Moreno de Alboran Opens Play at NCAA Championships Wednesday

Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara ace and Big West Player of the Year Nicolas Moreno de Alboran begins play at the NCAA Championships Wake Forest University in Winston Salem on Thursday. 

Moreno, a junior, is the first Gaucho to earn an invitation to the NCAA Singles Championship since Philip Therp in 2006. He will face #43 North Carolina State sophomore Alexis Galarneau in first round action at 2:30 EST

Gauchos Morgan Mays and Simon Freund represented UCSB in the NCAA Doubles Championships last year falling to the #2 seeded team in a third set match tie-break.

It was announced Tuesday that Moreno de Alboran was voted ITA Player to Watch by the coaches in the Southwest region.  He is the first Gaucho to receive this award and adds the honor to an impressive list of season accolades that includes Big West Player of the Year, Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Male Tennis Player of the Year and co-Most Valuable Player as voted by his teammates at the program's recent awards dinner.

UCSB Team Awards announced at the season ending dinner celebration were:

Nicolas Moreno - Co-Most Valuable Player - Won 15 matches at #1 singles the most since Carlos Palencia in 2003.

Joseph Guillin - Co-Most Valuable Player - A sophomore transfer from Florida, went 19-2 on the season.

Hironori Koyanagi - Simon Shen Sportsmanship Award - Always respectful and never has a disputed line call.

Chase Masciorini - Gaucho Spirit Award - Limited due to injury, did a great job from the sidelines all season.

Luka Vukmanovic- Most Improved - The red shirt freshman improved greatly and could be a starter next season.

Simon Freund - Morgan Mays Captains Award - Every championship team has a great leader.

Anders Holm and Nicolas Moreno - elected as co-captains for next year's team.