The Wolfpacker

November 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 116 of 139

Intermat ranks redshirt sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski, who earned All-America accolades as a true freshman at Binghamton in 2012, as the No. 3 heavyweight in the land. photo courtesy nc state media relations The Next Step The Wolfpack Grapplers Built A Solid Base Last Year And Now Take Aim At The Top 25 L By Ryan Tice ast season, under a new coaching staff, was difficult for NC State wrestling. The team went 5‑6 in dual meets and placed fifth out of six teams at the ACC Championships. How‑ ever, much was accomplished under head coach Pat Popolizio, who enters his second year at the helm. ■PREVIEW wrestling "Our first year was important for laying the foundation, as far as attitude and phi‑ losophy," he said. "The guys did an amazing job of buying in. That will be key to success in years two, three, four and beyond." Despite redshirting some would-be key performers, including All-American heavy‑ weight Nick Gwiazdowski, there was still plenty to be proud of last season. Three ath‑ letes — senior 125-pounder Joe DeAngelo, sophomore 133-pounder Sam Speno and senior 165-pounder Nijel Jones — qualified for the NCAA Championships as individu‑ als, and DeAngelo was able to record a 7‑5 victory at nationals. "This sport is all about confidence," noted Popolizio, a former standout at Oklahoma Newcomer To Watch Peter Renda, 174 pounds The undefeated state champion from Pennsylvania, the nation's premier wrestling state, was ranked by as the No. 43 overall recruit and fifth-best at 170 pounds in the country, and backed up the rankings by winning FloNationals following his senior year. He is expected to step into the lineup immediately. ■ Key Matches • Wolfpack Open, Nov. 17 — This tournament will open the Pack's 2013 slate, and it comes at home in Raleigh. Programs from around the country will send wrestlers, and most of NC State tam will be vying for individual titles. Fans should get a good look at the entire squad, redshirting athletes included. • Vs. North Carolina, Jan. 31 — Six ACC squads were ranked among the nation's top 26 in W.I.N. magazine's preseason poll, and North Carolina was the second highest at No. 14.This is always a big match, but this year pits two teams on the rise against each other. The competition will be held in Raleigh. • At ACC Championships, March 8 — The conference championships will be hosted by Virginia Tech this year, and if the Pack wants to finish in the top 25 at the NCAA Championships (March 20-22 in Oklahoma City), this is where it all starts. NCAA bids are won and lost at conference tournaments, and ACC wrestling has gotten better with the addition of Pittsburgh. November 2013  ■ 115 115,117.Wrestling Preview.indd 115 10/22/13 12:08 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - November 2013