BLACKSBURG - The ninth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team will look to continue its winning ways this weekend with a pair of tough dual meets. The Hokies will travel to College Park to take on Maryland Friday at 7 p.m. inside the Comcast Pavilion before returning home Sunday to host 16th-ranked Oklahoma at 2 p.m. inside Cassell Coliseum for Senior Day.
Tech is 11-2 overall, 4-0 in the conference, while Maryland is 9-5 overall, 0-0 in the ACC and Oklahoma is 6-4. Oklahoma wrestles Friday night at Lehigh.
Tech’s lineup could feature six ranked wrestlers this weekend, led by fifth-ranked Pete Yates at 165 pounds. Jarrod Garnett dropped to eighth from fourth at 125 pounds after his loss last weekend. Nick Brascetta is ranked sixth at 149 pounds and Jesse Dong is ranked seventh at 157 pounds. Zach Neibert sits at No. 11 at 141 pounds and Erik Spjut jumped into the polls at 133 pounds, debuting at No. 19. All rankings are from Amateur Wrestling News.
Maryland will likely feature four ranked wrestlers, but only one at the weight class Tech has a ranked wrestler: 133 pounds. Geoffrey Alexander is ranked 16th and will take on No. 19 Spjut. Josh Asper (6th at 174), Jimmy Sheptock (6th at 184) and Christian Boley (15th at 197 pounds) are the Terps’ other ranked wrestlers. Tech’s Derrick Borlie beat Boley 6-3 at the Midlands in December, setting up a rematch.
Oklahoma features ranked five ranked wrestlers, all at the weight classes Tech has ranked wrestlers, setting up what could be a tight dual meet. The five featured bouts should be No. 9 Cody Brewer vs. No. 19 Spjut at 133 pounds; No. 1 Kendric Maple vs. No. 11 Neibert at 141 pounds; No. 9 Nick Lester vs. No. 6 Brascetta at 149 pounds; No. 18 Matt Lester vs. No. 7 Dong at 157 pounds; and No. 4 Patrick “Bubby” Graham vs. No. 5 Yates at 165 pounds. Brascetta beat Lester 5-2 at the Midlands this year and Graham beat Yates 7-2 at the Midlands, although Yates beat Graham twice last year, 4-2 at the Midlands and 9-4 at the NCAA Championships.
Tech has won 23 of its last 24 ACC dual matches dating back to 2008 and is looking to go undefeated in conference play for the fourth time in the past five years. While the dual meet crown is nice, the Hokies will be facing a Terps that has won the team tournament three times in that span, something the Hokies strive to do this year for the first time.
Sunday will also be Senior Day for the Tech program. Student assistant Cameron Hurd, along with Dong, Garnett, David Marone and Yates, will be honored before the match. It will also be Alumni Day as numerous former Hokie wrestlers are expected in attendance. Tech will recognize four All-Americans - Chris Diaz, Sean Gray, David Hoffman and Chris Martin - during the match.
Below are the probable lineups for all three squads, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs:
#9 Virginia Tech (11-2, 4-0 ACC)
125: #8 Jarrod Garnett (19-2)
133: #19 Erik Spjut (11-7)
141: #11 Zach Neibert (15-6)
149: #6 Nick Brascetta (21-2)
157: #7 Jesse Dong (16-2)
165: #5 Pete Yates (22-1)
174: Austin Gabel (14-7)
184: Nick Vetterlein (12-8)
197: Derrick Borlie (14-7)
285: David Marone (11-6)
Maryland (9-5, 0-0 ACC)
125: Shane Gentry (14-6) OR Paul O’Neill (5-4)
133: #16 Goeffrey Alexander (14-6)
141: Shane Arechiga (15-9)
149: Lou Mascola (8-6)
157: Danny Orem (4-9) OR Brady Massaro (3-7) OR TJ Guidice (7-9)
165: Josh Snook (5-13) OR Domenic DeRobertis (3-3)
174: #6 Josh Asper (9-1)
184: #6 Jimmy Sheptock (27-3)
197: #15 Christian Boley (15-6)
285: Dallas Brown (7-5) OR Carl Buchholz (6-10)
#16 Oklahoma (6-4)
125: Kyle Garcia (10-8)
133: #9 Cody Brewer (16-4)
141: #1 Kendric Maple (19-0)
149: #9 Nick Lester (13-5)
157: #18 Matt Lester (12-5) OR Justin DeAngelis (11-3)
165: #4 Patrick “Bubby” Graham (16-2)
174: Matt Reed (12-10)
184: Nolan McBryde (3-6)
197: Brad Johnson (11-11)
285: Keldrick Hall (8-11)
Additionally, the following Tech wrestlers will compete at the Appalachian Open, hosted by Appalachian State, on Saturday in Boone, N.C. Results can be followed thru Escape Sports.
125: Matt Peters
149: Chad Strube (unattached)
157: David Bergida (unattached)
157: Sal Mastriani (unattached)
165: Brooks Morrison
174: John Dickson (unattached)
184: Sam Law
197: Darren Hankins
197: Bobby Lavelle
285: Dan Garwood
285: Chris Penny (unattached)
285: Ty Walz (unattached)
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).