Cavalier Finish Regular Season Against Maryland and No. 2 Iowa State
Charlottesville, VA – This week the Virginia wrestling team will travel to Maryland and then return to Memorial Gymnasium to face No. 2 ranked Iowa State in the final two regular-season matches of the season. The Cavaliers and Terrapins square off Friday at 7 p.m. in College Park. Iowa State and Virginia meet at noon Sunday in just the second meeting between the two programs. The Cavaliers enter the two matches with a 7-8 record and are 2-2 in ACC duals.
The first 200 fans attending Sunday’s match will receive free Virginia t-shirts. The event will be webcast live on ACC Select, the conference’s new live video streaming service on the Internet. ACC Select events are available live and on-demand exclusively at www.accselect.com on a per-event basis ($3.99 per event) or All Event Pass (available for a limited time at the introductory price of $5.99 per month).
Maryland is 15-5 overall and 4-0 in ACC competitions this season. The Terps enter Friday’s match having won their last four duals. The Maryland probable lineup includes four wrestlers currently listed in InterMat’s individual rankings. Alex Krom is ranked 14th at 141 pounds where he has compiled a 20-6 record this season. Jason Kiessling is ranked No. 13 at 165. He leads all Terp wrestlers with a 25-7 mark. Mike Letts is No. 13 at 174 and is right behind Kiessling for the team lead in wins with a 24-5 record. At 197, Hudson Taylor is ranked No. 15 and is 22-7 this year.
Iowa State is 11-3 overall and trails only top-ranked Minnesota in the InterMat poll. The Cyclones have nine wrestlers ranked in the top-10 of their respective weight classes. Leading that group is senior Trent Paulson at 157 and his brother Travis, at 165. Both are ranked third in their respective division. Trent Paulson sports a 20-4 record this year while Travis is 21-4. Iowa State has five freshmen who are nationally ranked. Nick Fanthorpe is No. 6 at 124, Mitch Mueller is 10th at 141, Cyler Sanderson is 14th at 149, Jake Varner is sixth at 184 and David Zabriskie is 15th among heavyweights. Varner leads the team with 11 pins this year.
Iowa State is coached by Cael Sanderson, a four-time NCAA Champion who was a gold medalist at the Athens Olympics. Sanderson was 159-0 in his four-year career at Iowa State. His younger brother, Cyler, wrestles for Iowa State at 149.
Sunday’s match will be the final home appearance for four Cavalier wrestlers. Seniors Mike Grogan (174), Kyle Karkiewicz (197), Damian Johnson (165) and Scott Smith (heavyweight) are all scheduled to wrestle at Memorial Gym for the final time in their careers. Sophomore Rocco Caponi will miss the two matches this week after spraining his knee against NC State. Caponi is ranked 20th by InterMat at 184 pounds.
Two Cavaliers will try and extend their team-best winning streaks this week. Ross Gitomer, at 125, has won five consecutive matches to improve to 19-12 overall this season. Grogan has won his last six outings at 174 and 184. He is 19-5 this year.
Following Sunday’s bout with Iowa State, the Cavaliers will be off until they compete at the ACC Championships in Raleigh on March 3.
125: Ross Gitomer133: Eric Albright141: Kellon Balum149: Drew DiPasquale157: Mike Sewell157: Beau Fisher165: Damian Johnson174: Mike Grogan184: Rocco Caponi or Calvin Cardillo197: Kyle NarkiewiczHwt: Scott Smith
Maryland125: James Knox133: Jon Kohler or Jeff Oldham141: Alex Krom/Charlie Pinto149: Andrew Schlaffer157: Mike McGill165: Jason Kiessling174: Mike Letts184: Josh Haines197: Hudson TaylorHwt: Jerry Afari
Iowa State125: Nick Fanthorpe133: Nick Gallick141: Mitch Mueller or Joey DeMarie149: Cyler Sanderson157: Trent Paulson165: Travis Paulson174: Grant Turner or David Bertolino184: Jake Varner197: Kurt BackesHwt: David Zabriskie