The NC State rifle team’s 2021-22 schedule boasts six outings with five being on the road after its first and only matchup in Raleigh. At the end of last season, the Pack was voted No. 12 in the NCAA coaches’ rankings and it stands at No. 11 in the most recent poll of this season.
NC State is bringing back all of its major players except for Makenzie Sheffield, who was named CRCA All-American and had a top-40 NCAA performance at the end of last season. Losing Sheffield is a big blow to the team, but with most others returning, especially junior Addy Burrow and sophomore Ben Salas, along with a couple new team members, this team should be on track for success.
To kick off the season, the Wolfpack will welcome West Virginia to Reynolds Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 17. West Virginia was ranked fourth in the NCAA at the end of last season. According to the most recent CRCA poll, West Virginia is ranked No. 2. With three victories already under its belt by the time the Mountaineers get to Raleigh, this will be a tough matchup for NC State.
The Pack begins its five consecutive road matchups in Mississippi against Ole Miss. Ole Miss is currently No. 4 in the most recent poll and finished last season at No. 3. Another difficult matchup for NC State, but Ole Miss is looking to overcome its 1-1 record after falling to West Virginia in the first match of the season.
NC State will then travel to Tennessee to take on Memphis for a Halloween weekend matchup on Sunday, Oct. 31. With a loss in its one matchup so far this season, Memphis will be ready to go, especially after losing its two one-on-one matchups last year. Memphis is currently No. 16 in the CRCA poll for this year.
Ohio State will take on the Pack next on Sunday, Nov. 7. The program has already notched two losses this season against teams NC State will take on at some point during its schedule. However, with a good bit of time between now and this matchup, there’s no telling if Ohio State will improve. Ohio State is sitting at No. 13 in the most recent coaches poll.
The Wolfpack will also travel to Maryland to compete against Navy on Friday, Nov. 12. Navy is ranked at No. 7 in the current CRCA poll. The team has already had four matchups this season and will have four more opportunities for competition before it meets NC State. Navy has split its matches so far, with a record of 2-2 and by the time Nov. 12 rolls around, this opponent could be a daunting one for the Pack.
NC State won’t have much turnaround before its last match against Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday, Nov. 13. Alaska hasn’t competed yet this season, but will go against Ohio State in its first matchup. They finished 6-3 last season and finished fifth in the NCAA Championship. This team, currently ranked No. 3, will be a challenging end to the Pack’s season.
The Pack has a challenging schedule this season, and it certainly doesn’t help that most of these matchups are on the road after going 0-4-0 on the road last year. NC State’s first matchup against West Virginia will be a solid test of how much this team has improved in the offseason.