Moreno de Alboran Named Big West Player of the Year, More Gauchos Earn End of Year Awards

Photo by Josh Barber
Photo by Josh Barber

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior ace Nicolas Moreno de Alboran was honored by the Big West Conference on Tuesday as he earned Player of the Year honors as well as Head Coach Marty Davis earning his 10th Coach of the Year award, a conference record, in 19 years at the helm.

Moreno de Alboran is the second straight UCSB individual to be selected the Big West's top player, and the eighth overall in program history. He joins Cory Guy (1999), Simon Shen (2000), Carlos Palencia (2002, 2003), Nick Brotman (2006), Philip Therp (2008), Alex Konigsfeldt (2009-co) and Morgan Mays (2017). Playing primarily No. 1 singles, the junior posted a 15-5 dual match record and a 28-10 overall mark. 

He won eight straight matches and 11 of the last 12 to help the Gauchos secure the Big West regular season and tournament championships. Moreno de Alboran defeated all five Big West opponents he faced, including Cal Poly's Josh Ortlip in the conference tournament final.

The native of New York, N.Y. has been ranked in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll for singles all season long, including a season-best No. 71. Along with joining the Gauchos at the NCAA Team Championships next week, Moreno de Alboran will also be making an appearance at the Singles Championships due to his ranking.  

As for Davis, he guided the Gauchos to their third consecutive Big West regular season title – each time going unbeaten with a 5-0 record. He then oversaw UCSB's record-tying fourth straight Big West Tournament title at Indian Wells Tennis Garden with last week's victories over UC Irvine and Cal Poly. 

That ensured UCSB's fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and 11th overall under Davis.  Combining regular season and tournament matches, UCSB has defeated 25 straight Big West opponents dating back to 2015. This season alone, the team defeated Big West foes by a combined score of 43-0.

UCSB enters the NCAA Tournament next week against USC on a 10-match winning streak, which includes a victory at then-No. 49 Washington.

Other letter winners include senior captain Simon Freund, sophomore transfer Joseph Guillin and Moreno de Alboran who each earned All-Big West First Team Singles while junior Anders Holm earned All-Big West Second Team Honors.

Freund finished the regular season on a 10-match winning streak to finish the regular season 17-5 while Guillin was a very impressive 19-2 in dual match play in his first season as a Gaucho. Holm finished 13-9 in dual match play this season.

In doubles, pairs Freund/redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram and Moreno de Alboran/Holm earned All-Big West First Team honors while Gullin/Krustev were All-Big West Honorable Mention.

Both pairs of Moreno de Alboran/Holm and Rotheram/Freund finished the season with a 13-5 mark while Guillin/Krustev finished 11-4.

UCSB will take on USC in the Round of 64 at the NCAA Tournament at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th at the Marks Tennis Center on the Campus of USC.