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Non-Conference Contest Begins Busy Weekend for ACC Wrestling with Six Matches on Tap.
(Team rankings refer to NWCA national poll; individual rankings are from InterMat)
The Atlantic Coast Conference begins a big wrestling weekend this Friday when 10th-ranked Virginia Tech hosts Big 12 foe West Virginia in a dual match beginning at 7 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.
The match will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Link for the telecast: http://es.pn/1S6iUlY
The Hokies of coach Kevin Dresser are 9-2 overall and have won two straight. West Virginia, which was ranked for most of this season, is 5-6 overall, having dropped four straight matches, two of them to top 10 programs.
Tech’s match is the first of two for the Hokie, as they will travel to arch-rival and 18th-ranked Virginia on Sunday for a 2 p.m. ACC contest at Memorial Gym. The Hokies are led by 125-pound Joey Dance and 285-pound Ty Walz, both of whom are ranked third nationally. Tech, when healthy, features a lineup of eight ranked wrestlers, but has had to contend with injuries that have limited the availability of 157-pound Nick Brascetta (ranked 4th nationally) 174-pound Zach Epperly (ranked 3rd nationally) and 197-pound Jared Haught (ranked 8th nationally). Virginia, coached by Steve Garland, enters the match 5-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC, and is led by sixth-ranked George DiCamillo at 133 pounds and 10th-ranked Zach Nye at 197 pounds. The Cavaliers are the defending ACC champions.
Unbeaten and third-ranked NC State faces a pair of matches over the weekend. The Wolfpack are coached by Pat Popolizio, and led by third-ranked Kevin Jack at 141 pounds, 4th-ranked Max Rohskopf at 165 pounds, 5th-ranked Thomas Gantt at 157 pounds and No. 1-ranked and two-time National Champion Nick Gwiazdowski at 285. State will travel to 16th-ranked Pitt on Friday night for an ACC match at Fitzgerald Fieldhouse at 7 p.m., and then will face West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va., on Sunday at 1 p.m.
State is 18-0 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. The Pitt Panthers of coach Jason Peters are 9-2 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. Pitt is led by fifth-ranked Mikey Racciato at 141, Dom Forys at 133 and Nick Bonaccorsi at 197.
Duke, coached by Glen Lanham, will also face a pair of matches this weekend in the American University duals in Washhington, D.C. The Blue Devils, who are 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the ACC, weill face American on Saturday at 11 a.m. and then will also wrestle Columbia Saturday at 3 p.m.
Duke is led by a trio of nationally-ranked wrestlers in Conner Hartmann, who is ranked fifth nationally at 197, Mitch Finesilver, who is ranked 12th natinoally at 149 pounds and Jake Faust, who is 18th nationally at 165.
Three ACC Wrestling Matches Rescheduled Due to Winter Storm
The winter storm that hit the Eastern half of the U.S. last week forced the re-scheduling of three ACC wrestling matches.
Virginia’s match against Duke will now be held on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gym in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers’ match at Pitt has been rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 19.
Additionally, North Carolina’s home match with non-conference foe Navy has also been rescheduled to Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. The Tar Heels also host Duke that night at 7 p..m. The UNC-Duke contest is scheduled to be streamed live over ESPN3.
Gwiazdowski, Henderson, Bonaccoursi Remain Ranked Among Nation’s Top 10 in Pins
In the second NCAA stat leader listing of the year, NC State’s Nick Gwiazdowski, North Carolina’s Evan Henderson and Pitt’s Nick Bonaccoursi all remain ranked among the Top 10 nationally in falls. Gwiazdowski recorded his eighth fall and is fourth nationally by virtue of his 18:43 aggregate time. Henderson, who has seven falls, is seventh natonally with a 14.32 aggregate time. Bonaccorsi had seven falls also, but his aggregate time of 18:36 places him 10th nationally. NC State 157-pounder Chad Pyke is seventh nationally in technical falls with five and an aggregate time of 28.01.