January 9, 2014
    Virginia Tech set to defend Virginia Duals title
    Hokies open with Nebraska-Kearney Friday morning

    This Weekend’s Headlines
    • Fourteen Division I or II wrestling squads will converge upon the Hampton Coliseum in the National Division of the 34th Virginia Duals.
    • Virginia Tech won the 2013 Virginia Duals, beating the University of Virginia in the finals. The Hokies became the first team from the Commonwealth of Virginia to win the Virginia Duals in 33 years. Tech placed two other times, finishing sixth in 2010 and seventh in 1981.
    • This will be the 12th time the Hokies have participated in the Virginia Duals. They enter this year’s competition with a all-time record of 16-21, placing just the three times (mentioned above).
    • Tech also competed in 1981 (1-2; 7th), 1992 (1-2), 1994 (0-2), 2000 (3-2), 2002 (1-2), 2003 (0-2), 2006 (0-3), 2007 (1-2), 2008 (2-2), 2010 (3-2; 6th) and 2013 (4-0; 1st).

    Who’s Going?
    • Fourteen teams are in the field, including four teams ranked in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. The ranked teams are: No. 13 Virginia, No. 14 Edinboro, No. 15 Virginia Tech and No. 22 Bloomsburg. Rider fell out of the top 25 this week, but is still receiving votes.
    • The top eight seeds for this weekend are: 1) Virginia; 2) Edinboro; 3) Virginia Tech; 4) Bloomsburg; 5) Kent State; 6) Rider; 7) Old Dominion and 8) Chattanooga.
    • Rounding out the field are: Arizona State, Bucknell, The Citadel, George Mason, Lock Haven and Nebraska-Kearney.

    Up First
    • The 15th-ranked and third-seeded Hokies (8-1) will open Friday’s action at 11 a.m. on mat 2 against unseeded Nebraska-Kearney (3-0). The second-ranked (D-II) Lopers are the only non-Division I squad in the National College Bracket. Since Marc Bauer took over as UNK head coach, the Lopers have beaten three Division-I schools - Northwestern, Wyoming and Portland State - in duals. Tech and UNK have never met in wrestling. The Lopers feature ranked wrestlers at 133 pounds (No. 1 Daniel DeShazer), 141 pounds (No. 3 Brock Coutu), 157 pounds (No. 3 Chase White), 174 pounds (No. 4 Patrick Martinez) and 197 pounds (No. 1 Romero Cotton).

    And Then ...
    • Win or lose in the first match on Friday, the Hokies will be back in action at 3 p.m. If the Hokies will, they’ll be on mat 3 again against the winner of the sixth-seeded Rider/George Mason match or if they lose, they’ll be on mat 2 against the loser of Rider/GMU. All teams are guaranteed a minimum of three matches. Action continues on Saturday with the finals slated for 8:30 p.m. You can download the bracket here. Live results should be available through TrackWrestling.

    Keeping Up With The Duals
    • Fans can keep up with the action at the Virginia Duals by going to the event’s webpage. A link to the results on TrackWrestling will be posted there, as well. Video for certain matches will be available and you can follow the action on Twitter, @VT_Wrestling.

    Below are the probables for Virginia Tech, as submitted by the coaching staff. UNK elected not to submit its lineup.

    #15 Virginia Tech (8-1)
    125: #18 Joey Dance (11-3)
    133: Dennis Gustafson (6-5)
    141: Erik Spjut (8-8) OR Jerry Ronnau (11-4)
    149: #19 Zach Neibert (8-4)
    157: Sal Mastriani (3-7) OR Chad Strube (5-3)
    165: Chris Moon (7-3) OR David Bergida (0-0)
    174: John Dickson (6-4)
    184: Nick Vetterlein (12-3)
    197: Chris Penny (13-6)
    285: Ty Walz (15-4) OR Brandon Taylor (6-8)

    For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter

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