February 19, 2015
Tech wraps up regular season on the road
Hokies travel to UNC, Hofstra
Following the Matches

UNC Match Live Stats

Hofstra Match Live Stats

Hofstra Match Live Video

BLACKSBURG - The ninth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team will wrap up its regular season this weekend with a pair of road matches as the Hokies travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on UNC Friday night at 7 p.m., inside Fetzer Gymnasium before flying to Hempstead, New York, for a noon match on Sunday against Hofstra inside the Mack Physical Education Center.

UNC is one of the hottest teams around, winning eight of its past nine duals heading into a home showdown against the Hokies and sit 26th in the latest USA Today/NWCA Poll. The Tar Heels enter the match at 14-4 overall, 2-2 in the ACC and have two ranked wrestlers in the latest InterMat rankings; Joey Ward (19th at 141 pounds) and Ethan Ramos (12th at 165 pounds).

The Hokies lead the series with UNC 33-31-2 after winning 29-3 last year in Blacksburg. The first meeting between the two teams came in 1924 and the Hokies have won the past six dual meets against the Tar Heels. Virginia Tech, the 2014-15 ACC Dual Meet Champions, has won 32 of its past 35 ACC dual meets including all four thus far this season.

Hofstra fell to 5-11 overall, 3-6 in the EIWA with a 26-15 loss to Drexel last weekend. The Pride has dropped its last four dual matches. Tech and Hofstra have one common opponent this year in NC State. Hofstra lost to the Wolfpack 29-7 in November and the Hokies rolled past NC State 29-9 two weekends ago. Hofstra has a pair of ranked wrestlers in the latest InterMat poll: No. 17 Jamel Hudson at 141 and No. 17 Cody Ruggirello at 149.

The Hokies and Pride have met two previous times on the mat with both squads winning once. In 2003, the Hokies dropped a 34-6 decision to No. 18 Hofstra at the Virginia Duals in Hampton. Hofstra opened last season against the Hokies as the two competed in Salem with Tech winning 28-9. Sunday’s match will be only the third time Tech’s program has ever competed in New York. The first came at the 2002 NCAA Championships in Albany, where the Hokies finished 44th. In 2005, Tech competed in Guilderland Center, going 0-4 with losses to No. 4 Minnesota, No. 13 Central Michigan, American and Pitt-Johnstown.

There will be no broadcast for the UNC match, although there will be live stats available through TrackWrestling. Hofstra will have a free broadcast through gohofstra.com and live stats will be available through TrackWrestling. @VT_Wrestling will have Twitter updates throughout.

Below are the probable lineups, as submitted by all three staffs.

#9 Virginia Tech (13-2, 4-0 ACC)
125: #4 Joey Dance (23-2)
133: #19 Kevin Norstrem (16-10)
141: #3 Devin Carter (23-2)
149: #9 Sal Mastriani (22-7) OR Brent Waterman (7-6)
157: #5 Nick Brascetta (5-0)
165: Chad Strube (9-10)
174: #7 Zach Epperly (16-5)
184: Tae Leary (3-6) OR Zack Zavatsky (0-0)
197: Jared Haught (13-14)
285: #8 Ty Walz (20-6) OR Dan Garwood (21-8)

North Carolina (14-4, 2-2 ACC)
125: Cody Karns (3-13) OR Alex Rinaldi (4-14)
133: Troy Heilmann (18-9)
141: #19 Joey Ward (23-4)
149: Christian Barber (9-9) OR Joey Moon (17-8)
157: Robert Henderson (7-7) OR Chris Mears (13-11)
165: #12 Ethan Ramos (25-6)
174: John Michael Staudenmayer (20-9)
184: Scott Marmoll (7-9)
197: Chip Ness (13-12)
285: Frank Abbondanza (11-17)

Hofstra (5-11, 3-6 EIWA)
125: Bryan Damon (13-9)
133: Travis Passaro (9-10)
141: #17 Jamel Hudson (20-3)
149: #17 Cody Ruggirello (21-4)
157: Jahlani Callender (15-13) OR Cory Goshkagarian (1-8)
165: Nick Terdick (10-17)
174: Frank Affronti (17-13)
184: Jermaine John (3-6)
197: Michael Oxley (5-19)
285: Mike Hughes (19-9)

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