There are two dates circled on the calendar for the Broncos' women's team. April 8th, when the conference schedule starts in earnest, and April 23rd, Senior Day. While every match matters to the team, both hold significance as the squad looks to finish out the season strong going into the Mountain West Conference championships at the end of April. With the familiarity of the upcoming squads looming,head coach Beck Roghaar, looks to have his team ready to face whatever challenges they encounter—be it high altitudes, court conditions, or ranking of their opponents.
Even though college tennis is played on a hard court, the conditions of the court can still have an impact on ball speed and the way the players have to react to it. High altitudes also can make the ball speed up when hit, causing a truly unique play experience each week. This Broncos team plays better on the "normal to fast" type courts, according to Roghaar.
"We have some pretty big hitters," according to Roghaar, "we play an aggressive game style. When we can step forward and hit the ball hard and the ball skids through the court and doesn't come back is usually a good thing for us."
As for the actual "big hitters", several Broncos will need to take what they've learned from the non-conference schedule and carry those lessons forward.
One of the Broncos that will be stepping up for Boise State, entering the conference portion of the schedule, is team captain Bobbi Oshiro, a senior from Waipahu, Hawaii. Ms. Oshiro has shown progression from her start at Boise State to now. Oshiro originally was a three star walk-on for Boise State who was able to earn a scholarship through her play.
"She's done nothing but improve and get better," says Roghaar, "the way she's competing right now, and the way she's been playing right now, it's absolutely awesome"
"She's been playing the number one spot over the course of the last nine matches," says Roghaar.
Ms. Kantenwein has gone an impressive 6-3 in that slot as a freshman.
With these athletes stepping up, and the overall depth of the team, the Broncos should be able to take whatever comes their way in the conference without batting an eye.
"If you look at the losses on our schedule, they're all to big-time programs," Roghaar says, "to be the best you gotta beat the best. Nothing is going to intimidate them in terms of who we play in the conference."
That schedule included the likes of Pac-12 teams Colorado, Utah, and, then 28-ranked Oregon. BYU and no. 69 ranked UC-Santa Barbara rounded out the tough non-conference sched. An early matchup of conference foe UNLV (who has only just recently lost their first match of the season) also helped the Broncos learn about their capabilities.
The conference slate is going to be challenging with high quality opponents. New Mexico is a top 50 team. Air Force is always a tough out. Playing in the thin air of Laramie, Wyoming is never easy and immediately following that is Colorado State. The Broncos will also be ending their season in Logan, and USU beat Boise State last year 4-3.
April 23rd is going to be a special day for the Broncos and the seniors that have put their time in at Boise State. Though the team has taken their lumps, nothing will deter them from improving and making an impact going into the MWC championships.