Washburn’s Alejandro Valarezo remained in the hunt for a Division II national tennis title, advancing to ITA Oracle Cup singles semifinals on Thursday in Rome, Ga.
Valarezo posted a 7-5, 7-6 (1) victory over Matej Selecky of the New York Institute of Technology in the quarterfinals.
The junior standout from Ecuador trailed 6-5 in the second set before taking the next game and controlling the tiebreaker.
Valarezo improved to 14-3 in the fall season and will take a 10-match winning streak into Friday’s 9 a.m. match against No. 1-seeded Oliver Frank of Azusa Pacific. Frank is the defending Oracle Cup winner.
Valarezo and senior teammate Blake Hunter opened the doubles tournament with a heartbreaking loss in a marathon match against Jeremiah Gonzalez and Bojan Popovic of St. Mary’s (Texas), falling 2-6, 6-3, 21-19. It was the first loss of the season for WU’s All-American doubles team, which dropped to 13-1.
Hunter and Valarezo, the No. 1-seeded team in doubles, will go to the consolation bracket, meeting Rodolfo Arreygue and Andres Donayre of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) at 1 p.m. on Friday.
The winner of Friday’s singles match between Valarezo and Frank will move on to Saturday’s Division II final.
The Division II champion will earn the chance to compete in the same tournament as the nation’s top Division I players at the ITA National Fall Championships, which will be held Nov. 1-5 in Indian Wells, Calif.