The Virginia wrestling team wraps up its home schedule for the 2008-09 season with ACC duals against NC State and Duke this weekend at Memorial Gymnasium. Virginia wrestles NC State at 5 p.m. Saturday and then plays host to Duke at 1 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free to both matches. The match also will be streamed online by ACC Select.
The weekend will be full of festivities. Saturday, UVa will welcome back the 1956 Cavalier wrestling team for a ceremony at intermission. There also will be a post-match autograph session with the entire UVa team.
The Cavaliers will conduct their Senior Day recognition Sunday. Zach Anderson (Richmond, Va.), Danny Artusio (Winchester, Va.), Kyle Artusio (Winchester, Va.), Rocco Caponi (Uniontown, Ohio), Peter Ferrara (Doylestown, Pa.) and Mike Sewell (Bothell, Wash.) all will be honored. Prior to the match, UVa head coach Steve Garland will conduct a free youth clinic from 11 a.m. to noon.
UVa (9-10, 0-2 ACC) comes off a 21-18 loss to then-No. 18 Old Dominion last Sunday in Norfolk. The match went down to the final weight class, with 11th-ranked Chris Brown of ODU needing sudden victory time to scratch out a 6-4 win over Sewell at 165 pounds to break an 18-all tie and give the Monarchs the dual win. UVa won half of the weight classes, including a pin from Caponi at 184. Brent Jones (Jr., Burke, Va.), currently ranked 19th nationally, topped No. 15 Jesse Strawn, 6-5, at 197 pounds.
The match against NC State (4-12-1, 0-3) will showcase several interesting matchups. At 141 pounds, NC State’s Joe Caramanica and UVa’s Nick Nelson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) each have been slowed by injuries of late but could meet up in a rematch from the semifinals of the ACC Championships last year when Nelson upset the then-No. 9 Caramanica, 2-1. Currently, Nelson is ranked No. 17 nationally, while Caramanica is No. 18.
At 157 pounds, UVa freshman Jedd Moore (Mount Vernon, Ohio) will square off with the Wolfpack’s Kody Hamrah, who entered the national rankings at No. 19 this week. At 149, NC State All-American Darrion Caldwell (28-1) will wrestle Ferrara or Dave Ebbott (Fr., Blue Bell, Pa.). At 174, seventh-ranked Chris Henrich (So., Lansdale, Pa.) will put his 31-1 record on the line against NC State freshman Jake Burge (18-7), who has won eight straight matches.
Duke (8-3, 1-2) is led by John Barone (32-5) at 184, which sets up an interesting match between Barone and Caponi (12-5). The two have not met since Caponi earned a 6-4 win in the semis of the 2008 ACC Championships. Henrich will get another solid test as he is scheduled to face Voris Tejada (22-13) at 174, while Sewell is scheduled to square off with Duke's Addison Nuding (12-6) at 165.
Virginia concludes regular-season competition Feb. 22 with a 1 p.m. dual at Maryland. The ACC Championships follow on March 7 in Blacksburg.