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Belaya Upsets Nationally-Ranked Foe, Sending W&M Past #30 South Carolina
Updated: Sunday 02/17/2013 (ET)
by TribeAthletics.com
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Different day, same story for the William and Mary women's tennis team as the Green and Gold upset No. 30-ranked South Carolina, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. Junior Maria Belaya pulled out a three-set victory over the No. 59-ranked player in the country, clinching the Tribe's second win over top-30 competition this season. W&M, which is ranked No. 47 nationally, ran its win streak to four with its fourth 4-3 victory of the season in improving to 8-2 overall, while South Carolina, who won at No. 49 VCU, 4-2, on Saturday, fell to 4-3.

With the Tribe leading 3-2, the balance of the match came down to a pair of three-set affairs at the No. 1 and No. 4 positions. At the top spot, Belaya took the opening set, 6-4, from No. 59-ranked Jaklin Alawi, before the Gamecock player rallied to claim the second, 6-4. In the third, Alawi and Belaya traded breaks in the third and fourth games, before the Tribe junior reeled off four of the match's final five games in claiming the 6-3 victory and igniting a Tribe celebration. It marked her third straight singles win as she upped her mark to 6-4 at the No. 1 post and 12-8 overall.

W&M opened the match by taking the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. After South Carolina picked up the opening doubles win at the No. 2 spot, the Green and Gold's No. 4 nationally-ranked pair of Belaya and junior Jeltje Loomans rallied to even things. Trailing 4-2 to the No. 57-ranked team in the country of Alawi and Dominika Kanakova, the Tribe pair ripped off six of the final seven games in pulling out an 8-5 win. It marked Belaya and Loomans sixth straight victory as they improved to 17-2 overall and 8-1 in dual-match play.

The doubles point came down to a battle at the No. 3 position. The Tribe tandem of junior Sydney Smith and freshman Leeza Nemchinov jumped out to an early 5-2 advantage and road it to an 8-6 victory over the Gamecock team of Ximena Siles Luna and Adriana Pereira. Smith and Nemchinov won for the second time in as many days in clinching the initial point of the match. 

Nemchinov and senior Anik Cepeda pushed the Green and Gold lead to 3-0 with straight-set wins at the No. 3 and No. 5 spots, respectively. Nemchinov rolled in the opening set, 6-0, over Dominika Kanakova, before winning four of the final five games in the second to pull out the 7-5 victory. She won her fourth straight, improving to 14-9 overall and 8-2 in dual-match play.

Cepeda's torrid singles pace continued as the Tribe senior rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Adriana Pereira at the No. 5 post. Cepeda won for the sixth time in her last seven matches and third straight to improve her team-best best mark to 16-11, including an 8-2 ledger in duals. South Carolina closed the Tribe cushion to 3-2 with wins at the No. 2 and No. 6 positions, before Belaya's clinching victory.

W&M closes out its recent four-match homestand with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Tribe welcomes Penn to the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at 10 a.m., before hosting James Madison at 4 p.m. Live stats for both matches will be available at TribeAthletics.com.

#47 William and Mary 4, #30 South Carolina 3
Singles
No. 1 - Maria Belaya (W&M) def. #59 Jaklin Alawi (USC) - 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
No. 2 - #114 Katerina Popova (USC) def. Jeltje Loomans (W&M) -6-4, 6-2
No. 3 - Leeza Nemchinov (W&M) def. Dominika Kanakova (USC) - 6-0, 7-5
No. 4 - Ximena Siles Luna (USC) def. Hope Johnson (W&M) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 - Anik Cepeda (W&M) def. Adriana Pereira (USC) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 - Josefin Andersson (USC) def. Sydney Smith (W&M) - 6-0, 6-3
Finishing Order: 3, 5, 6, 2, 1*, 4

Doubles
No. 1 - #4 Belaya/Loomans (W&M) def. #57 Alawi/Kanakova (USC) - 8-5
No. 2 - Popova/Andersson (USC) def. Cepeda/Johnson (W&M) - 8-3
No. 3 - Nemchinov/Smith (W&M) def. Pereira/Siles Luna (USC) - 8-6
Finishing Order: 2, 1, 3*










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