Blue Raiders fall in NCAA Tourney

Round out season with 16-10 record

May 8, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Middle Tennessee, ranked 57th, fell to No. 25 Boise State 4-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon.

The Broncos began the match by taking the doubles point 2-0 and never looked back. Seniors Robert McKenzie and Morgan Richard paired up in No. 2 doubles and while Boise State took an early lead the pair did not give up battling back before falling by a final score of 8-6.

In No. 1 doubles, sophomore John Peers and junior Victor Melo, ranked 50th, forced a tie-breaker with their foes, No. 43 Kean Feeder and James Meridith but the doubles point was decided before the tie-breaker began so play was stopped.

"I give Boise State a lot of credit. Greg (Patton) is a great coach and he has coached that team very well. Their strengths are very similar to ours, so I felt we had some good matchups out there today," head coach David McNamara said. "However, their weaknesses are just a little stronger than ours. They came out ready to play. I felt we were a little unlucky in doubles, but Boise is just a tough team, up and down the lineup in singles. They have won a lot of matches this season, and they showed why they are such a tough team."

Boise State maintained control of the match extending its lead to two points after Stanley Sarapanich defeated freshman Michael Langley 6-1, 6-0. Then Richard fell to Cristian Hodel 6-1, 6-0 in No. 4 singles making it 3-0 in favor of the Broncos.

Then Boise State won No. 6 singles 6-3, 7-5 as Blane Shields defeated junior Alex McCann to clinch the win.

The top of the lineup remained unfinished for the Blue Raiders as the match was won before all the matches were completed.

Middle Tennessee ends the 2009 season 16-10 with a 4-0 Sun Belt record and won the SBC Championships to earn the automatic bit to the NCAA tournament. Two players' seasons remain alive as they travel to College Station, Texas in a couple of weeks to compete in the NCAA Individual Championships. More information on the tournament will be release on goblueraiders.com when it becomes available.

1. #72 Kean Feeder (BSU) vs. #89 Rob McKenzie (MT) 7-6 (7-3), 1-2, unfinished
2. #24 Clancy Shields (BSU) vs. #95 John Peers (MT) 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
3. #87 James Meredith (BSU) vs. Victor Melo (MT) 2-6, 4-4, unfinished
4. Cristian Hodel (BSU) def. Morgan Richard (MT) 6-3, 6-3
5. Stanley Sarapanich (BSU) def. Matthew Langley (MT) 6-1, 6-0
6. Blane Shields (BSU) def. Alex McCann (MT) 6-3, 7-5

1. #43 Kean Feeder/James Meredith (BSU) vs. #50 John Peers/Victor Melo (MT) 8-8, unfinished
2. Clancy Shields/Stanley Sarapanich (BSU) def. Rob McKenzie/Morgan Richard (MT) 8-6
3. Matt Solomon/Blane Shields (BSU) def. Alex McCann/Matthew Langley (MT) 8-1

Match Notes:
Middle Tennessee State 16-10; National ranking #57
Boise State 23-8; National ranking #25
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,4,6)
Tiebreaker had not yet started on court one doubles when point was clinched

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