SURPRISE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's Nicolas Moreno de Alboran made men's tennis program history on Thursday by becoming the first Gaucho to advance to the Round of 16 at the ITA National Fall Championships after defeating Virginia's Ryan Goetz, 6-3, 6-4.
"I could not be more proud of Nic," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "But we still have a while to go and I know he has the talent to make a run so I am excited to see what he can do."
In his match against Goetz, Moreno de Alboran made quick work of his opponent in the first set but again struggled in the second. Up 4-3 in the second, Moreno de Alboran could've taken a commanding lead but blew a break point to go up 5-3. Still, after it being tied at 4-4, the senior ace took control and took the final set to win the match.
With the win, Moreno de Alboran will now face off against Johannes Schretter of Baylor University. Moreno de Alboran was also the first Gaucho in school history to earn a singles invitation to this elite tournament last season and now he is a few wins away from winning the whole thing.
As for junior Joseph Guillin, he was downed by the tournament's 7th seed, Yuya Ito of Texas, 6-3, 6-3 in a well-played round of 32 match on Thursday. Guillin finishes fall play with an incredible list of wins to his credit including, Axel Geller (former #1 world junior and Stanford #1), Daniel Cukierman (USC #2), Jack Molloy (top returner for CAL), Andrew Fenty (former top 10 world junior attending Michigan), Jack Jaede (USC #3) and Tommy Mylnikov (#1 at Texas Tech).
"I think we have one of the best 1-2 punches in the entire country and so now no matter what team we face they know they will have a tough time," Davis said. "I am happy with their performance and I am excited about the future."
Even with Guillin's loss, both his and Moreno de Alboran's performance prove something about this UCSB program, they are no longer just an up and coming program, they are here.
"I hope this will show every one of our recruits how good this program is and I think it shows everyone in the country that we are here and we are ready to get some great wins," Davis said.
Moreno de Alboran will continue to play tomorrow at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 9. Should Moreno defeat Schretter, he will play a quarter-final match in the afternoon.
Live scoring is available (video streaming as well if assigned to a feature court) and can be found at ITAtennis.com. Click this link to read a great feature on our very on Nicolas Moreno de Alboran.