January 14, 2010
    Huge bout at 157 pounds highlights Saturday's ACC opener
    Tech hosts three matches this weekend at Cassell Coliseum

    BLACKSBURG - Fresh off a successful weekend at the Virginia Duals, the Virginia Tech wrestling squad (10-3) will host three dual meets this weekend, including its ACC opener against the University of North Carolina on Saturday.

    Tech, which moved up to 15th in the country as a team in the latest InterMat team poll, will host UNC (3-4-1, 1-1 ACC) Saturday at 2 p.m. On Sunday, the Hokies will take on Gardner-Webb at 4 p.m., and then will take on UNC Greensboro immediately following that match. G-W and UNCG will wrestle each other at 2 o’clock.

    Saturday’s match will feature one of the top individual matchups nationwide this weekend as Tech’s Jesse Dong will take on UNC’s Thomas Scotton at 157 pounds. Dong defeated No. 2 Cyler Sanderson last weekend at the Duals en route to a 5-0 weekend where he earned Outstanding Wrestler honors from the Duals and ACC Wrestler of the Week. Dong is 20-2 in attached matches and 24-3 overall. He is ranked fifth in the country while Scotton is ranked third. Scotton defeated Dong 4-2 in overtime earlier this year at the Hokie Open in Salem. Scotton holds a 22-2 record on the season and has defeated six opponents ranked in the top 15.

    Virginia Tech features four ranked wrestlers in its injury-depleted lineup. Jarrod Garnett is 16th at 125 pounds, Chris Diaz is ninth at 141 pounds, Dong at 157 pounds and Tommy Spellman re-entered the top 20 this week at 184 pounds, coming in at 20th. The Hokies will rely on these four for bonus points to try and offset forfeits and injuries.

    Tech beat Gardner-Webb 46-3 earlier this year at the ACC Challenge. G-W is 0-6 on the year and wrestles Friday night at home. The Hokies have not faced the Spartans (1-4) this season.

    Head coach Kevin Dresser also announced Thursday that sophomore Anthony Trongone has left the team and school for personal reasons. The starting 174-pounder was 9-4 this year and qualified for the NCAAs last season.

    Below are the probable lineups for all four squads, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs:

    #15 Virginia Tech (10-3, 0-0 ACC)
    125: #16 Jarrod Garnett (15-4) OR Schuyler Swanton (3-4)
    133: Brock LiVorio (4-1)
    141: #9 Chris Diaz (19-3)
    149: Brian Stephens (2-3) OR Nick Murray (8-5)
    157: #5 Jesse Dong (20-2) OR Taylor Knapp (9-9)
    165: Matt Epperly (11-6)
    174: OPEN
    184: #20 Tommy Spellman (16-8) OR John Dickson (4-5)
    197: Chris Penny (0-8)
    285: Tim Miller (3-12)

    North Carolina (3-4-1, 1-1 ACC)
    125: Brian Bokoski (4-11)
    133: Jeremy Shaw (12-8)
    141: Mike Rappo (8-6)
    149: Jon Burns (0-0)
    157: #3 Thomas Scotton (22-2)
    165: Kyle Kiss (14-9)
    174: Thomas Ferguson (6-7)
    184: Nick Tenpenny (13-9)
    197: #12 Dennis Drury (17-6)
    285: Ziad Haddad (5-4)

    Gardner-Webb (0-6)
    125: Michael Slaughter (9-5)
    133: Brett Kostern (1-7)
    141: Morgan McDaniel (3-9) OR Kurt Wentink (0-5)
    149: Ryan Medved (10-11)
    157: Alex Medved (10-11)
    165: David Pelsang (5-13)
    174: Blake Salyer (4-12)
    184: Jonathan Velazquez (7-8)
    197: Travis Porter (9-10)
    285: #13 Dustin Porter (19-4)

    UNC Greensboro (1-4)

    125: Eric Chandler (17-12) OR Manny Ramirez (6-9)
    133: Casey Boyle (4-9)
    141: Ivan Lopouchanski (24-5)
    149: Alejandro Soto-Perez (2-13) or Matt Barbo (3-12)
    157: Travis Sheehy (13-4)
    165: Victor Hojilla (12-12)
    174: Byron Sigmon (16-11)
    184: Andrew Saunders (20-9)
    197: Ryan Sughrue (13-8) or Jeremy Cannon (8-6)
    285: Peter Sturgeon (24-10)

    For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).

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