Jan. 29, 2009

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech wrestling squad, fresh off a pair of wins over nationally-ranked programs and a national ranking for the first time in program history, will have no time to rest on its laurels as it jumps into Atlantic Coast Conference competition this weekend with a pair o! f dual matches.

On Saturday, the Hokies will take on the University of Virginia at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen (outside Richmond). It’ll be an action-packed day as the Hokies and Cavaliers open the festivities at 1 p.m., and then Christiansburg High will battle Colonial Forge High right after.

Last year, Tech upset the Cavaliers 18-16 in front of a standing-room-only audience of close to 2,000 fans. Tommy Spellman upset 10th-ranked Rocco Caponi and Chris Diaz picked up a pin at the final buzzer to ignite the big win.

Information on the Rumble, as well as directions, can be found at www.wrestling-rumble.com/ Tickets will be available at the door and the event was close to selling out last year.

Virginia is currently 8-8 and will take on George Mason Friday night at Hopewell High. The Cavs have four wrestlers ranked in the InterMat Top 20.

On Sunday, the Hokies will take on the University of North Carolina (10-6, 3-0 ACC) at Fetzer Gymnasium. The Tar Heels beat the Hokies 22-12 at Blacksburg last year. UNC is on a six-match winning streak and features two wrestlers – Justin Dobies and Keegan Mueller – with at least 100 career wins. UNC also has four players ranked in the InterMat Top 20.

The Tar Heels have already wrestled three of their five ACC matches, so Sunday’s contest will go a long way in determining the mythical dual meet champion for the league. The official league champion will be decided at the ACC Championships, to be held March 7 at Cassell Coliseum.

Tech is tied for 13th nationally by InterMat and 19th by W.I.N. Magazine. The Hokies have three wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s Top 20: Jarrod Garnett (13th at 125 pounds), Chris Diaz (20th at 141 pounds) and Pete Yates (20th at 149 pounds).

Below are the probable lineups for all three squads, as submitted by the coaching staffs.

#13 Virginia Tech (15-1, 0-0 ACC)
125: #13 Jarrod Garnett (30-4)
133: Will Livingston (11-7) OR Brock LiVorio (21-6)
141: #20 Chris Diaz (25-7)
149: #20 Pete Yates (23-7)
157: Jesse Dong (23-6)
165: Matt Epperly (20-9)
174: Anthony Trongone (18-11)
184: Tommy Spellman (17-8)
197: D.J. Bruce (22-8)
285: David Marone (21-11)

Virginia (8-8, 0-1 ACC)
125: Wyatt Anderson (0-5)
133: Matt Bonson (12-5)
141: # 19 Nick Nelson (20-7) OR Derek Valenti (23-8)
149: Pete Ferrara (13-8)
157: Jedd Moore (23-9)
165: Mike Sewell (7-6) or Beau Fisher (6-8)
174: #9 Chris Henrich (28-1)
184: #16 Rocco Caponi (10-4)
197: #20 Brent Jones (21-5)
285: Calvin Cardillo (5-11)

North Carolina (10-6, 3-0 ACC)
125: Nick Shields (6-14)
133: Mike Rappo (21-7)
141: #18 Vincent Ramirez (25-6)
149: #15 Nick Stabile (21-7)
157: Thomas Scotton (17-9)
165: #16 Keegan Mueller (27-5)
174: Ben Fiacco (13-13) OR Robert McCarthy (5-6)
184: Daniel Llamas (13-12)
197: #17 Dennis Drury (22-6)
285: Justin Dobies (22-6)