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Boise State men's tennis to make first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015

The Mountain West Champions face No. 14 Arizona on Friday. The Wildcats are coached by Clancy Shields, the younger brother of Boise State head coach Luke Shields.

BOISE, Idaho โ€” For the first time since 2015, Boise State is heading to the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship. The Broncos will make their 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Friday. 

Boise State is riding the momentum of a 2023 Mountain West Tournament Championship, its 17th conference title in program history. As a No. 3 seed, the Broncos defeated No. 6 San Diego State, No. 2 Nevada and No. 4 Utah State 4-2 in the championship bout. 

After punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, the Broncos learned their fate during Monday's 2023 Selection Show with a celebration in Boise.

In the program's first year under head coach Luke Shields, Boise State finished 21-7 overall and 3-3 in MW play. The Broncos lost three games in a row ahead of the Mountain West Tournament, before flipping the script and winning three straight in Las Vegas. 

Boise State will now face 14th-ranked Arizona on Friday in Tucson in the first round of the tourney.

"It feels really, really good. At the beginning of this year, I would say like no one would expect us to be in this position, competing with the best teams โ€“ national champions," fifth-year senior Simon Arca Costas said. "It feels really good, being my last year. I'm pretty excited. I have no words to describe how happy I am."

Shields, the Broncos' leader in career wins (119) and single-season wins (35), was announced as Boise State's men's tennis head coach almost exactly one year ago. He served as an associate head coach from 2013 to 2015, and came back to the City of Trees to help lead an impressive first-year campaign. 

As if the stakes were not high enough, the Wildcats are coached by Clancy Shields, Luke's younger brother. 

Luke Shields told KTVB on Monday it is "special" to see Boise State back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015, when he was apart of the blue and orange staff. 

"Guys have had a lot of resolve โ€“ resilient team โ€“ they've been through a lot and they're strong, they're tough, because of what they've been through," Luke Shields said. "It's special to see us back. I feel like there's a lot of life in this program now and a lot of buy-in. A lot of people have helped us along the way, a lot of support, so we're really excited."

The Broncos and Wildcats face off at 2 p.m. MT Friday. The full 2023 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship bracket can be found by clicking here.

"It's going to be a super tough match, for us and for them too, it's going to be a battle," Arca Costas said. "Really excited to go there and compete โ€“ compete to win. It feels really good. I feel like this team is right back on track to accomplish something great."

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