BLACKSBURG - The eighth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team will host three matches this weekend in Cassell Coliseum as it look to move to 7-0 on the young season. On Saturday, the Hokies will host ninth-ranked Edinboro at 10 a.m., before taking on American (5 p.m.) and Manchester (7 p.m.) on Sunday.
Saturday’s match will be the big one as it could showcase as many as nine nationally ranked wrestlers, several competing against each other. The big bout will be at 141 pounds where second-ranked and 2013 national finalist Mitchell Port could take on third-ranked Devin Carter of Tech. Port was injured last weekend at the Michigan State Open and is one of two wrestlers listed in the probable lineup at that weight. Port was the last man to beat Carter in high school, coming in December of his senior season, but the two have not met in college.
At 149 pounds, it will be fifth-ranked Zach Neibert of Tech against 11th-ranked Dave Habat of Edinboro. Tech has two others ranked: Joey Dance (20th at 125 pounds) and Chris Moon (16th at 165 pounds). Edinboro could have three other ranked guys wrestling: A.J. Schopp (seventh at 133 pounds), Vic Avery (seventh at 184 pounds, but one of two wrestlers listed as probables) and Ernest James (18th at heavyweight).
This will be the first top-10 wrestling matchup in Cassell Coliseum history and just the second in any sport in the arena. The 10th-ranked Tech men’s basketball team hosted No. 1 UMass in 1996.
Saturday’s match will take place before the home football game against Maryland (12:30 p.m.), so parking will be an issue. Without a valid football parking pass, fans will not be able to park in the Cassell Lot, or any surrounding lot. Fans can either pay to park in the Price’s Fork Road lot and walk across campus, or park in the South Main Shopping Center lot and meet in front of A Cleaner World and take the “W” bus for $5 round-trip which will drop fans off at Cassell Coliseum. The return bus on this option will not leave until after the football game begins, though.
On Sunday, Tech will wrestle twice starting at 5 p.m., or an hour after the women’s basketball game ends. Up first, the Hokies will face American at 5 p.m. and will then take on Manchester immediately after. American features two ranked wrestlers in Josh Terao (12th at 125 pounds) and Dan Mitchell (12th at 197 pounds). Manchester is a Division III school from Indiana that is coached by former Hokie wrestler Matt Burlingame.
Virginia Tech head coach Kevin Dresser sits with a 97-41 dual meet record at Tech and for his college coaching career. With three wins this weekend, he would reach the 100-win plateau, making him just the third Tech coach in the program’s 89 years to accomplish the feat. Jerry Cheynet had 188 victories from 1974-96, while Frank Teske had 122 from 1951-74.
Live stats will be available for all three matches and both of Sunday’s matches will be broadcast on Hokies XTra ($). Joey Truncale and Dave Marone will have the call for the American match and then Truncale and Wolf Gohlke will call the Manchester match.
Admission to all three wrestling events is free.
Here the probable lineups for Tech and Edinboro, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs:
#8 Virginia Tech (4-0)
125: NR/#20 Joey Dance (4-0)
133: Erik Spjut (1-3)
141: #3/#3 Devin Carter (4-0)
149: #5/#7 Zach Neibert (4-0)
157: Sal Mastriani (1-3) OR Chad Strube (3-0)
165: #16/#16 Chris Moon (2-2)
174: Austin Gabel (3-1)
184: Nick Vetterlein (3-1)
197: Chris Penny (3-1)
285: Ty Walz (4-0)
#9 Edinboro (0-0)
125: Kory Mines (4-1)
133: #7/#7 A.J. Schopp (5-0)
141: #2/#2 Mitchell Port (3-0) OR Sam Recco (1-2)
149: #11/#11 Dave Habat (6-1)
157: Johnny Greisheimer (4-2) OR Kasey Burnett-Davis (3-2)
165: Casey Fuller (4-2)
174: Patrick Jennings (4-0)
184: Nick Mitchell (4-1) OR #7/#8 Vic Avery (0-0)
197: Vince Pickett (4-0)
285: #20/#18 Ernest James (4-1)
Below is Tech’s probable competitors in the Wolfpack Open, which will take place Sunday in Raleigh, N.C.
125: Tyler Awtry
133: Dennis Gustafson (unattached)
141: Gerald Ronnau
157: Nick Brascetta (unattached)
165: David Bergida (unattached)
174: Zach Epperly (unattached)
174: Brooks Morrison
184: John Dickson
197: Jared Haught (unattached)
197: David Reck (unattached)
285: Dan Garwood (unattached)
285: Brandon Taylor
285: Dawson Peck (unattached)
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).