No. 14 NC State Rifle Well-Rested for NCAA Qualifier
Feb. 15, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - The 14th-ranked NC State rifle team will travel to Charleston, S.C., to compete at SEARC 6, Feb. 16-17. The meet, which also serves as an NCAA Sectional competition, will be held at the Daniel K. Inouye Hall Marksmanship Center.
"We've had some good practices over the last two weeks," said head coach Keith Miller. "Our students were able to train on some individual areas that they wanted to polish, and to catch up on some much needed rest."
The Wolfpack enters the weekend after a two-week hiatus between matches. Last time out, NC State (25-7, 14-0 SEARC, 1-5 GARC) combined for a 4,592 team score in upsetting ninth-ranked Memphis for its first GARC victory of the season on Feb. 2. Memphis edged NC State, 2,329-2,2323, in air rifle, but the Pack combined for a 2,269 total in smallbore, while Memphis compiled just 2,250, to complete the upset.
"Everyone seems to be on top of what they need to do individually, so we feel good about our team going into the qualifiers," said Miller. "Of course we still need to perform well, and we all know we can, so the goal is to maintain the level of performance that we've shown as a team throughout the year. If we can do this, things should work out fine for us as a team."
The meet will be the last of the regular season for NC State, before Miller's squad heads to the GARC Championships next weekend, Feb. 22-24. The SEARC Championships will take place the following Saturday, Mar. 2.
"Mathematically, this is the most important match of the year for us as a team since it directly determines one half of our final NCAA ranking," said Miller. "Individually, this is the only match that can earn a shooter an invitation to the NCAA Championships outside of a team qualifying slot, so the pressure on each shooter is clearly a bit higher than for any other match."
The NCAA Qualifier score will be added to NC State's existing three-match average (4609.00). The resulting position will be the final ranking for all except the eight teams that attend the NCAAs (the NCAA Championships will decide the final ranking for those eight schools).
Individual NCAA qualifiers will be chosen solely on the scores they fire in this one match. Only a few are taken in each event.
Additional Comments from Head Coach Keith Miller:
"Our current goal is to maintain or improve on our current position of #14. Given that this score will be 50 percent of our ranking score, with a good match, we might be able to move up a spot - maybe two. There are a couple of schools very close behind us, though, so they will be trying to pass us as well. We need to ensure that we stay ahead of them. I know we can, and I think we will."
"Last year Dani Foster had a very strong match and qualified as an individual in smallbore. We'd love to have another individual or two qualify and represent NC State at the [NCAA] Championships, but we don't have control over the others. Thus we're just going to focus on our own performance, shot-by-shot."