The calendar has flipped to 2024 and we are going to open the new year with a great dual between the #9 Hokies and the #3 Missouri Tigers. There are some solid matches up and down the lineup here and the Hokies will need to get a couple upsets in order to pull off the dual win in Columbia.
125: #10 Cooper Flynn v #2 Noah Surtin
Flynn returned by knocking off #4 Nico Provo and just placed 4th at the Midlands, while Surtin is unbeaten. This should be a great matchup to kick off the dual.
133: #5 Sam Latona v Kade Moore
Latona will be looking to add bonus points over an unranked Moore; he is coming off a 5th place finish at the Midlands.
141: Tom Crook v #20 Josh Edmond
Tom Crook is out of redshirt and will make his dual debut in Columbia. He competed unattached at the Midlands and had a phenomenal tournament, finishing in 3rd. The Hokies will look to Tampa Tom for an upset here.
149: #2 Caleb Henson v Logan Gioffre
Henson will face the first of two Gioffre’s he will wrestle this season--brothers Jack and Michael are at UVA. Henson has looked incredible all year and will be looking to help the team with bonus points.
157: #8 Bryce Andonian v #5 Brock Mauller
On paper, this is the marquee matchup up the dual--more on that soon--with five All-American finishes between Andonian and Mauller. Andonian was upset in the Stanford dual and will be looking to get back on track against a very tough Mauller. This match will be a clash of styles and could be a lot of fun.
165: #24 Connor Brady v #1 Keegan O’Toole OR James Conway
Connor Brady will return to dual action after picking up an upset win against Stanford in his last match out. The Tigers have listed two potential options at 165--reigning NCAA champ Keegan O’Toole and James Conway. I would wager that we will see Brady and Conway at 165. Which brings us to…
174: #2 Mekhi Lewis v TBD
Peyton Mocco is still dinged up for the Tigers, and I expect them to bump O’Toole for a match of NCAA champs against Lewis. For the sake of it being a fun matchup to watch, I really hope this happens. O’Toole bumped up to 174 in their last dual to face Edmond Ruth so this isn’t unprecedented, and depending on how the lightweight matches go, it may have a huge impact on the outcome of the dual.
184: Cody Howard v #11 Clayton Whiting
This is a big swing match, in my opinion. Whiting has looked solid this season, but the relentless pace of Cody Howard is something to behold. He is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Midlands in his return to action after being off the first semester. Howard looked incredible in Illinois and I’m looking forward to seeing him in another dual.
197: #25 Andy Smith v #3 Rocky Elam
This match is lopsided by rankings, but I think this will be a close match. Andy Smith has shown he can hang with anyone in the country and he is tough to score on. This could be a tougher match than expected for the smaller Elam brother. Smith looked great in his return to action at the Midlands, placing 5th.
285: #20 Hunter Catka v #6 Zach Elam
This dual ends with another big matchup for Hunter Catka. When he is on and wrestles aggressively, he is able to put up a lot of points. He is going to need to be at the top of his game against a very good Zach Elam. The way these two teams match up, the dual could very much come down to the final match.