For good, bad, and sad reasons, the focus of this website and other UNC focused media has been on basketball for the past couple months. While there’s still plenty of news surrounding Carolina to be talked about, the college basketball season is about to be over.
On the other hand, it won’t be long now until we hit the stretch run of the college baseball season, and Tar Heel Blog will provide plenty of coverage as the Diamond Heels try to go back to Omaha. We just published a recap of the season up to this weekend, so check that out here. However, they are not the only sport in full swing right now. Let’s check up on all the Tar Heel teams that have been playing while we were watching basketball.
UNC’s tennis teams have been among the most successful in the school the past couple years, and this season appears to be no different.
Following a Friday night win over Florida State, the Tar Heel women’s tennis team currently sits at #2 in the country with a 23-1 record. That lone loss came to #1 Georgia back in February in the indoor championships.
They’re led on the singles front by Alexa Graham and Makenna Jones who are currently ranked numbers six and seven in the country. There are four tar Heels ranked in the top 30 in singles players, while Graham and Jones are also each part of two separate doubles teams that are in the top 10. UNC were the #2 overall seed last year, but were upset in the round of 16. Hopefully, they can better that run this year.
The men’s tennis team have also been a top ten team at points this season. They were recently as high as six, but have fallen to 11th following a loss to #3 Wake Forest. They don’t have any singles players or doubles teams ranked as high as the women do, but they’ve still been had an excellent season, having lost just twice since mid-February.
ACC Tournaments for tennis are little less than two weeks away. The conference is pretty strong in tennis, but both Carolina teams will contend for the ACC title.
Lacrosse has also been a strong point in the athletics department in recent years, peaking when they swept the national championships on back to back days in 2016.
The women’s team looks like it has the potential to make another title run, currently sitting at #5 in the country. The Tar Heels currently are 8-2, with wins over #6 Northwestern, #7 Virginia, and #11 James Madison. The only two losses have come to Boston College and Maryland, who are currently the top two ranked teams in the country. The Maryland loss was also in overtime after the Heels had rallied from five goals down at halftime.
Sophomore Jamie Ortega leads UNC in goals with 46, which is tied for seventh in the country. The Tar Heels’ defense also ranks among the best in the country, allowing just 8.25 goals per game.
On the mean’s side, the Tar Heels are in the weird position of being ranked but also possibly on the outside looking in. The men’s team currently sits at 7-4 and #19 in the country. (Or at least they were #19 before their loss to Virginia on Saturday.) However, our SB Nation sister site College Cross currently has them not in the NCAA Tournament field.
UNC’s final two regular season games are against ranked teams, and they’ll also get a chance to add good wins in the ACC Tournament as well. There’s still time to right that situation.
Softball is off to a winning start at 20-14, but doesn’t appear close to cracking the top 25. However, the various bracketology sources on the internet are split as to whether they are currently a tournament team. They have a series against #3 Florida State coming up next weekend, and they have several other games against ranked teams. There’s a chance they can play themselves into a return to the NCAA Tournament after missing it in 2018.
Several Tar Heels are also standing out in individual sports, even if the teams as a whole aren’t having outstanding seasons. In track and field, UNC has several athletes who have put up strong marks in their particular events.
High jumper Nicole Greene looks to be a contender for her second national championship. Greene previously won the 2018 NCAA indoor high jump championship, which was the school’s first track and field champion since 2007. This year, her season high mark of 1.85 meters is the third best of anyone this year, and better than the winning mark at last year’s NCAA championship meet.
Elsewhere, Jill Shippee, Madison Wiltrout, and Brandon Tubby have each put up one of the best 15 times/distances in their particular events this season.
As a school, UNC regularly finishes high in things like the Director’s Cup standings. It looks like several spring sports may contribute to another impressive showing this year.