Virginia Tech 157 lber Connor Brady (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Duke: The Blue Devils are off this week and will return to action against Appalachian State next week.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels sent a limited squad to the F&M Open made up of attached and unattached wrestlers. We will have a full breakdown of the results next week.
North Carolina State: The #5 Wolfpack travels to New Jersey this weekend--they were supposed to dual Rider Saturday and #19 Princeton Sunday, but the Rider dual was canceled due to COVID precautions within the Rider program. The dual against the Tigers will be a good one, though!
There are potentially three ranked versus ranked matchups in the dual, starting with a huge match at 125. #10 Jakob Camacho will face #1 Patrick Glory. Camacho will be facing the #1 wrestler for the second match in a row; he lost a decision to Spencer Lee of Iowa at the Collegiate Duals. Since Lee is done for the season with knee surgery, Patrick Glory slides up to the top spot. Camacho is 7-2 on the year and Glory is 4-0, including a major decision win over #5 Devin Schroder of Purdue.
The next big match is at 157 with #11 Ed Scott squaring up with #5 Quincy Monday. Scott is 13-0 on the year and is coming off of two ranked wins at the Collegiate Duals-#24 Jarrett Jacques and #12 Kaleb Young. Monday is 8-1 with wins over #6 Peyton Robb, #15 Will Lewan and #12 Kaleb Young; his only loss is to #2 Ryan Deakin at CKLV. We will see if Scott is able to continue his impressive start to the year and pick up another signature win or if the experience of Monday will make the difference for the Tigers.
The final potential ranked match is at 184 with #3 Trent Hidlay matching up with #22 Travis Stefanik--I say potential because Nick Reenan is also listed as a potential starter for the Wolfpack. Stefanik is 4-1 on the year, with his best win over #23 Max Lyon of Purdue; his only loss on the season is to #10 Taylor Venz of Nebraska. Hidlay is undefeated on the year and has been dominant with five of his six wins by BONUS.
The Wolfpack should be able to win this dual handily, but Jadwin Gym can be a tough place to wrestle a scrappy Princeton squad. It will be a good test for the Wolfpack to have another tough dual on the road before they settle in for ACC competition starting January 21st when they host Virginia Tech.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers were scheduled to face Penn in an in-state battle, but due to COVID precautions, that dual was canceled. Coach Gavin wasn't content with having a weekend off, so he got on the phone and found two other coaches who had teams ready to scrap. Army and Michigan will make the trip to Pittsburgh for a late scheduled-but great day of wrestling.
Against Army, there will be some solid matches, including multiple ranked matchups. At 141, #23 Cole Matthews will hit #33 Corey Shie. Then at 157 #21 Elijah Cleary will face #28 Markus Hartman. Cleary is coming off of winning the championship at the MatMen Open and is arguably wrestling the best he ever has for the Panthers. Hartman will be a good test to see if Cleary continues his more offensive style. #13 Jake Wentzel will look to get a solid start to the second half of the season against #32 Dalton Harkins. Finally, at 197 #8 Nino Bonaccorsi will square off with #25 JT Brown. Pitt is favored on paper, but Army is always tough and will get scrappy with any team they face.
Against the Wolverines, we will see some big matches from start to finish.
125: #31 Gage Curry vs. #18 Jack Medley (don't think we see Suriano yet)
133: #7 Micky Phillippi vs. #8 Dylan Ragusin
141: #23 Cole Matthews vs. #3 Stevan Micic
149: Luke Kemerer/Dan Mancini vs Cole Mattin
157: #21 Elijah Cleary vs. #15 Will Lewan
165: #13 Jake Wentzel vs #10 Cam Amine
174: Hunter Kernan vs #6 Logan Massa
184: #31 Gregg Harvey vs. #2 Myles Amine
197: #8 Nino Bonaccorsi vs #9 Patrick Brucki
285: Jake Slinger vs. #2 Mason Parris
As you can see, there is a lot of firepower in this dual. If Pitt is ready to go like they were at MatMen Open, this will be a very entertaining dual. Phillippi/Ragusin and Bonaccorsi/Brucki alone would be worth the price of admission. But there are great matchups up and down the lineup--a lot of potential for Pitt to make some statements going into ACC duals. Really looking forward to this one. Kudos to Coach Gavin, Coach Ward and Coach Bormet for making this happen on short notice.
Virginia: The Hoos sent a limited team to the F&M Open to get some mat time, including the return of Vic Marcelli. We will have a full breakdown of the results next week.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies host a tri in Blacksburg on Sunday, welcoming Binghamton and West Virginia. They will be heavily favored in both duals, but there will be some great matchups to pay attention to throughout the day. There was a last-minute change to the format; instead of official duals between the three teams, it will be run as a round-robin event to maximize mat time for multiple wrestlers; official team scores will not be kept. Official lineups have not been released, so all of these matches are potential matchups.
Against Binghamton, there are a couple matches to keep an eye on. At 133, #6 Korbin Myers will face #32 Anthony Sobotker. At 197, #12 Louie Deprez will face Andy Smith and at 285, #14 Nathan Traxler will wrestle #20 Joe Doyle.
Against the Mountaineers, Sam Latona will have a chance to set the tone for the second half of the season against All-American #6 Killian Cardinale. Latona is 2-0 against Cardinale--both wins were one-point decisions. Latona has struggled to start the year, but we have all seen that he is capable of beating almost anyone when he is on; I'm hopeful that he was able to reset and rest over break and comes back in top form. At 165, Clayton Ulrey will face a very hot #11 Peyton Hall coming off a 4-1 run at the Southern Scuffle-losing only to Keegan O'Toole of Mizzou. The final ranked matchup will be the second of the day for Nathan Traxler as he faces #22 Michael Wolfgram. The Hokies will look to get some mat time for wrestlers who were out the first half of the season--so look out for Andy Smith and the potential return of Sam Hillegas at 141. The Hokies will face George Mason in the Moss Arts Center dual next week before ACC duals begin.