Hot Streak: Tiger Junior Marches Into NCAA Semis

Auburn's top tennis player has marched through four rounds of NCAA Tournament action without losing a set.

Tulsa, Okla.--Tiger junior Gabor Zoltan Pelva continued his impressive and unexpected run at the NCAA Men's Singles Tennis Tournament with another straight sets victory on Saturday.

His 6-2, 6-1 decision over Chad Harris of Vanderbilt advances Pelva into the semi-finals vs. Benjamin Becker of Baylor, who defeated Hamid Mirzadeh of Florida 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday.

Pelva, who was unseeded for the tournament, has yet to lose a set through four rounds of play in the 64-player draw. He came into the tournament ranked 20th among college singles players. None of the seeded players is left in the field with Michael Kogan of Tulane and Franticek Babej of South Alabama playing in the other semi-final match.

Gabor Zoltan Pelva

"I think I played pretty well," Pelva said. "I felt consistent throughout even though there were tough conditions. I think they hurt him more than me. I was pretty tired after yesterday's (Friday's) match so I am glad this one went pretty fast because I will have to battle hard again tomorrow. It is going to be a very tough match."

Pelva will play at 2 p.m. on Sunday for the chance to reach the finals and have the opportunity to be Auburn's first ever singles national champion.

In the quarter-finals Pelva defeated Sam Warburg of Stanford, the Pac 10 Player of the Year, 6-3, 7-6 on Friday.

On Wednesday to open play in the 64-player draw, Pelva defeated New Mexico's Divan Coetzee 6-4, 6-2. In round two on Thursday, Pelva took a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Doug Stewart of Virginia.

Pelva improved his record to 18-7 in singles this season with his fourth NCAA Tournament victory on Saturday.

Auburn coach Eric Shore said, "I think today was Gabor's best match of the tournament. He was fresh and recovered from yesterday and that really helped him. He has a tough match tomorrow against Benjamin Becker and he will need to be ready since he has never played him."


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