Feb. 18, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland Terrapins head into this Wednesday's match against the Virginia Cavaliers riding high after beating Old Dominion last Saturday.
The Terps, who will take on the Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. in the Comcast Center Auxiliary Gym, will try to close out coach John McHugh's illustrious 25-year coaching career at Maryland with a win.
Coach McHugh, who will be retiring after this season, has won over 275 matches, and has coached 24 ACC champions.
This season's Terps have two strong candidates to run coach McHugh's total of ACC champions to 26. Both seniors Jake Stork and Sal Aquia currently sit atop the ACC standings with undefeated marks. Stork is currently ranked 16th in the country by The Wrestling Mall, and he leads the country in the 184-pound weight class with 22 pins. With his win last weekend over Adam Wright, Stork ran his consecutive match win streak to 25. Aquia has come on as of late. His personal five-match win streak has been a huge boost for the Terps.
Wednesday, the Cavaliers will throw a pair of strong wrestlers at Stork and Aquia. In another big match up for Stork, he will take on likely starter Brian Muhr who has won 22 matches on the season, and is among the top Cavalier dual meet wrestlers. Aquia will face likely starter Zach Freday who has wrestled strong for the Cavaliers in posting a 14-10 record on the season.
Freshman John-Henry Zarzycki came out strong and aggressive in his last match against Charlie Busch, and this week against redshirt senior Bob Seidel, he will have to do the same. Seidel has been one of the top wrestlers this season, and he leads the Cavaliers in pins with 10. His 22-9 record is among the tops on the team, and he is in the hunt for an ACC championship this season. This will be arguably the toughest test of the season for the Terps' top freshman.
On paper, the Terps seem to be overmatched by the 11-5 Virginia Cavaliers, but coach McHugh is confident that if the team wrestles the way it did Saturday, that Virginia will be in for a tough match. The Terps have been strong out of the gate in almost every match this season, and against the Cavaliers, they will have to carry that early momentum all the way to the end.
As far as common opponents go, the Terps and Cavaliers have both competed in two tournaments, and have faced four common foes, three of which are in the ACC. The Cavaliers, who are 3-0 in the ACC, had their only close match in the conference against North Carolina, beating the Tar Heels 20-17. The Terps, on the other hand, have lost to all three ACC opponents, but have hung tight in doing so.
This match will be a farewell to three senior starters, and six wrestlers in total. The aforementioned Stork and Aquia along with fellow starter Eric Fehnel will be wrestling their final home matches for the Terps. Also graduating with Stork, Aquia and Fehnel will be seniors Sean Collins, Lance Kearns, and Mark Reid.