Five Gauchos Move into Round of 32 at USTA/ITA Southwest Regional

Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

MALIBU, Calif. - All eight UC Santa Barbara players moved into the Round of 64 at the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships at Pepperdine and five Gaucho singles players moved on to the Round of 32 at the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships on Thursday at Pepperdine.

Sophomore Nicolas Moreno de Alboran, the No. 10 seed at the tournament, led the Gaucho group of five singles players with a swift 6-3, 6-2 victory over Shota Meparidze of Arizona.

Three other UCSB players - Cody Rakela, Morgan Mays and Simon Freund - also posted sweeps. Rakela defeated Jens Sweaney of USC, 6-3, 7-5. Mays, who was the A Flight singles champion at the UCSB Classic two weeks ago, sept past Valentin Lang of Grand Canyon, 6-1, 6-4. Freund, a transfer from LSU who was making his first apperance as a Gaucho, beat Loyola Marymount's Charles Boyce, 6-3, 6-4.

Teague Hamilton also advanced to the Round of 32, but he needed three sets to come back and defeat Pepperdine's Stevan Menichella in a marathon match, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5. Earlier in the day, Hamilton defeated Cal Poly's Joshua Ortlip by a score of 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 to advance into the Round of 64. 

Hamilton also teamed with Rakela to move into the final 32 of the doubles competition. UCSB duo topped Gregoire Balenci and Francois Musitelli of Grand Canyon, 8-3.

Three other Gauchos advanced from the Round of 128 into the Round of 64 before falling. Chase Masciorini topped Cal Poly's Daniel Cardiff, 6-2, 7-6 (4), before losing in the Round of 32 to San Diego's Filip Vittek, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Kristian Prior dropped Luiz Leonardo Andreolli of Grand Canyon, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 and then lost to USC's Thibault Forget, 6-0, 6-1, and Joseph Rotheram beat Hawaii's Christopher Cajigan, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 before losing to Guilherme Hadich of Pepperdine, 6-4, 6-1.

The doubles teams of Masciorini/Rotheram, Mays/Freund and Moreno de Alboran/Prior each had byes in the Round of 64 and will compete in the Round of 32.