The Wake Forest Men’s tennis team claimed their first ever Division I Indoor Championship on Monday, Feb. 19 in Seattle, WA by defeating UCLA 4-2. The road to Monday’s championship consisted of defeating the host team, the University of Washington Huskies, 4-0 in the opening round.
The team then proceeded to defeat eight-seed University of Southern California 4-1 in the quarterfinals. Coming into Sunday’s semifinals, the pace quickly changed as the Deacs were in a close match against number five Stanford, fighting to beat them 4-3.
Heading into the championship on Monday, Feb. 19 the Deacs were prepared to face seven-ranked UCLA, who had just defeated the number six Texas A&M Aggies 4-2 the day prior. Freshman Yuval Solomon, who has loved the support of upperclassmen teammates and the opportunity to travel throughout the season, described a sense of confidence amongst the team members when preparing to head into Monday’s championship match, but also a sense of uncertainty because an Indoor Championship win was foreign to the team as it had never been achieved in Wake Forest’s history.
Wake Forest Men’s Tennis is currently ranked No.1 in the nation and prepares to next face Virginia Tech in conference play on Friday, March 16th for their next regular season match.
Prior to facing the Hokies, the Demon Deacons sent one player, sophomore Borna Gojo, to the Gatineau Futures tournament in Gatineau, Canada, where play just began on the Feb. 28. Gojo is from Split, Croatia and is currently undefeated in singles matches for the season with an overall record of 4-0.
Wake Forest will also send an esteemed selection of contestants to two other tournaments, the Irving Challenger in Irving, TX and the Sherbrooke Futures in Sherbrooke, Canada preceding this next conference match.
Solomon, along with his teammates, is looking forward to the NCAA tournament that will take place at the end of May, as it will be held right here in Winston-Salem and will provide another chance for the team to walk away as champions.
Wake Forest Women’s Tennis is also faring impressively well, as they are currently ranked 10th in the nation and third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, only subsequent to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke. The Lady Deacs have an overall record of 8-3, with a perfect 5-0 for matches played right here in Winston-Salem.
In their only conference match thus far, the team suffered a tough 4-3 loss at Clemson. Although both teams claimed three game wins in singles competition, Clemson was able to win two of the three doubles competitions, propelling them to the victory.
The team is currently preparing for a weekend of tough conference play, as fourth-ranked Duke comes to town on Friday. Following the match with the Blue Devils, the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Elon Phoenix, the Winthrop Eagles and the Liberty Flames will be here on Sunday.
Freshman Eliza Omirou from Nicosia, Cyprus, was named ACC Freshman of the Week for the week of Feb. 26, bringing recognition to her overall 10-9 record and a sense of validation to her position as the lone freshman on this years’ squad. Omirou’s doubles team with junior Anna Ulyashchenko from Brooklyn, NY, is the most successful pair on the team with an overall record of 10-4, having a 5-4 dual record. Junior Emma Davis from Cohasset, MA, is another stand-out player, as her overall singles record of 16-6 is the best record among all singles matches on the team this season.
The ACC Championships, which will be held April 25th in Cary, North Carolina, will provide a chance for the Deacs to upset higher-ranked UNC and Duke to claim the conference title.