Wrestling Travels to ACC/Big Ten Clash Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team is back in action Saturday, traveling to the ACC/Big Ten Clash in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Cavaliers will wrestle Big Ten foes Purdue and Michigan State at noon and 2 p.m., respectively, at North Carolina’s Eddie Smith Field House.
The clash features some intriguing matches at several classes. At 133 pounds, Eric Albright (Jr., York, Pa.), ranked No. 9 nationally by InterMat, is slated to face off with Michigan State sophomore Franklin Gomez, tabbed No. 6 nationally. At 197, Virginia’s Brent Jones (So., Burke, Va.) is scheduled to take on 14th-ranked Joe Williams of Michigan State.
Purdue features ranked wrestlers at 149 (Jake Patascil, No. 8), 157 (Jake Murphy, No. 19), 165 (Justin Fraga, No. 12) and heavyweight (Chris Kasten, No. 20).
Rocco Caponi (Uniontown, Ohio) is the ACC’s reigning Wrestler of the Week following his championship performance at the Brute/Bearcat Open in Binghamton, N.Y. last Saturday. Caponi swept through his four matches at 184 pounds, defeating Cornell’s Nate Holly, 8-5, in the final. Caponi now owns a 6-0 record through the first two weeks of the season. He is ranked as high as No. 9 nationally at 184 pounds.
Virginia matched up with Purdue last year in the ACC/Big Ten event, dropping a hard-fought 19-16 match to the Boilermakers. The Cavaliers will be facing off with Michigan State in dual-meet action for the first time in program history.
The Cavaliers are coming off a sterling performance at the Brute/Bearcat Open last weekend, as UVa had placewinners at eight of the 10 weight classes. In addition to Caponi’s championship, Jones at 197, Brent Fiorito (So., Palm, Pa.) at 165 and Anthony Burke (Jr., Poquoson, Va.) at 125 each took runner-up honors at their respective weight classes.
Virginia heads to Troy, N.Y., next Saturday to compete in the Northeast Duals. The Cavaliers are scheduled to take on Lehigh at 10 a.m., No. 8 Cornell at 2:30 p.m. and No. 5 Michigan at 4:30 p.m.