Moreno de Alboran Shines in Day Two of ITA Southwest Regionals

Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (photo by Eric Isaacs) clinched Santa Barbara's win on Sunday, taking the game-deciding match 6-3, 6-3 versus Denver's Diogo Rocha.
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (photo by Eric Isaacs) clinched Santa Barbara's win on Sunday, taking the game-deciding match 6-3, 6-3 versus Denver's Diogo Rocha.

MALIBU, Calif. — UC Santa Barbara's junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran played spectacularly in all facets of his game on the second day of action at the ITA Southwest Regional helping him advance to the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles.

"Without a question he, [Nicolas] was the highlight of today's action," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "He won his doubles matches and blitzed both of his singles matches. He rolled into the quarterfinals."

Moreno de Alboran began his day teaming up with Anders Holm in doubles to face off against Loyola Marymount's Nicholas Borchenko and Gabriel Diaz.

The fourth-seeded pair were riding high off an easy 8-1 win on Thursday and continued their dominance defeating the LMU pair 8-5. They now advance to play USC's Jack Jaede and Tanner Smith, the sixth seeded duo. Moreno de Alboran and Holm were the only UCSB doubles pair left in the tournament.

Moreno de Alboran then shifted his momentum into his singles play where he was able to come up with two fairly commanding victories allowing him to be the only Gaucho advancing to the third day of singles action.

The New York native began his singles run against Arizona's Carlos Hassey and won the match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Moreno de Alboran, the eighth seed, then faced 12th seeded Laurens Verboven of USC and also defeated him in straight sets with almost identical scores, 6-1, 6-1.

Moreno de Alboran will now face UCLA's Logan Staggs in the quarterfinals. Staggs is ranked 75th in the country, seeded second in this tournament, but has been pushed to three sets in two of his three matches at this regional.

"Nic played fabulous tennis today so if he could keep that going I definitely think he could win tomorrow and just keep advancing with only one match a day now," Davis said.

Three other Gauchos joined Moreno de Alboran to begin the second day of action in singles, but only one was even able to score a victory in one of the two matches they were set to play.

"It definitely doesn't feel like as good a day as we expected with some of our other players losing in the Round of 32 and in the Round of 16," Davis said.

Senior Simon Freund won his Round of 32 match against Pepperdine's Lautaro Pane doubling him up in both sets, 6-3, 6-3. The 10th seeded player in the regional was then upset by LMU's Gabriel Diaz 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5).

"It was a hell of a battle but Simon has his chances up 6-5 serving in the third but didn't get it done," Davis said.

Holm and redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram both lost their opening matches of the day ending their tournament run. Holm, seeded sixth, lost to San Diego's Joel Gamerov in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4.

Rotheram had a much tougher match facing USC's Jaede ranked 82nd in the country and seeded third in the tournament. Despite a good effort in the first set, Jaede took it 7-5 and then proceeded to win the second set much more decisively, 6-2.

In the consolation bracket, redshirt freshman Daunte Harris was the only UCSB player advancing to the second day of action. Harris began the backdrop with two byes before facing San Diego State's Rafael Gonzalez Almazan for his only match of the day.

The two split the first sets with Harris losing the first 2-6 before evening up the score with a 7-5 victory. In the final set, a tiebreaker match to 10, Harris found himself down 9-4.

With his back against the wall, Harris toughed it out and won seven unanswered points taking the tiebreaker 11-9 and the match. The California native will face Arizona State's William Kirkman when play resumes tomorrow in the fourth round.

Senior Chase Masciorini lost his opening consolation match 6-1, 6-0 while freshman Henrik Atlevi won his first match 7-6 (3), 6-7 (0), 10-4 before losing his next match 2-6, 6-2, 10-7 against Cal Poly's Alex Slater. Both have officially ended their tournament runs alongside freshman Ajai Shekhera who did not play a match today.

"We have been in this tournament before and had some success so this isn't brand new territory of us," Davis said. "We are one of the better teams in the region so we expect to continue to do well.

The ITA Southwest Regional continues tomorrow with the time to be determined. It will begin with the doubles quarterfinal match.