Tribe WTEN Duo Advances To NCAA Sweet 16
The No. 13 nationally ranked Green and Gold duo raced out to a 3-0 advantage with a break in the second game of the opening set. The Auburn pair closed to within 4-3, before Belaya and Loomans took the final two games and the first set, 6-3. The Tribe tandem jumped out to an early break in the second set as well and road it to the 6-4 victory as Belaya served out the set.
Belaya and Loomans, who are competing in their second straight NCAA Doubles Championship, improved to 23-4 overall on the season and are an impressive 43-10 over the last two campaigns. The victory also marked the Green and Gold duo's eighth over nationally-ranked competition this season.
The Tribe pair will face the event’s No. 3 seed Patricia Veresova and Mary Weatherholt from Nebraska, who are also ranked No. 3 nationally, in the round of 16 on Friday. Veresova and Weatherholt defeated the No. 34-ranked Georgia State team of Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Apisah in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6), on Thursday to earn a spot in the next round.
UNCW senior tennis standouts Kosta Blank and Chris Cooprider wrapped up their collegiate careers Thursday with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 loss to Georgia’s Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland in the doubles portion of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships.
The 30th-ranked Blank and Cooprider became the first duo in UNCW history to compete in the national draw and wound up with a 13-6 record this spring after leading the Seahawks to their fourth NCAA team appearance.
In Thursday’s match, Pieters and Wagland, ranked fifth by the ITA, outlasted Blank and Cooprider in the first set and then cruised in the second stanza to advance at the Khan Tennis Complex at the University of Illinois. Pieters and Wagland pushed their record to 16-9 on the season.
“It’s a tough way to go out, but Kosta and Chris have been great ambassadors for our program over the last four years,” said Mait DuBois, UNCW’s sixth-year head coach. “Pieters and Wagland are a very good doubles team, so the competition was stiff.