MALIBU, Calif. - Thursday marked the beginning of the 2018 ITA Southwest Regional which kicked off at Pepperdine University. Last year, Nicolas Moreno de Alboran ran the table making it all the way to the championship round and this year multiple Gauchos joined him in some day one victory as many advanced to day two if the invite.
The Regional kicked off with doubles play which saw four pairs of UCSB athletes take part in. Three of the four pairs advanced including the top duo comprised of seniors Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm. The senior pair did well on day one of action as they defeated Hawai'i's Chia-Hua Lu/Eric Kenneth 8-3 after receiving a first-round bye.
Junior Joseph Guillin and senior Hirnori Koyanagi also picked up a win against SDSU's Rafael Gonzalez Almazan/Sander Gjoels-Andersen, 8-7 (4) after getting that first round bye. Additionally, Victor Krustev and Joseph Rotheram defeated UC Irvine's Antoine Barthe/Sasha Krasnov 8-5 to advance to the round of 16.
After doubles, singles play began and three Gauchos did not receive first-round byes.
First, Holm knocked off the Aztecs Gonzalez Almazan, 7-5, 6-3 to continue playing. Right behind him were Soto and redshirt freshman Luka Vukmanovic who each earned wins in the first round to advance. The only Gaucho to lose was Saiga who lost in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to Cal Poly's Karapet Vardanyan.
In the round of 64, four of the eight Gaucho representatives earned wins to advance in the top flight. Singles aces for UCSB, Moreno de Alboran and Guillin, both earned easy straight-set wins to continue to play at the regional. Joining them tomorrow will be Krustev and Koyanagi who both also earned straight-set wins.
Holm, Vukmanovic, Soto, and Rotheram were all eliminated from the top flight of the tournament.
The ITA Southwest Regional will continue tomorrow at 9 a.m. with one round of doubles, two rounds of singles, and two round of consolation singles at Pepperdine University. Follow @UCSBTennis on Instagram and Twitter for all updates.