Orlando, Fla. – Fourth-ranked NC State women’s moves forward to the semifinals of the NCAA Team Championships for only the second time after a gutsy 4-3 finish over No. 12 Iowa State.
Starting off on the right foot, all three pairs won their first game in doubles action. Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli took off out of the gate as they put themselves up 4-0 on court three. Courts one and two remained close, as both led to a 2-2 tie. At that point, No. 4 Diana Shnaider and Alana Smith closed the competition as they went on to clinch the doubles point with a 6-3 finish over Iowa State’s No. 54 Naklo and Kuearum.
Despite quickly securing the doubles point, singles action was an uphill battle for several hours. Seventh-ranked Shnaider showcased her experience as she did not give up a single game with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep over No. 60 Thasaporn Naklo.
The Wolfpack held a 2-0 lead over the Cycles for quite some time until Rencheli and Abrams fell in straight sets on courts five and four, respectively.
Tensions ran high as the score became tied at 2-2 and No. 13 Smith also fell in straight sets on court two to her ranked opponent. All faith relied on Rajecki on court three and Gina Dittmann on court six.
After leading for the vast majority of her match, Dittmann was able to pull out her victory and shift the momentum back into the hands of the Pack. With the score now at 3-3, all eyes fell on the junior on court three.
Even though she dropped the first two games of her final set, with the support of her teammates and fans, Rajecki evened out the score at 2-2. She then went on to increase to a 4-2 lead providing confidence to the red-and-white.
Taking the game 6-3, Rajecki ultimately clinched the win with an ace as her teammates ran over to celebrate their overcome.
The Wolfpack rides a 10-match winning streak leading into the tournament’s Final Four. NC State’s record stands at 27-4, and the squad has secured 14 decisions over top-25 opponents this season. The program’s only appearance at the Final Four was in 2021.
#4 NC State 4, #12 Iowa State 3
Order of Finish: (3, 1)
1. #4 Diana Shnaider/Alana Smith (ST) def. #54 Thasaporn Naklo/Supapitch Kuearum, A (ISU) 6-3
2. #77 Ange Oby Kajuru/Xinyi Nong (ISU) vs. #9 Nell Miller/Amelia Rajecki (ST) 5-3, unfinished
3. Sophie Abrams/
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