|Mardel Gabriel vs. VMI|
Tonight we take on American University at home in Reynolds Coliseum. Match time is 7:00 - you can watch FREE here (live stats also available).
Sunday we face what is quite possibly our toughest test of the dual meet season. We take on conference rival, Virginia Tech at 2PM on Sunday. Virginia Tech enters the weekend ranked ninth in the country. Virginia Tech’s head coach, Kevin Dresser, has been at the helm for the last seven years. He has built the program into national prominence. Last season, the Hokies finished tied for eleventh place at the NCAA Championships with two All-Americans. Currently, they are 9-2 in dual meets and are coming off a championship at the Virginia Duals. They also finished second recently at the Midlands Championships. They have four wrestlers ranked in the top twelve and another wrestler in the top fifteen (intermatwrestle.com). Wrestlingreport.com has nine of Tech’s ten starters ranked in the top thirty-three. Tony Robie is the associate head coach and has also helped guide the program for seven seasons. The other assistants are Dave Hoffman and Eric Morrill. Here is a look at their lineup…
125 Pounds – Jarrod Garnett (18-1) is a fifth-year senior and Virginia Tech’s highest ranked wrestler. He is currently ranked fourth in the country. He has one-hundred and twelve career wins (sixth-most in school history). Garnett has won two ACC Titles and has been in the finals three times. In addition, he has never lost an ACC dual meet in his career (14-0). He has finished in the top twelve at the NCAA Tournament but is seeking his first All-American bid. He won the Midlands Championships earlier this season.
133 Pounds – Erik Spjut (9-7) is a redshirt junior. He finished third earlier this year at the Hokie Open. He is ranked twenty-third in the country. Last season, he won twenty-five matches and qualified for the NCAA Championships where he won a match. He finished fourth in the ACC last season and is a three-year starter.
141 Pounds – Zach Neibert (15-6) is a redshirt junior. He enters the dual meet ranked twelfth in the country. He is 8-3 in dual meets this season. He took fifth at the Hokie Open this season and also holds a win over returning All-American Tyler Graff this year. He is in his second year as a starter and won twenty-two matches each of the last two seasons. Last season, he finished in the top twelve at the NCAA National Tournament after finishing third at the ACCs.
149 Pounds – Nick Brascetta (19-2) is a sophomore who is ranked sixth in the country. Last season he was the ACC Rookie of the Year after winning the conference championships and a match at the national championships. He went 22-6 last season. Earlier this season, he won the Midlands Championships and was named the Champion of Champions after defeating three returning All-Americans at the tournament. He also placed third at the Hokie Open this season and is also 10-1 in dual meets so far this year.
157 Pounds – Jesse Dong (14-2) is ranked seventh in the country and is a fifth-year senior. He has a hundred career wins (eight most in school history). Dong is a two-time ACC Champion and three time finalist. He missed almost all of last season with an injury but has been wrestling well this year and looks fully recovered. He placed fifth this season at the Midlands Championships and is a perfect 9-0 in dual meets this season.
165 Pounds – Peter Yates (20-1) is a redshirt senior and a returning All-American (fifth). He is ranked fifth in the country and is 10-0 in duals this season. He is the third Hokie in the line-up with over a hundred wins. He currently has one-hundred and seventeen wins (third most in school history). Yates is a three-time national qualifier and was the ACC Champion last season. This season, he won the Hokie Open and placed third at the Midlands Championships.
174 Pounds – Austin Gabel (12-7) is a redshirt freshman. He finished second at the Hokie Open in his best outing of the season. Last season, he placed in the Wolfpack Open (second), the Shorty Hitchcock Memorial Tournament (fourth), and the Southern Scuffle (seventh). He has won six dual meets so far this year.
184 Pounds – Nick Vetterlein (10-8) is a redshirt junior who is ranked thirty-first in the country. He finished fourth at the Hokie Open earlier this season. He has won six dual meets so far this season and won twenty-four matches last season. Last season, Vetterlein won the Wolfpack Open, finished second at the Hokie Open, and sixth at the Penn State Open.
197 Pounds – Derrick Borlie (12-7) is a redshirt junior. Borlie sat out last season after transferring from Wisconsin. As a redshirt freshman, he finished 21-8 overall. He took fifth earlier this season at the Hokie Open. He is currently ranked twenty-fourth in the country.
285 Pounds – David Marone (9-6) is a sixth-year senior as he was granted a medical hardship for last season. He is a two-time national qualifier and has finished in the top twelve at the NCAA Championships. He was 5-0 last season before getting injured. He was an ACC Runner-Up two seasons ago and finished with a 20-10 record. He has won eighty-three career matches including forty-five dual meets. He has won five dual meet matches this season. Currently, he is ranked twentieth in the country.