After almost a month of practice, the N.C. State softball team will open its fall schedule this weekend when it travels to Longwood on Saturday before returning home to face Campbell on Sunday. Saturday’s doubleheader is slated to begin at 1 p.m., while Sunday’s twin bill at Dail Stadium will start at 1 p.m. as well.
Head coach Shawn Rychcik, along with assistant coaches Courtney Oliver and Katie Grimes, have had about a month to work with the team as the squad began fall practice on Sept. 23.
The eight fall games the Wolfpack will play are designed to give the players a chance to play in a competitive game, as well as give the coaching staff a glimpse of what they can expect to see from the team in the spring season.
Last season, N.C. State finished the season with a 36-18 record, including a 16-8 mark in ACC play. State advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season under Rychcik’s direction and made history by becoming the first team from the state of North Carolina to win the first two games of an NCAA Regional, advancing to the final without a loss.
N.C. State was also the first team since 2005 to defeat a top-four national seed before a regional final with the Wolfpack’s 5-4 win against fourth-seeded Georgia.
Wake Forest: The Deacons advanced two doubles teams into the third round, as well as one singles player into the round of 16, on the second day of the ITA Carolina Regional hosted by Duke and N.C. State.
Christian Seraphim recorded his third straight-sets victory in as many matches, this time taking down UNC Wilmington’s Zach Hublitz, 7-5, 6-4. He’ll play Duke’s 15th-seeded Raphael Hemmeler with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line Saturday.
In doubles action, two of Wake Forest’s three competing duos advanced into Saturday’s third round.
Jon Ho and Skander Mansouri cruised to a pair of wins, defeating Presbyterian’s Ryan Miller and Joel Roberts 8-1 before topping Davidson’s Jack Riazzi and Evan Watkins in the second round, 8-3.
Sam Bloom and Anthony Delcore began the day with an 8-1 win over a Presbyterian pairing, before upsetting the No. 8-seeded combination of Christian Van Der Burgh and Sam Williams of UNC Wilmington, 8-6.
Both Wake Forest doubles teams play seeded foes Saturday; Ho and Mansouri take on No. 5-seed Andrew Adams and Kyle Koch of South Carolina, while Bloom and Delcore will look to knock off ACC rivals Robert Kelly and Oystein Steiro of UNC, seeded No. 9-16.
After an opening round loss to a seeded Clemson pairing, Matt Erdman and Nicky Kunz rebounded to defeat Charlie Ghriskey and Vasily Kichigin from College of Charleston, 8-5.