Wrestling Plays Host to No. 22 Maryland Sunday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team wraps up the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday, playing host to 22nd-ranked Maryland at Memorial Gymnasium. The Terrapins (14-4, 4-0 ACC) have already clinched at least a share of the ACC regular-season championship, but Virginia (18-4, 3-1) could share the title with a win Sunday.
The Cavaliers have had two weeks off since their last outings in which they defeated NC State (30-12) and Duke (19-15) on the road. Following those bouts, Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio) was named ACC Wrestler of the Week after he notched two falls, giving him four-consecutive pins. He has needed just 4:39 total to record the four falls.
Caponi now boasts a 34-2 record this season. He is ranked No. 11 nationally by InterMat and No. 13 by W.I.N. Magazine. UVa boasts three other nationally ranked wrestlers Chris Henrich (Fr., Lansdale, Pa.) is 18th (W.I.N.) and 19th (InterMat) at 174 pounds, Eric Albright (Jr., York, Pa.) is 17th in the W.I.N. 133-pound rankings and Brent Jones (So., Burke, Va.) is 20th in InterMat’s 197-pound rankings.
The matchups at the upperweights will be the ones to especially watch, as Maryland has three nationally-ranked wrestlers this week, with all three at the same weight classes where Virginia has ranked wrestlers. Ninth-ranked Mike Letts will match up with Henrich at 174, 19th-ranked Josh Haines will battle Caponi at 184 and fifth-ranked Hudson Taylor will take on Jones at 197.
UVa currently has 10 wrestlers with 20 or more individual wins this season. Caponi leads the team with 34, followed by Ross Gitomer (So., Flemington, N.J.) with 33, Jones with 30 and Michael Chaires (Fr., Scotia, N.Y.) with a UVa freshman record-tying 29.
Last season, Maryland hung a 30-12 defeat on the Cavaliers in College Park, Md. The Terrapins own a 36-20 edge in the all-time series.
Sunday also will be Senior Day, as Virginia will honor Anthony Burke (Poquoson, Va.), Drew DiPasquale (Bloomsburg, Pa.), Matt Federici (Sewell, N.J.) and Mike Grogan (North Canton, Ohio) prior to the match.
The Cavaliers have next week off to prepare for the ACC Championships, which will be held March 9 at Comcast Center in College Park.