The Wolfpacker

January 2014

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Junior Emily Weiman was named the MVP of the ACC Championship and the ACC Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with 33 wins in 2013. photo courtesy nc state media relations T By Ryan Tice he 2014 campaign will be a much different one for the NC State softball team than 2013. Head coach Shawn Rychcik will be entering year two after an impressive debut that included an ACC championship and a pair of NCAA regional victories — the most in program history. The team will also be picked to finish much higher than No. 6 in the ACC, which is where the league coaches ■PREVIEW softball predicted they would place before last year started. In addition, the players have raised their own goals after posting a 35-20-1 mark last season and rewriting the school record book. "If I had said, 'We're going to win an ACC championship in the first year,' to a program that had a losing record and finished seventh out of eight in the league [the year before], I don't know if I could have gotten the girls to believe that," Rychcik admitted. "We never really set an exact goal From Hunter To Hunted Wolfpack Will Defend The ACC Title With A Target On Its Back on what we could do. We just said we're going to get better every day, and we could see ourselves getting better." The coach noted his athletes were eager to learn and work hard. They immediately bought in to new staff's philosophies and any changes from previous years. "They tried to soak it all in and do what we told them," he remembered. "I think they were thirsty for something new and they were very open to it." That's not to say there weren't struggles — the team went 8-11 in March — but they bounced back when it mattered the most. The Pack closed the regular season with wins in 16 of its last 18 contests and enjoyed a 13-game winning streak that stretched from April until the NCAA regional. However, those impressive results also mean that NCSU can't sneak up on unsuspecting opponents, like the Pack did last spring. There is a target on NC State's back now, and the coach noted his biggest fear coming into the team's title defense was that the players would rest on their accomplishments of last year. 60  ■  the wolfpacker 60-61.Softball Preview.indd 60 12/5/13 3:25 PM

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