The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 129 of 163

128 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER N C State athletics reached new milestones in 2015‑16, most nota‑ bly in its non‑revenue sports where wrestling, men's and women's swimming and diving, and women's cross country all rose in national prominence. The Wolfpacker looks back at the year that was with a list of some of the best teams and individual showings for the Red and White. ■ Directors' Cup Finish NC State finished No. 32 in the final standings released July 1, but that ranking could have been higher if it was not for some close calls that cost NCSU valuable points. Most notably, women's basketball was surprisingly snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, which would have given NC State a minimum of 25 points. Only the top 10 teams in rifle are awarded points, and NC State finished 11th in the final rankings. Baseball would have also garnered 14 more points had they been able to record the final strike/out in the NCAA Raleigh Re‑ gional final against Coastal Carolina, which went on to the national championship at the College World Series. ■ Team Of The Year There were a lot of strong candidates. Wrestling won a conference title and reached historic accomplishments, while women's cross country broke out on the national stage with a fifth‑place finish at the NCAA Championships. But the edge goes to the program that Editor‑in‑Chief Braden Keith called "the cool kid on the block." That is men's swimming. The Wolfpack repeated its ACC title with a dominant performance Feb. 25‑27 in Greensboro, N.C. They followed that up with a fourth‑place finish at the NCAA Championships. The meet was capped by the 4x100 relay team edging Texas for the national title, giving NCSU 314 total team points, just 20 away from catching Florida for third place. The fourth‑place finish matched the 1955 men's swimming squad for the best national showing in program history, and was also the highest placing for any Wolfpack sport at an NCAA Championship since 2001. ■ Coach Of The Year This year's wrestling season under head coach Pat Popolizio was so memorable that the school produced a highlight video that was more than 11 minutes long to com‑ memorate the historic campaign. NCSU finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the final NWCA/USA Today coaches' poll after finishing 23‑1 in duals, including wins at Oklahoma State and Iowa — the first team to ever do that in the same season. The Pack won the ACC title, qualified a school‑record eight individuals for the NCAA Championships and finished 11th as A HISTORIC YEAR A Look At The Highlights From NCSU Sports In 2015-16 NC State Directors' Cup Finishes Under Debbie Yow Year Ranking 2009-10 89* 2010-11 67 2011-12 37 2012-13 34 2013-14 41 2014-15 27^ 2015-16 32 * Standing for the year before Yow arrived ^ Best finish in school history Men's swimming finished fourth at the NCAA Championships, matching the best showing in school history. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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