March 2, 2007
Charlottesville, VA -- The Virginia wrestling team heads to the ACC Championships Saturday, March 3 at NC State's Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh. The semifinals take place at 11 a.m., followed by the consolation finals at 5 p.m. and championship matches at 7 p.m. A total of six ACC teams will compete for this year's title including Duke, Maryiland, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Maryland completed the regular season 5-0 in ACC meets. Virginia was 7-10 overall and 2-3 against conference foes. The ACC Championships are a part of MatJam that also features the championships for the Southern Conference.
The 10 individual champions will all receive invitations to the NCAA Championships set for March 15-17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. Three at-large wrestlers will also be selected from the remaining competitors.
The ACC Championships will be webcast on ACC Select, the conference's new live webcasting service on the Internet. ACC Select events are available live and on-demand exclusively at www.accselect.com on a per-event basis ($3.99 per event) or All Event Pass (available for a limited time at the introductory price of $5.99 per month).
The 2006 Championships
North Carolina claimed the 2006 ACC title with 90.5 points. Virginia was fifth with 44.5 points. A total of four Cavaliers advanced to the final and two others finished third. Drew DiPasquale (149), Damian Johnson (165), Mike Grogan (174) and Kyle Narkiewicz (184) all advanced to the championship match. Eric Albright was third at 133 and Nick Smith was third at heavyweight. All of those wrestlers, except for Smith, are in Virginia's lineup for this year's ACC Championships. None of the UVa wrestlers who advanced to the finals last year received an invitation to the NCAA Championships.
Either North Carolina or NC State has won the ACC title since 1978. The Tar Heels have claimed 14 titles in that time and the Wolfpack 10. Virginia is the last team outside of North Carolina to win the title. The Cavaliers were first in 1977. Coach George Edwards teams also claimed the championship in 1974 and 1975. Maryland is the only other school to have captured the crown. The Terrapins took the first 20 titles from 1954-1973.
Virginia has won ACC titles 73 times in the history of the conference championship. No current Cavalier holds a title. The most recent UVa wrestler to win an ACC title was Paul Bjorlo at 157 in 2005. A total of eight Cavaliers have been tabbed the tournament's outstanding wrestler, most recently Scott Moor in 2004 when he was also named the ACC Wrestler of the Year. The only other Virginia competitor to achieve that accolade is first-year coach Steve Garland, who was crowned with the honor in 2000. In its history, five Virginia wrestlers have been three-time ACC Champions. The most recent was Jim Harshaw who took top honors from 1997-99.
Garland at the ACCs
First-year Virginia coach Steve Garland reached the finals of the ACC Championships three times and won a title at 125 as a freshman in 1997. In 2000 he was honored as the ACC's Wrestler of the Year. He finished that season with a 30-5 record. That same season Garland reached the finals of the NCAA Championships to achieve All-America honors.