Moreno de Alboran advances in the ITA Championships, Gauchos Struggle in Kramer Club Invitational

Nicolas Moreno (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Nicolas Moreno (photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — One day after losing his opening draw against No. 7 and ninth-seeded Alfredo Perez in straight sets, junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran put forth a great performance in his first round consolation draw against Stanford's Sameer Kumar, winning in three sets. Three other Gauchos were in action today at the Kramer Club Invitational.

"Nic was brave today when the opportunities presented themselves today he went for it and we are excited he gets to move on," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "I am so excited that now he gets more matches against some really top quality players and how rapidly he is improving due to the opponents he is facing."

Kumar ranked 97th in the country, played the No. 2 spot for the majority of the season last year for Stanford so Thursday's match would certainly be another interesting challenge for the UC Santa Barbara representative.

The New York native lost the first set to Kumar 6-4, but he managed to bounce back in the second and third sets winning 6-2, 7-6 (8) in order to move on.

Moreno de Alboran certainly had more luck today than he did on Wednesday. Down 6-4 in the tiebreaker in the third, the junior was able to save his ITA Championships run by saving two match points and eventually go on to win 10-8.

"A lot like yesterday where Nic was unlucky, today he was lucky and I think it shows how even everybody in this tournament really is, the parity at this place is incredible," Davis said.

With the win, Moreno de Alboran continues to move on in the back draw of the tournament and now has the opportunity to play two more matches tomorrow so long as he wins his first match against Baylor's Jimmy Bendeck.

Bendeck, ranked 68th in the country, is coming off an impressive 6-2, 6-3 straight set victory over Mohanad Al Houni.

There is no doubt that Moreno de Alboran's victory, no matter that it was in the consolation bracket, was a huge win for one of the only players that aren't even ranked coming into the tournament. Regardless, with every match, he plays Moreno de Alboran seems to be becoming more and more of a force to be reckoned with.

"His forehand has been spectacular," Davis said. "I am convinced now that, after the NCAA last year and the matches this year, I think Nic has the best forehand in the entire nation. It's an incredible shot, world class, and he is truly establishing himself as one of the best players in the country."

In the Rolling Hills Estates, the Kramer Invitational kicked off and senior Chase Masciorini, redshirt freshman Daunte Harris, and freshman Henrik Atlevi all participated in the day's action.

For the true freshman, the day was hard as Atlevi was upended by UCLA's Ben Goldberg 6-3, 6-2 in the Round of 32. Both Harris and Masciorini enjoyed a bit more success than their freshman counterpart each winning their first match of the day but losing their second ending their main draw run.

Masciorini had an impressive 6-0, 6-2 victory over SMU's Gardiner Perotti before losing to USC's Jake Devine 6-2, 6-2.

In his first match, Harris had an impressive 6-2, 7-5, 1-0 (10-4) win over UCLA's Lucas Bellamy before losing in a great match against USC's Tanner Smith 7-6, 6-7, 1-0 (10-5).

In doubles, the duo of Atlevi/Masciorini proved to not be very strong losing against a USC pair made up of Devine and Mateusz Smolicki, 8-2.

Moreno de Alboran continues his run in the ITA Championships on Friday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m. while the Kramer Invitational also continues on Friday.