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Monday October 25th

How are UNC spring sports faring so far this season?

<p>UNC men's tennis junior William Blumberg returns the ball during a singles match against NC State on Wednesday April 3, 2019. UNC beat NC State 4-0.&nbsp;</p>
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UNC men's tennis junior William Blumberg returns the ball during a singles match against NC State on Wednesday April 3, 2019. UNC beat NC State 4-0. 

Basketball season may be over, but it's far from an athletic dead period for the Tar Heels. 

While you come to grips with college basketball not returning to Chapel Hill until October, check in on how UNC sports teams are faring this spring: 

Baseball

Numerous UNC programs will reach the heart of their seasons in April. The UNC baseball team will be one of them. 

After winning six in a row, the No. 14 UNC baseball program has improved to a 22-7 record on the season, recovering from a series sweep against Clemson in early March.

Including a sweep of Duke last weekend and winning two of three against Virginia Tech the week before, the Tar Heels have captured series victories in three of four ACC matchups this season, while sitting atop the ACC Coastal Division standings, along with Georgia Tech, with a 7-5 conference mark.

With a series against the Yellow Jackets coming up, Mike Fox's program has the opportunity to put some distance between it and the rest of the division, and start a chase toward No. 5 N.C. State — who has an ACC-best record of 10-2 through 12 games. 

Softball

With 18 games left to be played, Donna Papa's program has been competitive all spring. The high points of the season have been confidence-building wins over then-No. 17 Michigan in February, and a 3-1 victory over then-No. 8 Georgia on March 13. Up to this point, the Tar Heel softball team has a 19-13 record.

Since conference play began, the Tar Heels (8-4 ACC) have won twice as many games as they've lost with series victories over Pittsburgh, Boston College and Duke to show for their play. 

Senior Kiani Ramsey leads the Tar Heels from the plate with a .388 batting average, including 40 hits and 17 RBIs in 103 at-bats. On the mound, Brittany Pickett continues to be the team's workhorse pitcher, winning 11 games in 23 appearances, while tallying a 2.50 earned run average and 99 strikeouts up to this point. Along with Hannah George, the two pitchers have won the Tar Heels 18 games so far. 

Lacrosse

The No. 5 North Carolina women's lacrosse team has achieved a 9-3 mark so far in 2019, while its only losses came against No. 2 Maryland, No. 1 Boston College and No. 4 Notre Dame. In all three of those matchups, the Tar Heels kept things close until runs by the opponent in the second half kept UNC from a trio of other top-10 victories. 

The women's team has just three more games — two of which will be against top-12 opponents before the ACC Tournament begins. 

While not seeing quite as strong a season as the women, the No. 19 UNC men's lacrosse team has been trending upward, especially after a big 10-8 win over Duke last week. The Tar Heels have a 7-3 record and jumped out to a 1-0 mark in the ACC after a victory over the Blue Devils on March 30.

Tennis

The No. 11 UNC men's tennis team has a 14-4 record into the heart of ACC play, with four more matches until postseason play begins. The Tar Heels have won five of their last six matches and seven of the last nine contests. 

The Tar Heels are currently in a tie for the second-best record in the conference (6-2) along with Virginia and Miami, while a considerable distance away from No. 3 Wake Forest — which has an unblemished 10-0 ACC record. Wake Forest has defeated UNC twice this season.

Meanwhile, the No. 2 women's tennis team has seen even more success. The Tar Heels have a pair of singles players and two doubles duos ranked in the top-10 in the country, according to the most recent poll, while flaunting a 22-1 (10-0 ACC) record with four matches until the postseason begins. 

Track and field

After a strong showing in the indoor portion of the season, individual performances have already highlighted the outdoor season this spring. 

Earlier this season, redshirt sophomore Daniel McArthur finished fourth in the NCAA Championship in shot put, which earned him first-team All-America honors.

At the team's most recent meet in Raleigh last weekend, Jill Shippee broke her own UNC record in the women's hammer throw to finish second in the event. That same weekend, her teammates Nicole Greene and Madison Wiltrout both improved their already NCAA top-10 marks to rise in the national standings. 

Greene's performance in the high jump broke the 6-foot threshold and was not only her third-consecutive victory in that event, but it was also good enough for her to be named ACC Field Performer of the Week for the second time this season. 

Golf

The No. 22 UNC men's golf team has finished first and second in back-to-back tournaments, while capturing fourth place in the previous two tournaments before that. 

On the women's side, the Tar Heels have recovered from a dead-last finish in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in March. Since then, the team has finished fourth and second in respective tournaments, while garnering six top-10 finishes in eight tournaments. 

@_jackfrederick

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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