CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team (0-0) opens the 2021-22 season on Saturday night (Nov. 6) when the Cavaliers travel to take on American (0-0) in a 7:30 p.m. dual at Bender Arena.
It will be the second dual of the day for the Eagles who open the season against Sacred Heart at 6 p.m. prior to the dual with the Cavaliers.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
The match will be streamed on ESPN+ which is available as part of a subscription and is available through the ESPN app and at ESPN.com. Fans can also get updates by following the program’s official Twitter account (@UVAWrestling).
VIRGINIA IN THE RANKINGS
The Cavaliers have eight wrestlers ranked in the individual rankings by InterMat entering the season. Patrick McCormick is ranked No. 33 at 125 pounds, while Brian Courtney is ranked No. 19 at 133 pounds. Transfer Jarod Verkleeren is ranked No. 31 at 149 pounds, while Jake Keating is No. 19 at 157 pounds and Justin McCoy is No. 20 at 165 pounds. Vic Marcelli is ranked No. 30 at 174 pounds, while Jay Aiello is No. 16 at 197 pounds and Quinn Miller is No. 21 at heavyweight.
In the team rankings, the Cavaliers are unranked but receiving votes in the initial NWCA Coaches Poll.
125: No. 33 Patrick McCormick
133: No. 19 Brian Courtney
141: Dylan Cedeno
149: No. 31 Jarod Verkleeren
157: Jon Errico
165: No. 20 Justin McCoy
174: Krystian Kinsey OR Justin Phillips
184: Michael Battista
197: Ethan Weatherspoon
HWT: No. 21 Quinn Miller
125: Andy Fallon OR Max Leete
133: Josh Bauman OR Shamil Kalmatov
141: Ethan Szerencsits
149: Patrick Ryan OR Jack Nies
157: Cole Painter OR Elijah White
165: Tim Fitzpatrick
174: Colin Shannon OR Ben Root
184: Connor Bourne
197: Will Jarrell OR Carsten Rawls
HWT: Isaac Righter
THE SERIES WITH AMERICAN
Virginia leads the all-time series with the Eagles 12-1 and the last meeting between the teams came in the 2009 season. In that meeting, the then 21st-ranked Cavaliers pulled out the victory by edging then No. 16 American 20-19 in dual held in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Cavaliers have won six straight in the series after American picked up its lone win in the 1990 season.
NEW HOOS IN THE LINEUP
Virginia has some new Hoos in the lineup as graduate transfers Jon Errico and Jarod Verkleeren are slated to make their debuts for the Cavaliers. Errico came to the program from Penn and joins his younger brother Luca on the squad. Verkleeren, a grad transfer from Penn State, is also in his first season with the Cavaliers.
AIELLO ABROAD FOR OPENING WEEKEND
Jay Aiello will be absent from the lineup this weekend as the All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier is overseas competing at the U23 World Championships for the United States. Aiello advanced to the semifinals at 97kg on Friday and will go for the bronze medal on Saturday morning.
SEVEN NCAA QUALIFIERS RETURN FOR THE CAVALIERS
Virginia had eight wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships a year ago and seven of those return to the squad this season. The lone wrestler not returning was All-American Louie Hayes at 133 pounds. With his departure after earning his master’s degree, the Cavaliers saw some shifting in weight classes as Brian Courtney dropped down to 133 pounds from 141 pounds. Jake Keating and Justin McCoy flipped weight classes with Keating dropping down to 157 and McCoy bumping up to 165. Both wrestlers were ACC runners-up at their weight classes and earned All-ACC honors last season.