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Moberg's Upset Win Highlights Day Two Action
Sept. 28, 2013
Sophomore Erik Moberg battled his way to a 7-6, 1-6, 10-8 quarterfinals victory over top-seeded NAIA All-American Nicolas Pinones of Auburn Montgomery on Saturday to highlight day two of the USTA/ITA South Regional Championships in New Orleans, La.
Pinones ended last season as the NAIA’s top-ranked singles player but Moberg pulled out the victory in a third-set super tiebreaker.
Earlier in the day, Moberg outlasted eighth-seeded Jefferson Nino of Belhaven by a 6-3, 7-6 (4) margin in the round of 16 to set up the quarterfinal showdown.
Moberg now advances to the tournament’s semifinals round on Sunday, where three additional Auburn Montgomery players await.
“This was a huge win for Erik and the Grizzly program,” said GGC head coach Chase Hodges. “Pinones has been one of the NAIA’s best players for years and this was a tremendous result in a gritty effort.”
Moberg was one of three GGC players to reach the quarterfinal round before two others bowed out.
GGC’s second-seeded Bruno Tiberti was eliminated after a tight three-setter against seventh-seeded Miguel Grifol, 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 in the quarterfinals. The Grizzly senior defeated Louis Ingram of AUM in the round of 16 in another three-setter earlier in the day.
Sophomore Evgeny Silitski also made a run into the field’s final eight, using an upset of fifth-seeded Andre Almeida of Belhaven, 6-2, 2-6, 10-7. Silitski ran out of gas in the quarterfinal round against AUM’s Othmane Lalami, retiring due to injury in the second set.
Senior Hernan Hatem’s run ended in the round of 16 after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to host Xavier’s Nikita Soifer, the sixth seed.
Moberg now faces Lalami at 9 a.m. on Sunday in the semifinals. The lone remaining seeded player in the field is the seventh seed Grifol.
In doubles action, the tandem of Tiberti and Moberg withdrew due to injury in the quarterfinals after scoring an 8-4 win earlier in the day, while Silitski and Tony Kostadinov fell to the top-seeded pair of Pinones and Grifol, 8-2.