Bronco tennis champ heads to NCAA tourney

Bronco tennis champ heads to NCAA tourney

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by Jay Tust

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KTVB.COM

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 9:27 AM

BOISE -- Being number one -- it's a distinction that every athlete strives for.

"You have to have a special guy to play at the top," Boise State head tennis coach Greg Patton explained.

For Bronco junior Andy Bettles, his quest to be No. 1 is on-going. While he was Boise State's No. 1 singles player this season, he also compiling a career that could leave him No. 1 of all-time.

"He not only talented up he's a brilliant player," Patton added. "He's by far one of the best players that has ever played here. He could separate himself from the pack this year."

"I'm just proud to be apart of the great history of the program," Bettles said with a smile.

The native of England will begin a new challenge on Sunday when he travels to the NCAA National Tournament in Champagne, Illinois. It is feat only ten other individuals have accomplished in program history.

At 30-and-9 on the season, his ability to break his opponents is what separates him from the rest.

"What is important is he's so tough (mentally)," Patton said. "He's not really the prettiest of players, but he's really the most effective."

"My mental strength and determination is probably my (strongest asset)," Bettles said. "I think I can outlast my opponent."

Looking at the bigger picture, Bettles heads to nationals as one of 64 participants. While he says he achieved his goal of just qualifying, his success begs one more question: Is he good enough to be No. 1 in the country?

"Can he win it? Yeah, he can win it," Patton said with confidence. "He's shown how great he is."

"I won't treat it any different than any other tournament. My preparation will be the same," added Bettles in a voice much calmer than his coaches. "I'll just take care of everything I can take care of and hopefully things will fall into place for me."
 

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