May 14, 2010

Courtesy of Boise State

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The dream season continued for the No. 47 ranked Boise State women's tennis team, Friday (May 14), as the Broncos (23-5) earned a huge 4-1 upset win over No. 21 Iowa (17-7) in the first-round of the 2010 NCAA Team Championships in South Bend, Ind.

"We are so excited," Boise State head coach Mark Tichenor said after Friday's match. "It's two years in a row that we have beaten teams in the top 25 in the first round of the NCAA, so we are just ecstatic. Our girls have fought hard all year...They have always believed in themselves and have always battled."

Just two weeks after capturing the program's first ever Western Athletic Conference championship, Boise State recorded just the second NCAA tournament win in team history by beating the Hawkeyes. Last year the Broncos earned their first ever tournament win by beating No. 24 Alabama, 4-3. The women will now face No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday (May 15) for the chance to become the first Boise State women's tennis team to advance to the round of 16.

Against Iowa the Broncos managed to duplicate the success that had made them so dominant this season; winning the doubles point and running out to an early lead in singles. After dropping the first doubles match at No. 3, Boise State responded with an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles as Stephanie Jasper and Marlena Pietzuch beat Alexis Dorr and Lynne Poggensee-Wei.

With the ever crucial doubles point on the line at No. 1, Pichittra Thongdach and Lauren Megale earned their biggest win of the season. The No. 45 ranked Boise State duo knocked off No. 14 Merel Beelen and Sonja Molnar, 9-8, to secure the doubles point and give the Broncos a 1-0 lead heading into singles competition.

With a great deal of momentum coming off the big doubles win, Boise State continued its impressive play early on in singles. The Broncos won the first set in five of six singles matches to put the Hawkeyes on the ropes. Megale managed to extend the Boise State lead to 2-0 with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Poggensee-Wei at No. 2 singles.

Just as Boise State appeared to be in control of the dual, however, Iowa responded. The Hawkeyes won the second set in four matches to put the pressure back on the Broncos. But just as it looked as though momentum had swung away from Boise State, the Broncos scored a big win to extend their lead to 3-0. Coming to the rescue for Boise State was senior Bianca Jochimsen, who beat Beelen, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, at No. 3 to put the Broncos within striking distance.

An Iowa win at No. 1 would narrow the gap to 3-1, but the effort was too little too late. Freshman Elyse Edwards would put the finishing touches on a 6-2, 7-5 win over Kelcie Klockenga in the No. 5 singles match to give Boise State the 4-1 go-ahead; securing another historic win for the women at the NCAA tournament.

The Broncos, who are playing in their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament (seventh all-time), will face the Irish at noon (EST) in the second-round on Saturday (May 15). Fans can visit to watch live scoring of Saturday's match.