WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina – One day after defeating No. 43 Alexis Galarneau of North Carolina State, UC Santa Barbara's own Nicolas Moreno de Alboran turned his attention to the No. 1 player in the country as he faced Martin Redlicki of UCLA in the second round of action. The junior battled the top seed as tough as he could and certainly had his chances throughout the match, but ultimately Moreno de Alboran would lose, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 eliminating him from the tournament.
"Nic played a great match, he did really good today just unfortunate he could not pull off the win," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "Nic had some great opportunities and let some slip and Redlicki took advantage. He showed why he's the No. 1 player in the country. Nic is disappointed but now it's all about getting better at the little things because he is so close to being a top-10 tennis player in the country."
Early in the match, Moreno de Alboran was able to move Redlicki, control play and take advantage of the Bruin's low first serve percentage to score a quick first set win. In the second set, the nation's No. 1 ranked player, played with better depth, gained rhythm on his serve and used a single break of serve to level the match.
The third set is where the Gaucho junior really had the opportunity to pull off the upset. Up 1-0 in the third, Moreno de Alboran found himself up 40-0 with Redlicki serving. It would have been huge had Moreno de Alboran been able to break Redlicki, but the Bruin bounced back and made his presence felt tying the set at 1-1.
Throughout the third, Moreno de Alboran kept holding serve but never quite had the same opportunity to break Redlicki. Up 5-4, Moreno de Alboran had a chance to win the match but Redlicki held, then finally broke the UCSB junior at 5-5 and would go on to pounce on him in the next point to take the set and the win, 7-5.
"It's frustrating for Nic to be in so close in these matches. He is right there against Redlicki and Brandon Holt and Alfredo Perez and yet he can't quite put them away, but he has great plans for the summer and this is just fuel for him come next season," Davis said.
Despite the loss, Moreno de Alboran finishes this season with plenty to be proud of and ample motivation to continue training for his senior year. This season the New York native achieved: First Gaucho to reach the ITA Regional Singles Final, First Gaucho to represent UCSB at the ITA National Fall Championships in singles, Big West Player of the Year, Southwest Region ITA Player to Watch, First Gaucho since Alex Decret in 1995 to win a singles match at the NCAA Championships, and led the UCSB men to their 4th straight Big West Championship.
Moreno de Alboran is currently ranked No. 67 in the ITA National Rankings, however, that should go up based on his first-round NCAA win over #43 Galarneau yesterday. UCSB's season is now officially over and the prep for next season officially begins. Thank you fans for another great season of UCSB Tennis, we hope to see you all next year.