No. 5 Hokies return to Cassell to face Pitt and UVA

BLACKSBURG - The fifth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team returns to Cassell Coliseum for the first time in over two months this weekend where the Hokies (11-1, 1-0 ACC) will face No. 23 Pitt on Friday at 7 p.m. and Virginia on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Both matches will be streamed live on the WatchESPN platform. Friday's dual will be Corp of Cadets and Military Appreciation Night at Cassell while Sunday features a "takedown" foam finger givewaway as part of Student Hokie Club Day.

The Hokies are coming off a 4-0 weekend where they took home the Virginia Duals championship, their third time winning the Duals in the last four years. After getting by a tough North Dakota State squad in semifinals, Tech topped No. 15 Oklahoma, 24-10, in the finals.

The Hokies were anchored by seniors Joey Dance at 125 pounds and Ty Walz at 285 pounds all weekend as the duo combined to register six bonus point victories. The weekend also saw Dance win his 100th career match and head coach Kevin Dresser win his 150th career dual as head coach of the Hokies.

Scouting The Field
• Pitt enters the weekend with a 7-2 overall record.
• The Panthers won their host-tournament, the Pitt Duals, last weekend and lost only two bouts in three matches against Frankling & Marshall, Davidson and Bloomsburg.
• Their only two losses of the season have come against No. 1 Oklahoma State in Stillwater (39-0) and No. 11 Lehigh (28-8) at home.
• The bout at heavyweight pits the third-ranked Walz against No. 16 Ryan Solomon, who enter the weekend with a 5-1 record this season.
• The 133-pound bout features No. 8 Dom Forys against redshirt junior Dennis Gustafson, who comes off a 3-1 weekend wrestling at 133 for the first time since his freshman year at the Virginia Duals.
• UVA, who’s receiving votes in this week’s NWCA coaches poll, will enter Cassell with a 3-1 overall record.
• The ‘Hoos went 3-1 at the Virginia Duals last weekend that included a loss to Tech’s semifinals opponent in North Dakota State.
• The Bison upset the No. 24 Cavaliers 27-13.
• No. 7 Jack Mueller serves as a formidable opponent for Dance, who will face a fellow top 10 wrestler for the second-straight weekend.
• The Hokies and ‘Hoos have faced off 76 times in a series that dates back to 1922.
• Tech has an edge in the all-time series, 43-32-1.

Hokies Take Virginia Duals
• After falling in the finals in last year’s Viriginia Duals, the Hokies knocked off Kent State, Lock Haven, North Dakota State and Oklahoma in the 37th installment to take home the title.
• Tech bulldozed through Kent State and Lock Haven in the first and second rounds though the Lock Haven dual saw redshirt junior Kevin Norstrem suffer an injury at 141 that kept him out the rest of the tournament.
• With redshirt sophomore Solomon Chishko suffering from a stomach illness, the Hokies looked vulnerable. But the upperweights were flawless, going a perfect 16-0 and picking up bonus points in six of those bouts.

Joey Dance - ACC Wrestler of the Week
• Joey Dance was named ACC Wrestler of the Week after his stellar weekend at the Virginia Duals.
• Dance, ranked second nationally at 125 pounds, began the Duals with technical falls over Cory Simpson of Kent State (22-7) and Jake Field of Lock Haven (20-4).
• He then defeated Josh Rodriguez of North Dakota State, the nation’s fourth-ranked wrestler, 5-3 to start a 22-15 Tech win over the Bison.
• The win over Rodriguez made him only the 10th wrestler in program history to eclipse 100 career victories.

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