Jedd Moore had a breakout match last week against Maryland, scoring a 5-3 win over then-No. 11 Kyle John at 157 pounds. The win proved to be a key factor in the Cavaliers' upset victory over the Terrapins, but it also was a great breakthrough for Moore, who has been close to several big wins this year but couldn't quite finish them off. After battling through two years of injuries including a year in the 165-pound weight class, Moore is back in his comfort zone at 157 and wrestling as well as he has during his four years at UVa. He also is the reigning ACC Wrestler of the Week and is the focus of the latest installment of On the Mat.
Talk about the big win for you and the team last weekend against Maryland.
Moore: We were all pretty focused going into the match. We all knew it was a huge match. We had not beaten Maryland since I've been here and we won a lot of big individual matchups. We all knew we needed to step up. We like to talk about how we have a great team and that we're almost there, but we were tired of just saying we're almost there. It was time to step up and wrestle hard. It definitely paid off.
Do you feel like it's been similar for you where you've been so close in a lot of matches but couldn't quite get over the hump?
Moore: Yes, I've had a lot of close matches and it's been frustrating, but it was nice to put it together and finally see it pay off. I just stuck to the game plan and it turned out great.
Are you happy with where you are right now after going through a couple of rough years injury-wise?
Moore: Yes and no. I'm obviously happy to be healthy, knock on wood. There's always room for improvement though, and that's the mindset we all have here. We're obviously happy to get the big win and pick up momentum, but we're not satisfied. We know there is plenty of room for improvement and a lot of time left in the season to get better. We know we still need to do a lot to get to the next level.
What went into your decision this year to come back down to 157 pounds from 165?
Moore: I realized pretty quickly last year that I wasn't as big as I thought I was. There were several factors with that - I gained some weight from my injury, for one. I wasn't wrestling well and I struggled more than I thought I would. I had a disappointing year last season, so I made the decision to go back down. I came down smartly. The weight cut wasn't bad for me and now I feel a lot better at 157. I think it's been more natural for me. It was a good decision for me and the team.
What did you do differently last summer to get ready for this season?
Moore: A bunch of us stayed in Charlottesville over the summer. I dropped the weight, then I focused on training and looking at my weak points. I worked on the problem areas that needed to be addressed. I realized I only have a short window left, so I need to make the most of it. I really kicked it into high gear and got my head on straight.
You're into your fourth year now. Do you know what you want to do after college?
Moore: I don't know just yet, so I'm applying to grad school for next year. I'm an environmental science major, with a leadership minor and I have a lot of options - I could see myself coaching, teaching, going anywhere really. I'll be here competing next year, then we'll see where I go from there.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
Moore: I like to cook a lot. This year I started making my own breads. I do it from scratch, so it's pretty hardcore. A friend and I make a meal together once a week. We try something new every week.
What was the meal last week?
Moore: Last week I bought a coconut, then we shaved it and made coconut and almond-covered crusted tilapia. She made these sweet and spicy green beans. Then we also made some couscous and a dessert. We try to mix it up - homemade pizza, a lot of different fish items. Recently I made my first energy bar, like my own Cliff Bar. It was delicious.
Food: Any kind of fish
Spot on Grounds: The Lawn
Wrestling Moment: Wrestling at NCAAs (his freshman year)
Class: Natural Disasters
Artist: Johnny Cash
Pro Sports Team: I don't really have one. I don't really watch any other sport.
Movie: "Star Wars"
TV Show: "How I Met Your Mother"