Nov. 2, 2012
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 16 Virginia wrestling team begins its 2012-13 season Saturday when it plays host to a quad meet at Memorial Gymnasium. UVa will wrestle Anderson at 9 a.m., Ohio at 10:30 and Chattanooga at noon.
Admission is free, and free parking is available in the Culbreath Road Garage.
Virginia returns eight former NCAA qualifiers to its starting lineup this year, including 2011 All-American Derek Valenti (R-Sr., Newton, N.J.), who comes back at 149 pounds after a redshirt season. Former ACC champions Matt Snyder (R-Sr., Lewistown, Pa.), Jon Fausey (R-Jr., Dalmatia, Pa.) and Mike Salopek (R-Sr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) all are back in the lineup; Fausey moves down a weight class to 174 this year, while Snyder (125) and Salopek (197) return at their familiar classes.
2011 NCAA qualifier Joe Spisak (R-So., Boiling Springs, Pa.) returns to the lineup at 133 pounds after a redshirt season. 2012 NCAA qualifiers Matt Nelson (R-So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) moves up a weight class to 141, while 2009 NCAA qualifier Jedd Moore (R-Sr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) and 2012 NCAA qualifier Nick Sulzer (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio) return to the fold at 157 and 165, respectively.
Virginia narrowly missed out on an ACC championship last season, finishing as the runner-up before taking 28th at the NCAA Championships. The Cavaliers also were 11-1 in dual matches.
Ohio has a standout heavyweight in Jeremy Johnson, who is ranked No. 9 in the preseason InterMat poll. He was square off with UVa heavyweight Derek Papagianopoulos (R-So., Burlington, Mass.), who went 11-2 last season before an injury late in the season curtailed his year.
The big match of the day is slated to come at 125 pounds in the Chattanooga-Virginia match, where Snyder will take on Nick Soto in a matchup of top-15 ranked wrestlers. Snyder is No. 9 and Soto No. 14 in the preseason InterMat rankings.
The Cavaliers hit the road for the first time next Saturday (Nov. 10) at the Gardner-Webb Duals. UVa will take on George Mason at 9 a.m. and the host Bulldogs at 11 a.m.
Probable Virginia Lineup
125: No. 9 Matt Snyder or Nick Herrmann
133: Joe Spisak
141: David Wesley or Jimmy Nehls
149: No. 10 Derek Valenti or Chris Yankowich
157: Jedd Moore, Blaise Butler or M.J. Roberson
165: No. 10 Nick Sulzer
174: No. 8 Jon Fausey or Dusty Floyd
184: Stephen Doty or Zach Nye
197: Mike Salopek or Patrick Gillen
HWT: Derek Papagianopoulos or Cameron King
**rankings according to InterMat
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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