ACC wrestling fans will be every bit as treated Friday night as will be the BIG 10 fans, as there will be two good dual meets within the conference. One of them is going to be the Hokies of Virginia Tech & the Panthers of Pittsburgh. Here is a look at the top matches of the night.
125 lbs - #21 Sam Latona Vs #31 Gage Curry
Curry has had a couple of opportunities to pull off an upset this season & this presents another one. While Latona was an All American last year, he hasn't always looked like it this season. The last the two met Latona barely escaped with a 5-4 tiebreaker & I have a feeling this match could be very close as well. A win would do both of these guys some good, especially in terms of seeding for the ACC tournament come the end of the year.
133 lbs - #5 Korbin Myers Vs #7 Micky Phillippi
This will be the match of the dual. Thus far these two have met five times, and it's been right down to the wire each time they've met. Myers owns decisions of 3-1 & 5-3, while Phillippi has came out on top 2-1 t.b., 3-2 and 2-0. History tells us this one is going to be low scoring and tight. The winner here is likely to take the #1 seed at the ACC.
141 lbs - U.R. Collin Gerardi Vs #18 Cole Matthews
The last time these two met Matthews took an 8-4 decision & I see something similar happening this match, although I question if Matthews might be able to widen the score this time around. Despite not being ranked, Gerardi is still a pretty tough wrestler. A win over Cael Happel of Northern Iowa, taking Allan Hart of Missouri into the tiebreakers & wrestling Jesse Vasquez of Arizona State to a 9-7 decision suggest that Gerardi might be able to turn this into a competitive match. Yet if Matthews wrestles like he did against against Stevan Micic of Michigan, then again maybe not.
157 lbs - #23 Connor Brady Vs #21 Elijah Cleary
I see this match as a toss up. Similar rankings, similar results Vs same opponents, I can see this one being as competitive as will be 133 lbs.
165 lbs - U.R. Clayton Ulrey Vs #14 Jake Wentzel
Jake Wentzel wrestlers like he did recently against Justin McCoy of Virginia, this will spell bonus points for the Panthers. With that said though, Ulrey like teammate Gerardi is a pretty tough wrestler despite not being ranked at the moment. Keeping it competitive with Wentzel? No, I don't see that happening but if you tell me that he'll keep it to a decision, that I'll believe.
184 lbs - #12 Hunter Bolen Vs #32 Gregg Harvey
Bolen does own a 12-4 major decision over Harvey, but the last time the two met, Harvey kept it close in a 3-1 decision. This will be a win for the Hokies, but I'd wager that it'll only be a decision.
197 lbs - #33 Dakota Howard Vs #8 Nino Bonaccorsi
I think in this one Bonaccorsi shows us why he was an NCAA finalist last season. I see bonus points for the Panthers.
HWT - #14 Nathan Traxler Vs U.R. Jake Slinger
This could spell out bonus points for the Hokies as Traxler has been wrestling very well this season. 13 victories with 6 of those victories being via fall. Yet Slinger is another example of a pretty good wrestler this season who is currently unranked. He won't beat Traxler or even keep it close with him, but he could very well keep this to a decision.