Jan. 8, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland wrestling team plays host to North Carolina at 2 p.m. Sunday in Comcast Pavilion for the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools.
The Terrapins (3-4-1) are looking to defend their Atlantic Coast Conference title and build toward a third consecutive undefeated regular season in ACC action. The Tar Heels (4-5) figure to pose a tough test with three ranked wrestlers scheduled to take to the mat. The Heels and Terps also met in last year's opening ACC dual, with Maryland taking a narrow, 19-17 victory in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"I am looking forward to getting back to competition after the strong showing at Midlands," Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said. "UNC is one of the top teams in the conference and has been doing well this season. This match will set the tone for the rest of the season and be a good indication on how the ACC Tournament should go."
Live video of the match will be available online via ACC Select.
North Carolina has one more dual before coming to College Park, as it will compete Saturday at American University.
The 133 and 141-pound matchups figure to be crucial to the final outcome. At 133, the Terps will trot out No. 9 Steven Bell against Mike Rappo, who has 17 wins already this season. The 141-pound bout will feature a pair of top-20 grapplers, as No. 15 Alex Krom takes on No. 20 Vincent Ramirez.
At 165 pounds, Brian Letters takes on No. 17 Keegan Mueller. Like the 141-pound match, 197 pounds offers a big-time matchup, as well. No. 10 Hudson Taylor will try to earn points for Maryland against No. 16 Dennis Drury.
Some Maryland wrestlers will compete Saturday in the "Shorty" Hitchcock Open at Millersville in Millersville, Pa.
"This is going to be a good event for our guys and I expect them to do well," McCoy said.
PROBABLE MATCHUPS (Maryland listed first)
125 - Brendan Byrne vs. Nick Shields
133 - No. 9 Steven Bell vs. Mike Rappo
141 - No. 15 Alex Krom vs. No. 20 Vincent Ramirez
149 - Steve Fehnel vs. Nick Stabile
157 - Kyle John vs. Thomas Scotton
165 - Brian Letters vs. No. 17 Keegan Mueller
174 - Patrick Klenkel vs. Ben Fiacco OR Kevin Owen
184 - Bradley Nielson vs. Daniel Llamas
197 - No. 10 Hudson Taylor vs. No. 16 Dennis Drury
HWT - Patrick Gilmore vs. Justin Dobies