Jan. 9, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The 13th-ranked Virginia wrestling team returns to action Friday and Saturday (Jan. 10-11) as it competes in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. The Cavaliers (8-2) are the top seed in the 14-team field. Following a first-round bye, UVa will wrestle at 1 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of the Arizona State-Chattanooga dual.
Regardless of the outcome in the quarters, Virginia will compete just once on Friday. The Cavaliers will move on to either the consolation bracket at 10 a.m. Saturday or the semifinals at 2 p.m. The championship and third-place matches are slated for 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Kent State, The Citadel, Bucknell and Bloomsburg also share the top portion of the bracket with the Cavaliers. The tournament is a double-elimination format. The other seeded teams in the event are Edinboro (2), Virginia Tech (3), Bloomsburg (4), Kent State (5), Rider (6), Old Dominion (7) and Chattanooga (8).
Virginia is coming off a strong sixth-place finish at the Southern Scuffle last week. Five Cavaliers placed in the extremely competitive field, with Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) taking a runner-up finish at 141 pounds following an upset of then-unbeaten and second-ranked Chris Dardanes of Minnesota in the semifinals.
Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) placed third at 165, while Gus Sako (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) took fourth at 149. Jon Fausey (R-Sr., Dalmatia, Pa.) and Ethan Hayes (R-So., New Lebanon, Ohio) also claimed eighth-place finishes at 184 and 285, respectively.
Seven Virginia wrestlers are ranked by at least one of the national outlets this week, led by Sulzer at No. 3 at 165 pounds. Coming off consecutive podium finishes at the Las Vegas Invitational and Southern Scuffle, Hayes moved into the InterMat heavyweight rankings at No. 20 this week. Ranked 13th nationally at 157, Blaise Butler (R-So., Belvidere, Ill.) will return to the Cavaliers' lineup this weekend after missing the Southern Scuffle with an injury.
Chattanooga is 6-4 in its dual season. The Mocs have a pair of highly-ranked wrestlers in their lineup, with No. 11 Nick Soto at 133 and No. 6 Corey Mock at 165.
ASU holds a 2-2 dual mark this year. The Sun Devils have a pair of ranked wrestlers as Blake Stauffer (184) is No. 18 in the latest AWN poll and Kyle Colling (285) is No. 16 according to InterMat.
Virginia returns to the mat next weekend with a pair of road duals. The Cavaliers travel to Duke next Friday (Jan. 17) for a 7 p.m. ACC dual at Cameron Indoor Stadium before traveling to Old Dominion on Jan. 19 for 3 p.m. dual.
125: Nick Herrmann or Will Mason
133: Joseph Martinez
141: Joe Spisak (13/16/7) or Justin Van Hoose
149: Chris Yankowich
157: Blaise Butler (13/13/-) or Dustin Roemer
165: Nick Sulzer (3/3/3) or Greg Bacci
174: Stephen Doty (10/10/10)
184: Jon Fausey (-/18/-) or James Suvak
197: Zach Nye or Pat Gillen
285: Ethan Hayes (20/-/ or Collin Campbell
Rankings in parentheses (AWN/InterMat/WIN)