#17 Terps Tangle With #16 Pitt
Dec. 6, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The 17th-ranked Maryland wrestling team (4-1) begins a streak of four consecutive dual meets at No. 16 Pittsburgh on Friday at 7 p.m.
"It is going to be a very interesting matchup," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "They are coming off a big win over Virginia Tech. We matchup really well with them. They are strong where we are strong. If our strengths beat their strengths, it should be a great day. They have had a lot of momentum the last few years. They have put some good teams together. It is going to be exciting to get up there.
"The most exciting thing about the event is we have so many Pennsylvania kids on our team and around the program. Those guys will get a chance to compete in their home state, which they don't get to do a ton, especially for Geoffrey Alexander. He's got a big match coming up against a nationally-ranked guy in his backyard."
This weekend, be sure to use hashtag #MDvsPITT
For fans in the Pittsburgh viewing area, the meet will be available via Pitt Panthers Television. Check your local listings for availability.
Last Time Out
The Terps sent more than 25 wrestlers to the Nittany Lion Open on Sunday. No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock went 4-1 with two victories over ranked opponents to finish second in the 184-pound bracket.
At 197, No. 16 Christian Boley also went 4-1 and placed third. No. 14 Geoffrey Alexander (133) and Shyheim Brown (141) reached the quarterfinal round.
Maryland renews its rivalry with American. 'The Battle of the Beltway' will take place Sunday, Dec. 9 at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m.
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On Friday, be sure to use hashtag #MDvsPITT when you tweet.
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Scouting The Terps
Maryland enters Friday night's meet winners of 4 of 5 dual meets this season. Most recently, the Terps went 2-1 at the Northeast Duals with victories over No. 21 Purdue and Columbia. The team's lone loss came against No. 6 Illinois.
So far this season, the squad's strength has been based at 125, 133, 174, 184 and 285. The Terps are a combined 21-4 at the five weight classes and are 5-0 at 184, a position held by 10th-ranked Jimmy Sheptock.
Sheptock has scored a team-high 21 dual-meet points in the five meets. The junior leads the team in takedowns (14), two-point near falls (4), three-point near falls (3), and bonus points (15).
Scouting The Panthers
The Panthers have assembled a strong dual-meet slate this season. All three of the their duals so far have been against ranked opposition. Pitt has lost to No. 4 Ohio State and No. 14 Michigan, with its lone victory coming against No. 13 Virginia Tech on Friday.
Pitt's strength lies in its upper weights with the exception of 133. Of the 46 points Pitt has scored in its three dual meets, 31 points have come from 184, 197 and 285. No. 7 Heavyweight Zac Thomusseit has accounted for 12 of 31 points with two decisions and a fall.
The Panthers sport two sets of brothers: Matt and Tyler Wilps, and Nick and Zac Thomusseit. Combined, the two sets of brothers are 26-1 and 11-1 in dual meets.
125 - Godwin Nyama (2-4) or Derrick Nelson (4-3)
Sheptock Takes ACC Honors
Jimmy Sheptock earned Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Week honors after posting a 4-1 record and placing second at the Nittany Lion Open.
Sheptock's 13 wins this season are a team high, and after his opening round technical fall over Navy's Colton Vanthof, the Northampton, Pa., native is tied for the team lead with three technical fall victories.
The junior is a first-time honoree and the second Terrapin wrestler to be honored this season.Geoffrey Alexanderwon the award for the week of Nov. 6.
Home Sweet Home
With the trip to Pittsburgh on Friday, the Terps will be returning to their home away from home. Of the current Maryland wrestlers, 14 are from Pennsylvania, which is the highest representation of any state on the roster.
In particular, Geoffrey Alexander, who wrestled at nearby Shady Side Academy in high school, will be celebrating a homecoming of sorts.
Alexander is 2-1, while Sheptock is 4-1 with two victories coming this past weekend at the Nittany Lion Open. Sheptock defeated No. 14 Dan Rinaldi of Rutgers and No. 19 Alex Utley of North Carolina.
Top Of The Table
Following the Northeast Duals, 184-pound Jimmy Sheptock leads the team or is tied for the team lead in eight dual-meet categories.
Sheptock leads the Terps in: dual points scored (21), technical falls (1), takedowns (14), two-point near falls (4), three-point near falls (3) and bonus points scored (15).
He is tied for the team lead in major decisions (1) and reversals (2).
For Asper, it was his third consecutive title at Brockport with his first two coming at 165 pounds. Boley has won the 197-pound title the past two years.
Hudson Taylor Award
After each home dual meet this season, the Maryland coaching staff will select one wrestler as the recipient of the Hudson Taylor Award. The award is given to the most outstanding Terrapin wrestler in the meet.
Geoffrey Alexander received the award following Terrapin victories over Johns Hopkins and West Virginia to open the season.
Welcome To 174
Josh Asper made his debut at 174 pounds Saturday, Nov. 3 at the NWCA All-Star Classic. The Parkton, Md., native was pitted against two-time All-American Jordan Blanton of Illinois, who began the season ranked No. 2.
Asper made a statement. After three periods could not separate the two wrestlers, Asper scored a takedown in overtime to win 3-1.
With the win, Asper remained undefeated in the annual showcase. He is 3-0 and has appeared in this event more than any other Maryland wrestler in program history.
Schedule The Best
Maryland's 2012-13 schedule features several of the nation's elite. The Terps face 12 teams that were among the top 30 at the NCAA Championships including two top-10 programs in Ohio State and Illinois.
The Terps faced No. 6 Illinois on Nov. 24 at the Northeast Duals and are scheduled against No. 4 Ohio State on Dec. 16 at Madison Square Garden.
In addition, Maryland defeated No. 21 Purdue and will take on No. 9 Nebraska, No. 13 Virginia Tech, No. 16 Pittsburgh, No. 18 Virginia, No. 25 Bloomsburg, and potentially faces No. 7 Missouri and/or No. 20 Wyoming at the NWCA National Duals.
Movin' On Up
During the offseason, several wrestlers made the move to a higher weight class.
Ben Dorsay, who started for the Terps last season at 149, makes the jump to 157 this season. Dorsay is expected to redshirt this year.
After placing sixth at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season in 2012, Josh Asper climbs to 174. Asper has compiled a record of 63-9 over the past two seasons.
At 184, Jimmy Sheptock slides up from 174 where he went 27-6 last season en route to his first ACC Championship.
In The Hunt
The Terps placed seven wrestlers in the finals of last season's ACC Championships. Six of the seven wrestlers return for Maryland including three conference champions.
Grapple at the Garden
The Terps schedule includes a trip to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Dec. 16. It is the first-ever collegiate wrestling event to be held at the world famous arena.
Maryland will take on two Big Ten powerhouses in No. 4 Ohio State and No. 9 Nebraska.
Head Coach Kerry McCoy
-22 All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorees
Terps on the Web: For up-to-date game stories, statistics, schedules and results, and other Maryland athletic department information, please log-on to www.umterps.com on the Internet.