CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team competes at home for the first time this season Saturday and Sunday, returning to Memorial Gymnasium for three dual matches. Saturday, the Cavaliers wrestle UNC Greensboro at 1 p.m., followed by Rutgers at 3 p.m. Virginia wraps up the weekend with a 2 p.m. Sunday match against Appalachian State. Admission to all the matches is free.Saturday Schedule11 a.m.
UVa (5-6) went 1-2 last weekend at the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va. The Cavaliers defeated Clarion (28-9) and lost to Navy (20-15) and No. 24 Kent State (19-15). In the Navy and Kent State matches, UVa was forced to forfeit at the 125-pound class and give up six points because of injuries to Ross Gitomer (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) and Joe Trause (Fr., Carlstadt, N.J.).
Matt Bonson (Fr., Lewistown, Pa.), Chris Henrich (So., Lansdale, Pa.) and Brent Jones (Jr., Burke, Va.) each won three matches last weekend. Bonson knocked off then-No. 11 Dan Mitcheff of Kent State Saturday and was named ACC Wrestler of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts.
Virginia has a season-high five wrestlers in the InterMat individual rankings this week: Henrich, 10th at 174; Rocco Caponi (Sr., Uniontown, Ohio), 17th at 184; Jones, 19th at 197; Jedd Moore (Fr., Mount Vernon, Ohio), 20th at 157; and Nick Nelson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.), 20th at 141.
The weekend slate figures to provide plenty of good matches. Among the highlights: Nelson will be stoutly tested Saturday with UNCG’s Chris Bencivenga and Rutgers’ Trevor Melde. Bencivenga is 6-0 in the last three years against UVa wrestlers and has been nationally ranked at several times in his career. Melde is a highly-touted freshman who is 17-5 this season.
In a battle of nationally-ranked 157-pounders Saturday, Moore will match up with 15th-ranked Scott Winston of Rutgers, who is 28-6 this year and recently placed in the top four at the prestigious Midlands Championships. At 174 pounds, Henrich is scheduled to face two-time NCAA qualifier Byron Sigmon from UNCG and 18th-ranked Austin Trotman of Appalachian State. Henrich comes into the weekend with a 23-1 record, with his only loss coming in sudden victory time to No. 5 Steve Anceravage of Cornell.
Rutgers enters the weekend with a 15-4 dual record, while UNCG is 1-7 in duals this season. The Scarlet Knights and Spartans will wrestle at 11 a.m. prior to UVa’s matches. ASU is 4-9 in duals heading into a home tri-match with Virginia Tech and Campbell on Friday night.
Virginia holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series with UNCG after winning 24-18 in Greensboro last season. UVa owns a 2-0 record against Rutgers but has not wrestled the Scarlet Knights since 1995, a 24-12 Cavaliers’ win. Virginia also has a 3-2 series lead over Appalachian State after winning 24-10 on the Mountaineers’ home mat last year.
Virginia begins ACC competition next weekend, traveling to North Carolina for a 7 p.m. match on Jan. 23. The Cavaliers then will venture to Buies Creek, N.C., to wrestle Campbell at 1 p.m. Jan. 24.
- UNC Greensboro vs. Rutgers1 p.m.
- Virginia vs. UNC Greensboro3 p.m.
- Virginia vs. Rutgers