INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - William and Mary women’s tennis juniors Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans were selected to the NCAA Individual Championships, the Division I Women's Tennis Subcommittee announced on Wednesday. Belaya was chosen to compete in the 64-player NCAA Singles Championship, while she and Loomans will combine to take part in the 32-team doubles championship. It marks the 19th time in the last 27 years that W&M has spent both a singles player and a doubles team to the NCAA Individual Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Illinois at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill.
Belaya, who is the 20th different Tribe singles player on the 32nd occasion to earn a spot in the championships, was one of 16 players to receive an automatic bid in singles competition as top-ranked player in her conference, the Colonial Athletic Association. The Green and Gold junior becomes the 14th player in program history, and the first since Megan Moulton-Levy in 2008, to be selected to the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in the same season. Belaya and Loomans, who are ranked No. 11 nationally as of April 23, were one of 11 automatic bids to the doubles championship.
Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championship is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. All singles players must have a minimum of 13 completed singles matches, with six matches in the spring, in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection. Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championships is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. All doubles teams must have a minimum of 10 completed doubles matches, with five matches in the spring, in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
As a team, Belaya and Loomans become just the third Tribe doubles pair to make multiple NCAA Doubles Championship appearances and it marks the 23rd occasion in which the Tribe sent a doubles team to the NCAA Championship. The pair fell in the opening round last season. Loomans becomes the ninth Tribe player to appear in three separate NCAA Individual Championships. In 25 of the last 28 years, the Green and Gold have had at least one representative in the NCAA Individual Championships. The W&M team of Danielle Durak and Julie Kaczmarek made consecutive doubles championship appearances in 1988 and 1989, while Megan Moulton-Levy and Katarina Zoricic qualified in three straight (2006-08), including a national runner-up finish in 2007.
Belaya was named the CAA Player of the Year and compiled a 21-11 singles mark during the season. She won both her matches in convincing fashion during the Tribe's run to the CAA title and earned the Most Outstanding Performer of the CAA Championship as a result. A two-time All-CAA first team honoree in singles, Belaya was ranked as high as No. 116 nationally this season and won a pair of matches against national top-60 competition.
Belaya and Loomans own a 22-4 doubles ledger this season and over the last two campaigns, they are an impressive 42-10. The Green and Gold duo won the ITA Atlantic Region Doubles Championship during the fall and was seeded No. 3 at USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship before advancing to the quarterfinals. For the second straight season, Belaya and Loomans earned First-Team All-CAA honors. The pair is 7-4 against nationally ranked competition this season and has played seven matches against duos in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship. Belaya and Loomans have been ranked in the national top-10 throughout the season, including being rated as high as No. 2 on Feb. 26.
The draws for the NCAA Individual Championships will be released prior to play beginning in Urbana, Ill. Both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be held on May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.