SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior co-captain ace Nicolas Moreno de Alboran highlighted multiple UC Santa Barbara athletes - and Head Coach Marty Davis - that were honored on Wednesday by the Big West Conference.
Moreno de Alboran took home the Big West Player of the Year Honors for the second-straight year becoming just the second Gaucho in program history to win the award twice. This is also the third consecutive year a UCSB athlete took home the premier award. This is the ninth time the award is won by a UCSB athlete.
Other Gauchos to take home the award include Cory Guy (1999), Simon Shen (2000), Carlos Palencia (2002, 2003), Nick Brotman (2006), Philip Therp (2008), Alex Konigsfeldt (2009-co) and Morgan Mays (2017). He also became the seventh individual in Big West history – and the second representative from UCSB – to repeat as the conference's top player. He joined Jim Snyder (UC Irvine, 1981-83), Scott Warner (UNLV, 1986-87), Brandon Coupe (San Jose State, 1993-94), Roger Pettersson (UNLV, 1994-96), Carlos Palencia (UC Santa Barbara, 2002-03), Andre Dome (Cal Poly, 2012-13) on the list
The New York native finished with a 14-3 dual match record playing primarily at No. 1 singles and he won seven straight and 12 of his last 13 completed matches to help lead the Gauchos to Big West regular season and tournament championships.
Moreno de Alboran began the spring season with a preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles ranking of No. 6, the highest by a Big West player in 23 years. He is a top-16 seed in the NCAA singles championships which will take place later this month.
Moreno de Alboran also earned First Team honors in singles and doubles alongside teammate and fellow senior co-captain, Anders Holm. The senior earned First Team honors in singles all four years at UCSB becoming just the sixth Big West athlete to accomplish that feat.
This is also the third-straight year he and Holm, ranked No. 64 nationally, earned First team honors in doubles. The top UCSB duo have amassed an overall record of 11-6 playing only at the No. 1 court. The pairing has also won eight-straight matches and earned a bid to participate in the NCAA doubles championships later this month.
As for Davis, he collected his fourth consecutive Big West Coach of the Year honor and 11th award overall in his 20 years at the helm. He guided the Gauchos to their fifth straight Big West regular season title – each year going 5-0 in conference play and fifth Big West Tournament Title.
He has also led UCSB to its fifth-straight NCAA appearance and 12th overall. UCSB is currently on a 32-match winning streak against Big West opponents – counting regular season and tournament matches – that dates back to the 2015 season.
Other letter winners include junior Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev who earned both First Team honors in singles and First Team honors in doubles as a pairing. Individually, Guillin, ranked No. 53 in the country, went 10-6 in dual-match play primarily playing at the number two court where he was 8-4 while Krustev, who was nationally ranked for the majority of the year, went 14-4 in dual-match play.
Guillin earned an at-large bid to participate in the NCAA singles championships alongside Moreno de Alboran. As a pairing, Krustev and Guillin tallied an 11-2 record in dual-match play.
Finally, senior Hironori Koyanagi earned Second Team honors in singles after going 12-7 in dual-match play. Since being moved up the number four court, Koyanagi is 6-1 and has won five straight matches.
UCSB will take on No. 24 Texas Tech at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3 at Stanford University.