Tennis: Belaya and Loomans fall in title defense

Seniors Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans highlighted a fall campaign that saw William and Mary compete in seven invitationals.

Belaya and Loomans, the No. 7 doubles team, entered the Riviera / Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships with a perfect 6-0 record. After reaching the quarterfinals, the No. 15 duo, Whitney Kay and Caroline Price from North Carolina, topped the College, 8-4.

Individually, No. 99 Belaya recorded three wins in as many days, including upset wins over No. 7 and No. 33, to reach the round of 16.  Belaya fell to No. 48 Cristina Stancu of Texas A&M, however, to end the run.

Despite the losses, Belaya and Loomans qualified for the ITA Atlantic Region Doubles Championship, a tournament they won in 2012. After winning four matches in four days, Belaya and Loomans topped the No. 9 tandem of Raluca Mita and Francesca Fusinato from Virginia Tech 8-4 to advance to the finals.

Virginia’s Rachel Pierson and Julia Elbaba upset the College, 8-2, to claim the championship. Belaya and Loomans ended the fall season with an 11-2 doubles record.

On the men’s side, senior Ben Guthrie and junior Aaron Chaffee each won a singles flight at the University of Virginia Fall Invitational to highlight a campaign that saw William and Mary compete in four invitationals.

Guthrie defeated David Biosca of East Tennessee State University to win the Orange Flight, while Chaffee upended Radford’s Patrick O’Keefe 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to claim the Red Flight. Overall, the College was the only program of the 21 in attendance to win two singles flights.

Belaya and Loomans, supported by a cast of strong freshman and upperclassmen, should contend for the Colonial Athletic Association championship in the spring season while the men’s program, led by Guthrie and Chaffee, should also compete for the conference title.


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