CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team continues its dual-meet schedule this weekend, taking on George Mason at 7 p.m. Friday and No. 13 Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday in the “Rumble on the River.” The George Mason dual will be contested at Hopewell High School in Hopewell, Va., and the Virginia Tech match will be hosted at Deep Run High School in Richmond.
Admission Friday is $8 at the door. Admission for the Saturday match is $8 for adults and $5 for students, with children under eight gaining free admission.
Virginia (8-8) is coming off a weekend split, falling 23-9 at North Carolina in the Wahoos' ACC opener before rebounding for a 32-9 win at Campbell. Saturday, the Cavaliers won eight of the 10 weight classes against the Camels, with six of the eight wins coming by major decision or technical falls.
Virginia has faced a brutal schedule all season, and it gets no easier this weekend as UVa battles its sixth Top 25-ranked team of the year in Virginia Tech. The banged-up Cavaliers also have had duals against then-No. 12 Wisconsin, then-No. 9 Illinois, then-No. 14 Penn State, then-No. 7 Oklahoma State and then-No. 24 Kent State.
Virginia has four wrestlers in the latest InterMat rankings:
No. 9 Chris Henrich (So., Lansdale, Pa.) at 174
No. 16 Rocco Caponi (Sr., Uniontown, Ohio) at 184
No. 19 Nick Nelson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at 141
No. 20 Brent Jones (Jr., Burke, Va.) at 197
George Mason is 4-6-1 in duals this year after dropping a 21-16 decision to Columbia Sunday in Fairfax. Cayle Byers is ranked eighth nationally at 197 pounds by InterMat. Mendbagana Tovuujav (174 pounds) was named the CAA Wrestling Rookie of the Week after posting two wins last week. He is ranked No. 19 in the latest Amatuer Wrestling News rankings.
GMU and UVa last met in a dual on Nov. 11, 2006, a 23-9 Cavalier win in Charlottesville. The Patriots own a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series.
The Hokies (15-1) are ranked for the first time ever, coming off two of the biggest wins in school history, as they won road matches at No. 17 Michigan (22-15) and No. 6 Central Michigan (19-12) for their first wins ever over ranked teams. They do not have a senior on the roster and boast three wrestlers currently ranked by InterMat No. 13 Jarrod Garnett at 125, No. 20 Chris Diaz at 141 and No. 20 Pete Yates at 149.
For more information on the Rumble on the River, log on to www.wrestling-rumble.com.
Last year, the Hokies and Wahoos engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle in the Rumble, with Virginia Tech edging UVa, 18-16, in front of a near-capacity crowd at Deep Run High School. The Hokies hold a slim 34-32-1 edge in the all-time series.
Virginia has just one bout next weekend, as it travels to No. 23 Old Dominion Sunday, Feb. 8 for a 5:30 p.m. match.