After nearly a two-week break, the 24th-ranked Virginia wrestling team travels to Duke and NC State for ACC dual matches this weekend. The Cavaliers will wrestle the Blue Devils at approximately 7 p.m. Friday at Cameron Indoor Stadium following the Duke-Virginia Tech match, then will stay in the Triangle area and take on the Wolfpack at 11 a.m. Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum.
Live match results will be available for the Duke bout at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia is 14-5 this season and 1-1 in ACC competition. All five Cavalier losses have come to teams that currently are ranked among InterMat's top 25 nationally. UVa has not wrestled since Jan. 30 when it shut out Princeton, 42-0. The Cavaliers were slated to face Old Dominion and George Mason last Saturday, but those matches were cancelled because of snow.
UVa has five wrestlers ranked in the national polls this week. Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) is ranked third nationally at 174 pounds. Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) is ranked as high as 19th nationally at 184 by Amateur Wrestling News and also is 20th according to InterMat.
Brent Jones (Sr., Burke, Va.) is ranked 17th by AWN and W.I.N. at 197. Derek Valenti (So., Newton, N.J.) has a ranking of 20th at 141 according to AWN and W.I.N., while Ross Gitomer (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) is ranked 18th at 125 pounds by AWN.
Several Cavaliers are seeking milestone victories. Jones has 100 career wins, which ranks seventh all-time at Virginia. He needs one win to match Jason Mutarelli (1994-95, 1996-98) for sixth place and two victories to tie Jim Harshaw (1996-99) and Matt Roth (1995-96, 1997-99) for fourth. Jones already holds the school record for career falls with 41.
Henrich is 25-2 this season and holds 91 career wins, tied with current UVa head coach Steve Garland (1997-2000) for eighth place in the career annals at UVa.
With 86 career wins, Gitomer currently stands 12th on the all-time UVa wins ledger and is tied with Paul Bjorlo (2001-05). Gitomer needs one win to match Eric Albright (2005-08) for 11th place.
Duke (2-5, 0-3) will benefit from the return of All-America heavyweight Konrad Dudziak to the lineup. The 2009 NCAA runner-up was ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier this season and racked up an 8-0 record before suffering an injury. The Blue Devils have not competed since Jan. 23 when they suffered defeats to American (38-7) and Maryland (32-9).
NC State (6-11, 1-2) last competed on Wednesday when it downed UNC Greensboro, 19-14. Bobby Ward is ranked No. 20 at 149 pounds by InterMat.
UVa swept NC State and Duke last season in Charlottesville, posting a 23-13 win over the Wolfpack and a 35-8 victory over the Blue Devils.
Virginia returns home next Saturday (Feb. 20) for its home finale against No. 10 Maryland. UVa will conduct Senior Day ceremonies prior to the match.