Bryce Andonian (left) and Alex Madrigal (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
The Hokies host an in-state battle with George Mason in their annual event hosted at the Moss Arts Center. The Hokies have been on the forefront of teams hosting unique events to provide fans with a new experience. They have also hosted a Mat on the Mound event at the Hokies softball field to give fans a rare in-season outdoor wrestling event in Virginia. This will be the fourth event hosted at the Moss Arts Center--a beautiful performing arts center near campus in Blacksburg--and returns after not being hosted during the COVID year. I had the chance to attend the event when they hosted UVA in 2018 and it was an incredible experience that I highly recommend for all wrestling fans.
Today's match against in-state foe, George Mason, will feature a mixture of starters and youth for the Hokies. With a huge dual looming in Raleigh, some of the usual starters for the Hokies will be getting a day off to ensure they are prime for next week. This will be a great chance to see some of the young talent the Hokies have waiting in the wings.
125: #21 Sam Latona vs. Benjamin Monn
133: Brandon Wittenburg vs. Cole Anders/Michael Rapuano
141: Collin Gerardi/Sam Hillegas vs. Kaden Cassidy/Shawn Nonaka
149: #7 Bryce Andonian/Kylen Montgomery vs. #23 Alex Madrigal
157: Jake Hart vs. Avery Bassett/Loranzo Rajaonarivelo
165: Clayton Ulrey vs. Tyler Kocak/Drew Dickson
174: Austin Dempsey vs. Logan Messer
184: Simeon Holmes vs. Kyle Davis
197: #33 Dakota Howard vs. Jeremy Seymour
285: #13 Nathan Traxler vs. Austin Stith
The biggest things to look for in the dual--first and foremost, the possible return of Bryce Andonian. He hasn't been listed as a probable since before the Collegiate Duals, so I take this as a good sign moving into conference competition. I'm also looking to see if Sam Latona comes out firing like he did last week. He looked phenomenal against Binghamton last week; I'm hopeful he has returned to his top form in time for a huge match next week against #11 Jakob Camacho. The final thing I am watching is the reaction of #13 Nathan Traxler. He has been very excited about taking the mat at center stage and talked about it after transferring from Stanford--I hope it's a great experience for him and he continues the dominant run he has been on. The Hokies return to action next week in a rematch of last year's dual of the year in the ACC---taking on the Wolfpack in Raleigh next Friday night.