Jan. 17, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 21 Maryland wrestling team welcomes ACC counterpart Virginia Tech to Comcast Pavilion on Saturday, January 19 at 2:00 p.m. It is the first home match for the Terrapins in 2008 and they will celebrate by giving away posters to the first 200 fans through the door. The Terps are looking for their sixth-straight dual win dating back to December 2.
Maryland is coming off two close victories against No. 22 Navy and North Carolina last week with the triumphs coming by a combined five points. The Terps beat Navy for the first time since 1997 in a 21-18 contest and then traveled to North Carolina where they won 19-17. Sophomore Hudson Taylor (20-2) had crucial pins in both matches to secure the wins and was named the ACC Wrestler of the Week for the third time.
Taylor's 13 falls this season are tied for sixth in the nation, including every weight class at every division. In Division I, he is tied for the third most pins, just three behind the national leader.
Virginia Tech has gone 2-2 in duals in the New Year with all of its competition coming at the Virginia Duals last weekend. The Hokies beat Oregon State and North Dakota State before losing to No. 22 Old Dominion and Kent State. The Hokies have faced two nationally ranked opponents this season. Virginia Tech lost at Penn, ranked No. 23 at the time, on November 25 by a score of 26-5. It also lost to the Monarchs last weekend, 30-3.
Sophomore Mike Letts (12-4) will face his seventh ranked opponent this year at 174 pounds with No. 20 Eric Decker (16-6). Decker was an All-ACC performer last year at 165 pounds, losing to former Terp Jason Kiessling in the final of the ACC Championship. Letts is currently ranked ninth in the nation at 174 pounds and this will be his fourth match against a wrestler ranked in the weight class in his last five outings.
Other matches to keep an eye on include the 149 pounders with freshman Eric Medina (14-8), who has been ranked this season, squaring off against Matt Rosen (14-9). At 184 pounds, junior Josh Haines (12-5), ranked No. 18 in the weight class, will have a tough test in Tommy Spellman (17-7).
Probable Matchups (Maryland listed first)
125 - Brendan Byrne vs. Justin Staylor
133 - Steven Bell vs. Nick Murray
141 - Charlie Pinto or Jon Kohler vs. Chris Diaz
149 - Eric Medina vs. Matt Rosen
157 - Brian Letters vs. Andre Johnson
165 - Ryan Kennett vs. Matt Epperly
174 - No. 9 Mike Letts vs. No. 20 Eric Decker
184 - No. 18 Josh Haines vs. Tommy Spellman
197 - No. 7 Hudson Taylor vs. Kevin O'Connor
HWT - Patrick Gilmore vs. David Marone