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NCSU Wins Chesapeake 2nd-3rd Playoff

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NCSU Wins Chesapeake 2nd-3rd Playoff

NCSU in action. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Rugby.

A year after winning the Men's DII College championship, North Carolina State might be going to the fall DIAA playoffs.

The Wolfpack won the runner-up playoff Saturday against Salisbury, defeating the Sharks 24-15 in the playoff between the #2 and #3 team in the conference.

As has been the case all season, the game was close. 

Led by an impressive performance from No. 8 Caleb Gwaltney, who scored two tries on the day, NCSU controlled possession and field position nicely. But they weren't perfect, and some sloppy play and a series of penalty continued to stymie scoring opportunities.

Still, in the end it was a good win for NCSU, which finished 5-2 in conference play, losing only to conference champs Virginia Tech, and to Mount St. Mary's in the opening game of the season.

"We changed our attack structure after the loss to Virginia Tech, and have been slowly working it out," said Head Coach Brian Ketchum.

Now the question remains if this was all good enough for an at-large bid to the DIAA playoffs. As it stands, Virginia Tech, St. Joseph's, Sunday's winner of the MAC final, and November 16's winner of the SCRC final all have automatic bids to the eight-team playoff. It appears that both Lindenwood-Belleville and Iowa Central Community College have done enough to get an invitation to the dance, so that leaves two other spots. 

 NCSU is a candidate, as is the SCRC runner-up, West Chester (MARC runner-up), and the loser of Bowling Green vs Western Michigan. Two of those teams could well be disappoined.