It looks to be an exciting spring season of sports starting in the next few weeks. After a fall season that saw the best ranking ever in the Director’s Cup followed by a somewhat disappointing winter season, the upcoming sports look to make a jump in those rankings.
One team to watch closely is the men’s tennis team. After taking both the individual and team NCAA titles on the home court last season, it is well-known that the Deacs are the one to beat on the court. So far, the team has already qualified for the ITA Indoor Team Championships that are held in Chicago this year. Last year, the team took the championship in Seattle, so they look to defend that title in Chicago this year before starting ACC play. The women’s team is also off to a great start, advancing to the ITA Kick-Off weekend championship. They ultimately fell to no. 14 South Carolina but looked good as a whole through those matches.
Wake Forest’s golf teams have always been one to watch, and this year is no different. The biggest hype is around senior Jennifer Kupcho on the women’s team. After leading wire-to-wire and winning the NCAA Championship last year, she looks to continue that dominance in ACC and NCAA play. Surrounded by a host of capable teammates, Kupcho and the team could really make a mark this year in the standings. The men’s team also had a stellar fall season and look to make a run this year. Three players were ranked in the Arnold Palmer rankings, which measures the top players both in the United States and internationally. Junior Eric Bae led the team in tournaments this fall and looks to continue that as ACC play starts up.
On the track and in the field, the Deacons have looked good through their first indoor competitions this year. Through a few competitions this year, the men’s distance medley relay team has looked very strong. Freshman Zach Facioni is a member of that relay who has done extremely well individually, as has senior Robert Heppenstall. Freshman Kane Aldrich has performed well in the pole vault, as has senior Tesia Kempski. Cydney Delley, a sophomore sprinter, has looked good in the 200m thus far and senior Dakota Greenwalt ran well in the 1000m at the recent Camel City Invite. Alva Hicks, a senior thrower, has boasted impressive throws this season and has been demolishing the field.
The baseball diamond looks to be an exciting place to spectate this year, as the Diamond Deacs were ranked no. 20 during the preseason this year. It’s the program’s first top-25 preseason ranking since 2003, a testament to this year’s team and raised expectations. With eight of nine starters returning on the offense, five of which were freshman last year, a more veteran team looks to build on last year’s results. Additionally, with both Colin Peluse and Morgan McSweeney back, two of three weekend pitchers returning gives stability on the mound that will seep through to all aspects of the team.
As the weather gets warmer and the flowers start to bloom, there will be some great athletic performances as well this spring. There’s a good chance Wake Forest’s spring performance could top its fall Director’s Cup standings, which would be remarkable.