The Wolfpacker

March 2013 - Signing Day Edition

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 67 of 95

As a freshman last season, sophomore Robbie Mudge tied for the team lead with 20 wins in dual singles play. photo courtesy nc state media relations A By Ryan Tice look at the men���s tennis program���s win-loss record shows that NC��State got off to a 6-5 start during the 2013 season. However, win-loss records are not everything in collegiate tennis, and the team was ranked 35th nationally in mid-February. ���PREVIEW Men���s Tennis The Wolfpack had squared off with eight nationally ranked opponents, and recorded victories over No.�� 22 Indiana, No.�� 36 Louisville and No.�� 37 UNC Wilmington, while dropping close 4-3 matches to No.��34 Northwestern, No.��49 South Carolina and No.��43 Middle Tennessee State. It���s a challenging slate for a team that usually has underclassmen playing in the top three singles positions and features just two seniors on the 10-man roster, but that is by design according to head coach Jon Choboy, the only coach in program history to lead the school to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip last year. ���It is really valuable for us to play a very tough schedule,��� he said. ���I felt like I had a good enough young team that we could push that envelope a little bit. We���re looking to today, but we���re looking to tomor- Meeting The Challenge The Wolfpack Has Started Off Well, Despite Its Youth And A Tough Schedule row, as well. We want to put these guys in as many tough situations as we can. ���This is as tough a schedule as I���ve ever had prior to the ACC season with any team since I���ve been here. I���m testing these guys more than I���ve ever tested any other team ��� I just felt the players and team could handle it.��� The Pack has been able to find success during the tough slate, despite a pair of sophomores residing at the top of the lineup in Austin Powell and Robbie Mudge. The duo, who combined with fellow lineup regular Beck Bond to form one of the nation���s top recruiting classes in 2011, recorded 51 victories as rookies while play- ing in the lower half of the lineup and were needed to take control this season. ���It was a top-10 recruiting class the year we signed them,��� Choboy said. ���We had another very good class this year, but that sophomore class is all playing singles and doubles while carrying a tremendous amount of responsibility.��� The rest of the roster is similarly void of much college experience while being counted on as lineup regulars, but they have collectively responded to Choboy���s challenge. ���In our lineup for singles, I think we have first- and second-year players at every spot, whether they���re freshmen or sophomores, or upperclassmen getting their first 68��� ������ the wolfpacker 68-69.Men's Tennis Preview.indd 68 2/26/13 2:37 PM

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