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No. 17 Wrestling Cruises to Two Opening Wins

Chris Henrich, courtesy UVa Media RelationsVirginia Wrestling, who's ranked as high as 17 nationally, with six Cavaliers being ranked in various preseason polls, are off to a great start for the 2009-10 season. Consider this a warmup weekend, as the Hoos still need to face No. 16 American, Bucknell (who has four ranked individuals) and Gardner-Webb at the ACC Challenge next week, and No. 13 Central Michigan, perennial powerhouse Hofstra and Sacred Heart at the Northeast Duals in Albany, N.Y. later this month.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 17 Virginia wrestling team opened its 2009-10 season with a pair of wins Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium, downing Anderson (S.C.), 37-9, and Campbell, 36-6. The Cavaliers won 16 of their 20 individual matches in the two victories.

Third-ranked Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) had a strong start to his season. The reigning All-American recorded a technical fall and pin at 174 pounds and needed less than a period in both.

Matt Snyder (R-Fr., Lewistown, Pa.) and Derek Valenti (So., Newton, N.J.) each recorded a pin and tech fall at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively. Snyder was making his first appearance as a Cavalier after transferring from Bloomsburg University.

Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) added a pair of wins at 184 pounds, while Kellon Balum (Sr., Herndon, Pa.) posted a fall and major decision at 149.

At 197 pounds, ninth-ranked Brent Jones (Jr., Burke, Va.) needed just 29 seconds to pin Anderson's Luis Audelo for his 35th career fall, breaking the Virginia school record.

Michael Chaires (R-So., Scotia, N.Y.) made his return to the mat after a year off with an 8-3 decision over Campbell's Chris Mazzatta in the 165-pound class. Dan Gonsor (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio) also looked sharp in coming off a redshirt season as he racked up a tech fall over Campbell's Jake Fose at 157 pounds.

In a neutral-site match to start the day, Anderson recorded a trio of pins to slip past Campbell, 21-20.

Virginia travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., Nov. 15 to compete in the ACC Challenge. UVa will face No. 16 American, Bucknell and Gardner Webb.

Courtesy of