No. 19 Wrestling Faces Tough Challenges This Weekend
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 19 Virginia wrestling team, after a week off from team competition, returns to the mat this Saturday at the Brute/Journeymen Northeast Duals at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y. The Cavaliers face a tough slate, battling 11th-ranked Central Michigan, Hofstra and Sacred Heart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
The Cavaliers are off to a 5-0 start in dual matches. In its last day of dual competition on Nov. 15 at the ACC Challenge, UVa swept Bucknell (20-13), Gardner-Webb (50-0) and No. 16 American (20-19).
UVa 174-pounder Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) will have his hands full Saturday. In the opener vs. CMU, he is slated to face top-ranked Mike Miller. Against Hofstra, he is scheduled to match up with 11th-ranked Ryan Patrovich. Henrich, ranked fifth nationally, is coming off a narrow, 7-6 defeat to No. 6 Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska on Sunday at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
The duals figure to be a homecoming for a pair of New York natives who are scheduled to compete for Virginia – Michael Chaires (R-So., Scotia, N.Y.) at 165 pounds and Matt Cubillos (Fr., Schenectady, N.Y.) at 133.
UVa has four wrestlers currently ranked by InterMat – Henrich, Chaires (16th at 165), Ross Gitomer (20th at 125) and Brent Jones (14th at 197).
Central Michigan (1-0) boasts seven ranked wrestlers – Conor Beebe (14th at 125), Scotti Sentes (ninth at 133), Tony D’Alie (18th at 149), Steve Brown (seventh at 157), Miller, Ben Bennett (14th at 184) and Jarod Trice (ninth at heavyweight). The programs have met just once previously, with CMU taking a 29-6 victory in 2001.
Hofstra (0-0-1) opened its dual-meet schedule with a 16-16 tie against Buffalo. The Pride, ranked 25th nationally in the first poll, has four ranked wrestlers this week – Steve Bonanno (13th at 125), Justin Accordino (19th at 149), Jonny Bonilla-Bowman (eighth at 157) and Patrovich. UVa and Hofstra have wrestled just twice before, with the Pride notching wins in both duals. The teams have not met since 1982.
Sacred Heart is 1-5 this season and was swept last weekend by Edinboro, Rutgers and Harvard. This will be the first meeting between Sacred Heart and Virginia.
UVa wrestlers will compete unattached in open tournaments and take their final exams the following three weeks before returning to team competition Dec. 19 at UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State.