Dear Tennis Friends,
We are rolling now. As a matter of fact we are down in Rolling Tide Country (Tuscaloosa, AL) for our 5th straight appearance in the NCAA Team Championships. This basically is a new season for us, and this season can be a blissful journey or the rug can be pulled out from under you in a heart beat. The crazy thing about this part of the season, is if you win you keep playing, if you lose, it is “good night Irene”. As the guys would say, “your toast, and go home”.
We open up our appearance at the NCAAs with a very tough Middle Tennessee State team who is ranked 57th in the nation and are 16-9 for the season. They are the Sun Belt champions and after watching them at the Blue Gray tournament (held in Montgomery, AL), I have tremendous respect for their team.
They are just flat out dangerous. Their strengths are much like ours, 1. They are great at the top of their line up (Their #1, #2, and #3 ). They have proven that they can not only play with the best that college tennis has to offer, but that they can win at those positions. They are pretty good at #4 and they have struggled at their #5 and #6 spots.
What will be important will be those opening doubles matches. They are like us, they win the doubles point, they win the match. They have four Aussies on their team, and as all tennis aficionados will tell you, the Aussies are playing doubles out of the crib. The winner of our match will play the winner of #14 Alabama vs. #59 Furman.
Our match with Middle Tennessee will be played at 2pm on Friday (that is 1pm Boise time). The match will have live scoring. Go to www.rolltide.com and click on tennis. On the tennis page, you will see “live scoring” which will keep you up to date on our match.
We had a wonderful kick off for our run to contend for the National Championship with our Tennis Banquet on Monday evening. To all the fantastic people who came to the Stueckle Sky Box, thank you for honoring our players with your support and attendance. To everyone who missed the banquet, well, you missed out, for it was an emotional, hilarious, and fun night.
We honored our four seniors (Clancy Shields, Kean Feeder, Stanley Sarapanich, and Blane Shields). They are all such outstanding young men, who have made such a great impact on our team. They all spoke and there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd, in addtion to the fact that there was alot of laughs as well.
Our team votes on these awards and we had some amazing results.
Most Valuable and Most Inspirational were shared by two of our super seniors. It is only fitting that Clancy Shields and his soul brother Kean Feeder were named co-MVPs and that they also shared the Most Inspirational Award. Our Most Improved Player was Freshman Erik Sheldon who has grown so much during the course of the season. Tomorrow I want to send you some words from our players before them embark on the biggest matches of the season for us.
Also, wonderful news was announced today. Our men’s Tennis Team was named the top academic team in the nation. We have a 1000 percent graduation rate and academic achievement. It goes to prove once again that this special group of young men, are much smarter than their coaching staff. (But I must admit, it does take a smart coaching staff to attract such smart young men to make Boise State their home).
PS.. As you know, I have been writing many updates, only to learn that our web server had broken down and you weren’t getting our updates. I truly hope that this will come through, for we love sharing the magic with you.