Wake Forest Olympic Sports Roundup

Matt Sullivan

While most people in the Wake-o-sphere are focused on the situation brewing with the basketball team, olympic sports are underway and performing at a high level overall. Let's take a closer look at the Wake Forest spring sports teams.

Baseball:

Demon Deacon baseball fans have been on the edge of their seat all season long. The youthful roster has jumped out to an 8-4 record this spring. Among those 12 games, nine have been one-run games. NINE! The Deacs have done their best Enter Sandman impersonation, winning seven of these games. To add more Shakespearean drama, they already have three walk-offs this season.

Tom Walter's team has been led by a strong and deep pitching rotation, including starters John McLeod (2-0, 0.46 ERA), Aaron Fossas (3-1, 1.42) and Connor Kaden (1-0, 2.87). The team has collectively put together a spectacular 2.74 ERA and allowed more than five runs in only one game.

Thus far, the offense is anchored by first baseman Matt Conway (.357 avg, 7 RBIs), infielder Connor Keniry (.325, .460 OBP) and outfielder Evan Stephens (.311, 7 runs).

The Deacs finish non-conference play on March 5th against VCU and open up ACC play versus Georgia Tech on March 7th.

Men's Tennis:

After finishing second in the ACC tournament last season, the Wake tennis squad has reloaded and is a dark horse in the nation's best conference. After graduating their top two singles players, head coach Tony Bresky brought in a transfer Romain Bogaerts- an All-American as a freshman for Mississippi State-and another top-ranked recruiting class.

Currently No. 19 in the nation, the Deacs are 7-2, including three Top 50 wins over LSU, South Carolina and Louisville. Meanwhile their defeats were Top 20 foes Tennessee and Texas.

Facing the Longhorns in the ITA Kick-off Regional Tournament, the Demon Deacons were inches away from qualifying for the ITA National Indoor Championships for the first time in school history. The teams were knotted at 3-3 and the decisive match was determined by a third set tiebreaker at sixth singles.

In the next two weeks, Wake plays versus VCU, and at both Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, before returning home to avenge their loss to the Longhorns. Wake opens ACC play at North Carolina on March 16th

Women's Tennis:

After three rough seasons, head coach Jeff Wyshner has re-wrote the ship. While He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named failed to improve in Year 4, Wyshner brought in a stellar Top 10 recruiting class. Following 12 total wins and two conference wins in his first three seasons, No. 46 Wake has an 8-3 record and beat Pittsburgh.

Wake knew they had talent with a starting lineup of three sophomores and three freshmen, but did not expect to contend this season. This team will continue to improve and be around for several years to come.

Sophomore Andrea Retolaza starts at first singles, but the Lady Deacs thrive on their depth. After playing mostly second and third singles last year respectively, sophomores Kasey Gardiner and Xue Zhang currently start at fifth and sixth singles.

The Demon Deacons travel to Georgia Tech on March 7th and return to face No. 1 Duke on March 9th.

Men's Golf:

The most storied program at Wake Forest can add to an illustrious list. Clancy Waugh joins a list with names like Palmer, Strange, (Haas)^2, Wadkins and Andrade as just the 11th freshman to win an event. Waugh shot a final round 4-under 68 to win the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate at 6-under par.

Overall, the Wake Forest golf team finished 16-over par, which was good for 8th in the 15 team field. Auburn won the event with a score of 6-under par followed by Kentucky at even par.

Also, senior Thomas Birdsey is one of the most experienced golfers in the ACC and freshman Danny Guise was a highly-touted recruiting out of high school.

The golf team next event is the San Diego Intercollegiate on March 10th-11th.

Women's Golf:

The women's golf team finished in 9th place out of 16 at the Northcup Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California with a score of 42-over par.

Freshman Sierra Sims led the Deacs with a 12th place finish at 5-over par. Fellow freshman Elizabeth Doty, a native of Palos Verdes, finished in 18th place with a score of 7-over par.

The Deacs finished ahead of schools like North Carolina, Texas and Florida in the loaded field. Southern California won the event at 14-over.

Wake next hits the course on March 7th-9th for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, SC.

While some fans may be potentially rejoicing a theoretical head coaching search that could be on the horizon, don't forget to come out to other Wake Forest games/matches!

Support Your Deacs!!!

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