In a weekend that saw four Wake Forest sports teams vie for ACC Championships, the Demon Deacons won half of them. The men’s and women’s golf teams along with the men’s and women’s tennis teams competed in the ACC tournaments to finish a strong year of conference play.
The women’s golf team won the title, leading wire to wire, and sophomore Emilia Migliaccio won the individual title. The men’s tennis team won the ACC title a few days later, their second consecutive ACC Championship.
The women’s golf team led from the start at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. when the tournament began on Thursday, April 18.
The Deacons finished the tournament at 14-under, shooting 5-under during the final round. They won on Sunday, April 20, by a resounding eight-shot margin. Florida State and Duke finished second and third in the ACC tournament, respectively.
It is the Deacons’ sixth ACC Championship overall, but their first since 2010. The team has currently matched the longest win streak in school history, set in 1994, with three wins at the Tar Heel Classic, Bryan National and now ACCs, with two events still to go. It is noteworthy that the score of 14-under is the third-lowest in program history, with all three of the lowest rounds coming this spring. It has been a remarkable start for first-year Head Coach Kim Lewellen, who came to Wake Forest from the University of Virginia.
While senior Jennifer Kupcho has been a star during her time at Wake Forest, including recently winning the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Migliaccio was in the spotlight at this tournament. She became the eighth Demon Deacon to win the ACC individual title, finishing at 11-under. Her score was the lowest 54-hole score seen at the course through nine ACC Championships held at Sedgefield. With the win, Migliaccio joined an elite group of Brenda Corrie, Stephanie Neill and Kupcho as the only Demon Deacons to win a tournament three times in one season. Junior Siyun Liu finished as the ACC runner-up at 9-under, helping to propel the Deacons to the title.
Over in Cary on Sunday, the top-seeded men’s tennis team won its second-consecutive ACC title over No. 5-ranked Virginia. The Demon Deacons had previously won the season title due to overall wins and losses in the conference. It is the third ACC title in history for the Demon Deacons, all three coming in the last four years. Interestingly, all three championships have been won at the Cary Tennis Park.
It was a tough match from start to finish. The Deacons’ lone win in doubles was at the No. 2 spot from sophomore Bar Botzer and senior Petros Chrysochos. The final two matches headed to a tiebreaker and the Cavaliers were able to win both and grab the doubles point.
As per usual, the Demon Deacons came out with force in the singles matches, taking the first set of the four needed to complete the tournament run. Freshman Siddhant Banthia fell at the No. 6 spot to open the match before four consecutive victories won the Deacons the hardware.
Freshman Melios Efstathiou won his match on the No. 5 court and junior Borna Gojo won his match handily to level the score at two apiece. Gojo was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player due to his successes. Sophomore Rrezart Cungu won easily at the No. 4 spot to make the title dependant on a win from either Botzer and Chrysochos. Botzer was able to pull it out to clinch the title for the Demon Deacons, and the team poured onto the court celebrate.
The women’s golf team will learn which NCAA regional they will play at next month during the NCAA selection show on Wednesday, April 24, while the men’s tennis team will learn their seeding and the tournament field on Monday, April 29.