NC State's men's basketball win at #9 Louisville rightfully garnered the lion's share of Wolfpack Nation's attention this weekend, but there were plenty of doings in the non-revenue realm, including an upset on the mat.
NC State moved to 15-5 in duals behind pins from defending national champion Nick Gwiazdowski, Kevin Jack, and Bryce Meredith. The 25th-ranked Pack more than doubled up 14th-ranked Pitt in the competition, surging to a 15-0 lead and cruising to a 27-12 final. Gwiazdowski has won 46 consecutive bouts dating to last season. Jack, a freshman, ran his record to 21-5 on the year, though Saturday's action was his first start in a duals competition. Meredith, a freshman who came to State after winning four Wyoming state championships, is ranked 30th in the nation at 133 pounds. Gwiazdowski is the nation's #1 heavyweight.
The mat men have two duals competitions left, both against impressive foes. They travel to take on #13 Virginia Thursday before closing the season at home Sunday against #7 Oklahoma State.
The wrestling win was part of the "Beauty and the Beast" promotion that pairs grappling with gymnastics. To be clear: as much as I think there should be hybrid gymnastics-wrestling--wrestnastics?--the event has both gymnastics and wrestling going on at the same time, but the two sports were not comingled in any way.
The Pack ladies won the team competition with a 195.85 meet score, their second best mark of the season. Bill & Mary (194.35) and George Washington (194.125) finished second and third, respectively. Amanda Fillard tied for first in the uneven bars with a score of 9.85, a career-high. Lane Jarred and Brittni Watkins shared individual honors on the beam, tying for first with 9.825 marks. Jarred's floor exercise earned her a second first-place finish; she notched a career-best 9.9 for her routine.
The team hosts its final home meet of the season Friday night, welcoming rival North Carolina, among other squads, to Reynolds.
The new look Pack nine knocked Davidson around for 16 hits, including a perfect 5-for-5 afternoon from Preston Palmeiro, to move to 2-0 with an 8-3 win over the visiting Wildcats. Freshman Evan Mendoza picked up the win in his first collegiate start, allowing a lone run over five innings. The righty allowed four hits and a walk while fanning four in his five frames.
Palmeiro hit his first career home run the day before in a 14-5 win over Villanova and is off to a ridiculous 7-for-8 start to his sophomore campaign. The lefty swinger has also drawn a free pass, giving him an .889 on-base percentage. That'll do.
Logan Ratledge hasn't played the field yet due to a minor injury but is 5-for-8 with four runs scored from the DH spot so far this season. Jake Armstrong is off to a 4-for-8 start. He and Palmeiro have both driven in five runs.
State is slated to host UNC-Wilmington Tuesday afternoon, weather permitting.
Shawn Rychcik's softball squad showed signs of being able to compete with the nation's elite over the weekend but dropped all three of its games against Florida, the nation's #1 team. The Pack were outscored 17-2 in three games against ranked opponents the previous weekend but gave the Gators all they could handle, falling by one, two, and three runs in Gainesville. State did squeak out a win against Iowa on Saturday, walking off with a 6-5 win.
Morgan Medford, who had homered earlier in the day in State's 5-3 loss to the Gators, drove in Maggie Hawkins to beat the Hawkeyes with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Molly Hutchison has opened the season on fire; the sophomore is batting .444 and has four of the team's eight home runs. Senior Renada Davis has struggled out of the gates (.222) but did pick up her first round tripper of the season in Gainesville.
After nine straight road or neutral tilts to open the year, the ladies are slated for five games against five different opponents in the Hyatt Place Challenge this weekend back home in Raleigh.
RANK AND FILE
NC State is ranked in the top 30 nationally in five sports: men's swimming and diving (#3), women's swimming and diving (#12), rifle (#15), wrestling (#25), and men's tennis (#29). Softball is among the "others receiving votes" in its poll.