- The Virginia wrestling team returns to its home mat at Memorial Gymnasium this weekend when it plays host to three dual matches. Saturday, the Cavaliers will battle NC State at 1 p.m. as the Cavaliers start the defense of their 2010 ACC Championship. Sunday, Virginia will match up with No. 21 Penn at 2:30 p.m. and VMI at 4 p.m. Penn and VMI will open the action Sunday with a 1 p.m. dual.
Admission to all the matches is free. Free parking is available in the Culbreth Road Garage, while parking also is available in the Central Grounds Garage (hourly rates apply).
Live results for all four matches will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Prior to the Cavaliers' 2011 ACC opener against NC State, UVa will be celebrating the 2010 ACC Championship team and fans can take their picture with the ACC Championship trophy. There also will be a giveaway of 500 ACC Championship stickers. In addition, there will be an autograph session with the team following the match.
Ranked 25th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, the Cavaliers boast a quintet of ranked wrestlers. Chris Henrich (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.) is ranked No. 4 nationally at 174, while Jon Fausey (R-Fr., Dalmatia, Pa.) is ranked No. 20 by InterMat at 184 and as high as No. 12 nationally (Amateur Wrestling News). Mike Salopek (R-So., North Huntingdon, Pa.) is ranked No. 18 by AWN and No. 19 by WIN Magazine at 197. No. 20 Matt Snyder (R-So., Lewistown, Pa.) stands 18th at 125 according to AWN. The injured Nick Nelson (R-Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) also is 13th at 141 pounds in WIN's latest rankings.
Henrich comes off a momentous weekend, as he set the Virginia career wins record. With a technical fall against Liberty's Eli Sanchez at the Virginia Duals, Henrich recorded his 117th career win and broke the record of 116, previously held by Mike Krafchick (1991-95). Virginia's first-ever two-time All-American, Henrich added three more wins over the weekend and now owns a career record of 120-17. He is 68-4 in his career in dual matches.
As a team Virginia (11-4) went 3-2 last week in picking up a sixth-place finish at the Virginia Duals. It marked Virginia's best finish in its 18 all-time trips to the Virginia Duals. UVa picked up wins over Liberty (35-3), No. 25 Arizona State (29-18) and Edinboro (21-15), while suffering losses to Buffalo (24-12) and Wyoming (24-11).
NC State is 5-3 in dual action this year and will wrestle at VMI Friday night. The Wolfpack lineup is anchored by 149-pounder Darrion Caldwell, who is ranked No. 1 nationally at 149 and was the 2009 NCAA Champion at 149. UVa won 45-6 last season in Raleigh, but the Wolfpack owns a 33-30-1 edge in the all-time series.
Penn is 3-3 in dual matches this year, but the Quakers boast three wrestlers who are ranked among the top 10 nationaly of their individual weight classes by InterMat. Rollie Peterkin stands fourth in the nation at 133 pounds, Micah Burak is seventh at 197 and Zach Kemmerer is ninth at 141. Gabriel Burak also is ranked 20th nationally by InterMat at 165.
UVa earned its first-ever win over Penn last season, taking a 28-9 victory over the Quakers in Philadelphia at The Palestra. Penn owns a 4-1 edge in the series and will be wrestling for the first time ever in Charlottesville. The match also pits brothers Derek and Matt Valenti against each other - Derek wrestles at 149 pounds for UVa, while Matt is an assistant coach for Penn.
VMI is 2-2 in dual matches this year prior to the NC State dual. The Keydets are led by heavyweight Josh Wine, who is 7-3 and ranked as high as No. 14 nationally this season. UVa owns a slim 25-24 edge in the all-time series; the programs last met on No. 3, 2007, a 42-3 UVa win at Mem Gym.
Virginia Probable Lineup
125: Matt Snyder (18 AWN)
133: Joe Spisak
141: Gus Sako
149: Derek Valenti
157: Shawn Harris or Nicky Gordon
165: Jedd Moore or Conner Miller
174: Chris Henrich (4 InterMat, AWN, WIN)
184: Jon Fausey (20 InterMat, 12 AWN, 18 WIN)
197: Mike Salopek (18 AWN, 19 WIN) or Stephen Doty
HWT: Jack Danilkowicz