- The Virginia wrestling team, ranked No. 18 nationally in the latest InterMat team rankings, returns to the mat Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 29 and 30) as it competes in the Southern Southern Scuffle, hosted by UNC Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center in Greensboro, N.C.
Virginia has started the season strong, going 7-1 in dual matches with its lone defeat coming to Central Michigan, which is currently ranked No. 6 nationally. The Cavaliers have three wrestlers in the latest InterMat individual rankings - Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) is No. 4 at 174, Brent Jones (Sr., Burke, Va.) is No. 10 at 197 and Danny Gonsor (So., Cleveland, Ohio) is No. 16 at 157. Henrich is off to an impressive start, going 11-1 with wins over three ranked foes.
UVa has not competed as a team since the Northeast Duals on Nov. 28. The Cavaliers were scheduled to wrestle Dec. 19 at UNCG and Appalachian State, but those bouts were postponed because of inclement weather.
The impressive Southern Scuffle field includes 52 wrestlers who are ranked in the latest InterMat rankings, including four of the 10 wrestlers currently ranked No. 1 in the nation at their respective weight classes.
Returning NCAA champions Troy Nickerson (Cornell, 125 pounds) and Jarrod King (165 pounds, Edinboro) each are currently ranked No. 1 and also are two of the nine returning 2009 NCAA All-Americans in the field. They are joined by Edinboro's Mack Lewnes (174) and Duke's Konrad Dudziak (heavyweight) as current No. 1-ranked wrestlers in the field.
At 125 pounds, the top five wrestlers in the nation are among the field - Cornell's Nickerson (No. 1), Indiana's Angel Escobedo (No. 2), Minnesota's Zach Sanders (No. 3), Old Dominion's James Nicholson (No. 4) and Edinboro's Eric Morrill (No. 5).
The team field is composed of seven teams which are ranked in the top 25 - No. 5 Minnesota, No. 8 Cornell, No. 13 Indiana, No. 18 Virginia, No. 19 Kent State, No. 20 Edinboro and No. 23 Old Dominion.
UVa took seventh place at the Scuffle last season, with five Cavaliers finishing among the top six in their respective weight classes, highlighted by Henrich's runner-up finish at 174. Cornell came away with the team title in 2008.
UNCG will have a webcast of the Southern Scuffle on a pay-per-view basis at UNCGSpartans.com.
Virginia starts the 2010 portion of its schedule Jan. 8-9 at the Virginia Duals in Hampton.