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Singles Play Leads Tribe to Road Win at ODU
Updated: Thursday 04/06/2012 (ET)
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Norfolk, Va. - The William and Mary women's tennis team used four singles wins to record a 4-3 road victory against Old Dominion on Friday afternoon at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center. After dropping the doubles point, W&M received singles triumphs from sophomores Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans as well as junior Anik Cepeda and senior Katie Kargl to upend the Monarchs and in the process locked up 10 points in the Optima Health Challenge. W&M improved to 5-14 on the year and 1-1 in CAA, while ODU dropped to 10-9 overall and 2-3 in league action.

With the victory, W&M closed the Old Dominion lead in the Optima Health Challenge to 60-40 with four events remaining (men's tennis, men's golf, women's golf and baseball). The Optima Health Challenge is a running score of all the direct competitions between the two CAA schools, with a champion being named at the end of the athletic season and receiving the Optima Health Trophy. The scoring system awards 10 points for the overall winner in every regular season ODU-W&M athletic competition. A total of 140 points (10 points for Football, 10 points for MBB, 10 points for WBB, and 10 points per 11 Olympic Sports) are available, and the winning school will be the first to tally 75 points.

The Tribe doubles team of Cepeda and Belaya tallied an 8-2 win over Melissa Esnal Olguin and Juliana Pires at the No. 2 position to improve to 3-1 as a team this season. The Monarchs countered with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 slots to take the initial point of the match.

In singles action, Kargl turned in a dominant performance at the No. 6 singles post. The Tribe senior rolled to a 6-2, 6-0 win over ODU's Faith Atiso to even the match. Kargl upped her team-leading win total to 13 with her seventh dual-match victory of the season.

Belaya and Loomans tallied straight-sets wins at the top two singles positions. At the No. 1 spot, Belaya defeated an All-CAA selection from a season ago in Diana Ivanova, 6-4, 6-3. The Tribe sophomore recorded her 11th overall victory and fourth at the No. 1 post, downing an ODU player that entered the match with a 13-4 singles mark. 

Loomans trailed 5-2 in the opening set against Aleksandra Mitrovska before rallying to force a tiebreaker. Mitrovska jumped out to a 5-1 lead over the Tribe sophomore in the tiebreaker, before Loomans reeled off six straight points to pull out the first set, 7-6 (5). She continued her stout play by breezing to a 6-0 win in the second for her third straight victory and eighth overall.

Cepeda clinched the W&M victory with a straight-sets win at the No. 5 singles post. The College Station, Texas native upended Juliana Pires for her eighth win of the season.

The Tribe will return to action with its final two regular season matches of the 2012 campaign at the Millie West Tennis Facility. The College welcomes No. 48 VCU to Williamsburg on Wednesday, April 11, for a 3 p.m. match, before hosting Boston University on Saturday, April 14, at noon.

William and Mary 4, Old Dominion 3
No. 1 - Maria Belaya (W&M) def. Diana Ivanova (ODU) - 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 - Jeltje Loomans (W&M) def. Aleksandra Mitrovska (ODU) - 7-6 (5), 6-0
No. 3 - Melissa Esnal Olguin (ODU) def. Nina Vulovich (W&M) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 - Nika Khmolovska (ODU) def. Hope Johnson (W&M) - 7-5, 6-3
No. 5 - Anik Cepeda (W&M) def. Juliana Pires (ODU) - 7-5, 6-2
No. 6 - Katie Kargl (W&M) def. Faith Atiso (ODU) - 6-2, 6-0

No. 1 - Ivanova/Mitrovska (ODU) def. Loomans/Johnson (W&M) - 8-4
No. 2 - Belaya/Cepeda (W&M) def. Esnal Olguin/Pires (ODU) - 8-2
No. 3 - Khmolovska/Atiso (ODU) def. Mesgarzadeh/Kargl (W&M) - 8-3

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