BLACKSBURG - The eighth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling squad will put its 7-0 record on the line with a pair of tough in-state road matches coming over the next five days. On Sunday, Tech will take on the University of Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville before heading to Norfolk to take on Old Dominion Tuesday evening.
For the Hokies, Sunday’s match will be the first of six ACC dual matches. With a recognized ACC dual meet team title being handed out for the first time this season, every dual meet carries more significance. The Hokies and Cavs will start at 1 p.m. in JPJ Arena. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students/children. Fans can purchase courtside seats for $15.
Due to a myriad of events going on that day on UVa’s campus, there will be a $5 parking fee. You can find information and a map here.
Tech has won the last eight dual meets against Virginia dating back to Jan. 28, 2007 when the Cavs beat the Hokies 25-9 in Richmond. Tech has won every match since then, including both bouts last season. This will be the first time in 66 meetings that both teams are ranked in the top 15. The Hokies hold a 38-26-1 leads in a series that dates back to 1922.
Both squads have five wrestlers ranked in at least one of the two major polls (Amateur Wrestling News or InterMat) and there are scheduled to be three matches where both competitors are ranked: 141 pounds (Tech’s Devin Carter is third while UVa’s Joe Spisak is 12th); 149 pounds (Tech’s Zach Neibert is ninth while UVa’s Gus Sako is 13th); and 165 pounds (Tech’s Chris Moon is 19th while UVa’s Nick Sulzer is fourth). Tech also will trot out 20th-ranked Joey Dance at 125 pounds and 14th-ranked Ty Walz at heavyweight while UVa will counter with 16th-ranked Stephen Doty at 174 pounds and ninth-ranked Jon Fausey at 184 pounds.
On Tuesday, the Hokies will take on Old Dominion (2-1) in Norfolk at 7:30 p.m. inside the Constant Center ODU holds a 22-12 lead in the series that dates back to 1966, but Tech has won the last three duals between the two. ODU will provide a live feed of the match at this link. A live blog will feature updates throughout the match at ODUSports.com. Also, follow updates on Twitter @ODUWrestling.
At 2-1, Old Dominion is led by ninth-ranked Chris Mecate at 141 pounds. He is the only Monarch ranked in both major polls although Lenny Richardson (16th at 149 pounds), Tristan Warner (17th at 157 pounds) and Jack Dechow (20th at 184 pounds) are all ranked in one of the polls.
Carter, Neibert and Nick Vetterlein are scheduled to go up against a pair of ranked opponents.
Below are the probable lineups for both matches, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs.
#8 Virginia Tech (7-0, 0-0 ACC)
125: #20/#20 Joey Dance (6-1)
133: Erik Spjut (2-5)
141: #3/#3 Devin Carter (7-0)
149: #9/#10 Zach Neibert (4-1)
157: Sal Mastriani (2-3) OR Chad Strube (4-1)
165: #19/#17 Chris Moon (5-2)
174: Austin Gabel (6-1)
184: Nick Vetterlein (6-1)
197: Chris Penny (5-2)
285: #14/#13 Ty Walz (7-0)
#15 Virginia (5-1, 0-0 ACC)
125: Nick Herrmann (3-1)
133: Joseph Martinez (3-1)
141: #12/#15 Joe Spisak (5-0)
149: #13/#14 Gus Sako (4-0)
157: Blaise Butler (3-1)
165: #4/#4 Nick Sulzer (5-0)
174: #16/#12 Stephen Doty (6-0)
184: #9/#12 Jon Fausey (2-1)
197: Zach Nye (2-1)
285: Ethan Hayes (2-1)
Old Dominion (2-1)
125: Brandon Jeske (5-3) OR Buddy Scarborough (10-6)
133: Scott Festejo (1-1) OR Michael Hayes (4-3)
141: #9/#13 Chris Mecate (7-2) OR Jacob Kingett (2-2)
149: NR/#16 Lenny Richardson (6-2) OR Kevin Johnson (4-4)
157: NR/#17 Tristan Warner (5-2) OR Devin Geoghegan (6-4)
165: Dillon Geoghegan (1-2) OR Marcus Johnson (0-0)
174: Billy Curling (2-1) OR Austin Coburn (11-4)
184: #20/NR Jack Dechow (5-2)
197: Kevin Beazley (5-2)
285: Matt Tourdot (5-2) OR Lucas Ryan (7-6)
*Rankings according to AWN/InterMat
Additionally, several Tech wrestlers will compete Sunday in the King Open, hosted by King University in Tennessee. Results and brackets can be found on TrackWrestling.
125: Tyler Awtry
133: Kevin Norstrem (unattached)
141: Jerry Ronnau
149: Cameron Bowen (unattached)
165: David Bergida (unattached)
174: Zach Epperly (unattached)
174: Brooks Morrison
197: Jared Haught (unattached)
197: Bobby Lavelle
197: David Reck (unattached)
285: Brandon Taylor
285: Dan Garwood (unattached)
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).