Feb. 17, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Coming off last weekend's big road win at rival American, the University of Maryland wrestling team returns home this weekend to finish the regular season with duals against George Mason and Atlantic Coast Conference rival Virginia. The George Mason match is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, with Virginia coming to town at 1 p.m. Sunday.
"I am amazed the last weekend of duals is here," Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said. "The season has flown by. Our guys are looking good, working hard and ready to go. This weekend will be a great test for us. There are some great individual matchups.
"It's going to be interesting because we have a non-conference match, as well as an ACC match. The George Mason match has NCAA implications for some and the Virginia match has both conference and NCAA implications. Overall, the weekend will help build momentum for the year-end peak."
Due to Saturday's men's basketball game against North Carolina and Sunday's women's basketball game against Duke, special parking restrictions are in effect for wrestling fans. For Saturday's match, fans can park in Lot XX1 or Lot 1 and use the free Quickbus shuttle service to Comcast Center. Fans can also park in the Regents Drive Garage for $5 and walk to the arena.
Fan parking for Sunday's match against Virginia is as normal with the exception of Lot 4b, which is restricted to permit holders for the basketball game.
Detailed campus parking information can be found on Maryland's Department of Transportation Web site: www.transportation.umd.edu.
The Terrapins currently sit at 8-8-1 this season, but are coming on strong late with four victories in their last five duals. Maryland is 2-2 in the ACC.
Maryland has gotten outstanding production from its lower weights all season, something the Terps will look to continue this weekend. Combined, Brendan Byrne (125 pounds), No. 11 Steven Bell (133 pounds) and No. 9 Alex Krom (141 pounds) are 40-7 in dual meets.
The George Mason Patriots are currently 5-8-1 and 2-2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. However, the Patriots will wrestle in two more duals this week before coming to College Park.
The 197-pound matchup has huge NCAA implications, as No. 10 Hudson Taylor will face No. 9 Cayle Byers, who pinned Taylor earlier this season at the Nittany Lion Open at Penn State and gave him one of his six losses on the season.
Virginia is 11-10 on the season and also 2-2 in the ACC. The Cavaliers earned both conference victories at home last weekend against Duke and NC State.
Taylor will face another tough grappler Sunday in No. 19 Brent Jones of Virginia, thought the meet's marquee matchup probably comes at 141 pounds, where Krom will face No. 16 Nick Nelson. Krom leads the Terps with 15 dual victories entering the weekend.
The Cav's top wrestler is 174-pounder Chris Henrich, who is ranked seventh in the nation.
Redshirt freshman Steve Fehnel, the Terps' lone senior, will be honored before Sunday's match for Senior Day.
PROBABLE STARTERS (Maryland Only)
125 - Brendan Byrne
133 - No. 11 Steven Bell
141 - No. 9 Alex Krom
149 - Steve Fehnel OR Chris Stinnett
157 - Kyle John
165 - Brian Letters
174 - Bradley Nielson OR Corey Peltier
184 - Chris Lloyd OR Owen Smith OR Ryan Gray
197 - No. 10 Hudson Taylor
HWT - Patrick Gilmore