Wrestling Battles NC State, Duke Sunday in Durham
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team returns to league action Sunday, facing NC State at 1 p.m. at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., then heading over to Duke for a 6 p.m. match inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Virginia (16-4, 1-1 ACC) has four wrestlers ranked nationally entering competition Sunday. Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio) stands No. 12 in the W.I.N. rankings at 184 pounds and No. 13 in the InterMat poll. Chris Henrich (Fr., Lansdale, Pa.) is ranked 19th in the W.I.N. and InterMat 174-pound rankings, while Brent Jones (So., Burke, Va.) stands 20th in each poll at 197. Eric Albright (Jr., York, Pa.) holds a No. 18 national ranking at 133 in the W.I.N. poll.
The Cavaliers stepped outside of league play last Saturday and responded with two resounding home wins, 37-3 over Newberry and 48-0 against Campbell. The Cavaliers dropped just one individual bout in coasting to the dominating victories.
Virginia posted six falls in its two matches, with 12th-ranked Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio) recording two at 184 pounds as he improved to 32-2 this season. The Cavaliers also earned five major decisions and a technical fall.
Caponi, Ross Gitomer (So., Flemington, N.J.) and Michael Chaires (Fr., Scotia, N.Y.) each will continue their pursuits of individual records this weekend. Caponi, with 32 wins this year, is tied for the most-ever wins in a single season for a junior. Gitomer, also with 32 victories, is two shy of the sophomore record, while Chaires, with 28 wins, is one shy of the freshman record.
NC State (8-7-1, 1-1) presents a still challenge with three wrestlers ranked nationally this week. Joe Caramancia is ranked sixth nationally at 141, Darrion Caldwell stands ninth at 149 and Ryan Goodman is 18th at 184.
Duke is 6-7 in duals and 0-3 in the ACC and will compete four times Saturday in the Campbell Duals. The Blue Devils dropped a 33-5 decision at then-No. 21 Maryland last Saturday.
After wrestling Sunday, the Cavaliers will enjoy a two-week break before competing in their regular-season finale Feb. 24 at home against No. 24 Maryland at Memorial Gymnasium.