. 3) and Brian Foley (6-8 at No. 1). All three have a shot at winning four Mountain West titles under Patton.
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“You can’t buy thrills like it. It’s been really exhilarating to see those guys improve,” Patton said. “The guys always know we’re in it when Thomas is in there. Brian winning at No. 1 just empowers the rest of the team, and Toby’s been so resilient, winning six straight.”
Winners of seven of their past nine, the Broncos close out the regular season against Utah State at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Appleton Tennis Center (or Boas, depending on weather).
Seniors Megan LaLone, Bobbi Oshiro and Teal Vosburgh will be honored at their home finales. LaLone and Oshiro have earned All-Mountain West honors in doubles, while Vosburgh was All-Mountain West last season in singles.
“We needed them right when they got here. They’ll leave a legacy, kind of set the foundation for us,” coach Beck Roghaar said.
Freshman Hanna Kantenwein was named Mountain West player of the week Wednesday, the Broncos’ first such honor since 2013. Boise State has won three straight conference matches.
“If we can get a win Saturday, we’ll be one of the hottest teams going into the conference tournament (next week),” Roghaar said.
In its third year as a varsity sport at Boise State, the Broncos are improving. Despite having no beach-only players, they finished this season 5-6 after going 8-18 the first two years, winning twice against Stanford and beating Oregon for a second straight season.
“Last year had some growing pains, but we started this year so much more confident,” coach Shawn Garus said.
The Broncos host an exhibition tournament Saturday at the sand courts (near Belmont Street and Lincoln Avenue). Boise State plays Northwest Nazarene at noon, the College of Southern Idaho at 3 p.m. and the College of Idaho at 6 p.m.