The VCU men’s golf team claimed the Black and Blue Cup against inter-city rival University of Richmond 4-3 on April 13, further cementing its position as favorites to win the upcoming Atlantic 10 championship.
The Rams’ second straight Black and Blue Cup victory came just one day after VCU finished second at the River Landing Intercollegiate Tournament April 12.
Sophomore standout Adam Ball finished fourth at the RLIC and received his third A-10 player of the week award this past Thursday following his fourth top-five finish of the year.
VCU’s match play wins against Richmond included freshman Hanish Nagrani’s defeat of David Germann by four holes with two to play, sophomore Steffen Harm beating J. D. Sanderson by six holes with five to play, senior Rocky Khara beating Colin McDade by two holes with one to play and freshman Enej Sarkanj beating Mark Reilly by four holes with three to play.
The three individual VCU losses were by close margins.
Adam Ball lost to Danny Pizetoski one-up on the 18th hole. Senior Matt Ball Jr. lost to Jack Wilkes by two holes with one to play, and VCU junior Gino Vandenberg lost to Austin Romeo two up or “dormie,” which means Vandenberg was down two holes with two holes to play and could not win in regulation.
Despite their losses against Richmond, the Ball brothers figure to be critical components in VCU’s upcoming postseason run.
As of April 14, the pair ranked in the Golfweek top-500 men’s collegiate individual golfers with Adam at No. 255 and Matt No. 490.
VCU can also count on their young talent as both Sarkanj and Nagrani have earned A-10 rookie of the week awards earlier this season.
The Rams were unanimously voted the best team in the A-10 by all ten conference coaches April 3.
As the reigning 2012-13 conference runner-ups, VCU is poised to improve from last season. The team has already finished among the top-five in six different tournaments this season. They have also claimed a first-place finish in both the fall and spring seasons.
VCU’s golfers will occupy the five-latest tee times during the first round of the conference tournament, which is set to begin April 25.
The favorited Rams will face off against second-seeded Richmond and 2012-13 conference champion George Washington University. The tee times are 9:45 a.m., 9:54 a.m.,10:03 a.m., 10:12 a.m. and 10:21 a.m. Seeding for the second and third rounds will be determined by the team’s performance.
TPC Tampa Bay is hosting the conference tournament Friday April 25 to Sunday April 27. The A10 conference announced that admission to the tournament is free.