Grapple at the Garden Set for Sunday
Dec. 13, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The 18th-ranked Maryland wrestling team (5-2) is set to compete in the inaugural Grapple at the Garden on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Madison Square Garden. It marks the first-ever collegiate wrestling event to be held at the famous arena.
The Terps take on fourth-ranked Ohio State at 11 a.m., and 14th-ranked Nebraska at 1 p.m.
"Wrestling in this event is awesome," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "It's the first time college wrestling has been in Madison Square Garden. Being able to wrestle in that venue is incredible and having college wrestling is even better.
"It give us a chance to see some great individual matchups. Geoffrey Alexander will wrestle the defending national champ (Logan Stieber, Ohio State). Josh Asper will potentially be wrestling the No. 2 guy in the country (Nick Heflin, Ohio State). Those types of matchups are big for individuals, but also for our program. If we wrestle to our capability, we have the opportunity to do well against them. It's exciting to wrestle teams of this caliber at this event."
For the meet against the Buckeyes, #MDvsOSU will be the hashtag. Against the Cornhuskers, #MDvsNEB will be the hashtag.
Live stats will be available through trackwrestling.com.
Last Time Out
Behind pins from Christian Boley and TJ Guidice and major decisions from Geoffrey Alexander and Jimmy Sheptock, the Terps defeated American, 23-21, to win the Battle of the Beltway for the seventh straight season.
Shane Gentry provided Maryland's fifth win of the dual with an 8-4 decision over the Eagles' David Terao.
Following a week off for finals and the holidays, Maryland returns to the mat at the Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern University. The two-day event will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Dec. 29-30.
Follow Maryland Wrestling on Twitter
The Terps and Buckeyes will be hashtag #MDvsOSU. Against Nebraska, use hashtag #MDvsNEB.
Follow Maryland Wrestling on Facebook
Scouting The Terps
The Terps rebounded from a loss at No. 15 Pittsburgh on Friday to win its seventh consecutive Battle of the Beltway at American on Sunday.
Maryland has seen consistent results at 125, 133 and 184 this season. Shane Gentry (125), Geoffrey Alexander (133) and Jimmy Sheptock (184) have appeared in all seven duals and are a combined 19-2 with the trio scoring bonus points in eight of the wins.
The 197-pound weight class has been the place to look for pins with Christian Boley recording his first of the season against American's Devon Bradley on Sunday. The Terps have picked up three victories via fall at 197.
Scouting The Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are undefeated in their three dual meets this season most recently defeating No. 15 Pittsburgh on Nov. 18. Ohio State is coming off a first-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and is scheduled to wrestle Kent State on Friday prior to arriving in New York City.
Ohio State's strength lays in the lower weight classes where four of its seven nationally-ranked wrestlers reside led by defending national champion Logan Stieber at 133 pounds. Logan and his brother, Hunter, each captured titles at 133 and 141, respectively, in Las Vegas on Dec. 1.
At 125, Nikko Triggas is fifth on the school's all-time pin list with 42. In 10 wins this season, Triggas has five falls.
The Buckeyes have another national title contender at 174 in All-American Nick Heflin. Heflin did not compete in Las Vegas. In duals against Pittsburgh's Nick Bonaccorsi and Virginia Tech's Austin Gabel, Heflin squeezed out a 4-3 decision and 2-1 tiebreaker decision, respectively.
125 - #14 Nikko Triggas (10-5)
Scouting The Cornhuskers
Nebraska split a pair of duals last weekend against Arizona State and No. 23 Wisconsin. The Cornhuskers defeated the Sun Devils, 18-12, but lost to the Badgers the following day, 19-17.
The middle of the Cornhusker lineup is packed with nationally-ranked wrestlers and two 2012 All-Americans in James Green and Josh Ihnen. Green, Ihnen, Jake Sueflohn and Robert Kokesh are a combined 21-3 in duals this season.
Ihnen and Kokesh suffered their only defeats of the season in Nebraska's dual against Minnesota. Ihnen lost a 3-1 decision to fourth-ranked Kevin Steinhaus, while Kokesh lost 3-1 in sudden victory against fourth-ranked Logan Storley.
125 - Skylar Wood (6-3)/Eric Coufal (1-6)
This weekend marks the first matchup all-time between Maryland and Ohio State.
The Terps have faced Nebraska four times in program history with the Cornhuskers winning three of the matchups and one ending in a tie. The last meeting between the schools came on Jan. 18, 2009 in Lincoln. Nebraska won the dual, 26-13.
So Far So Good
Jimmy Sheptock has squared off in 20 career duals and each time has left the mat with a victory. After appearing in one dual in the 2010-11 season, the Northampton, Pa., native went 12-0 as a redshirt sophomore last season. This season, Sheptock is 7-0 with two major decisions, a technical fall and a pin.
Alexander Wins Second ACC Honor
Geoffrey Alexander was selected Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Week after winning two matches last weekend in a pair of dual meets.
In his hometown of Pittsburgh on Friday, Alexander, ranked 11th nationally at 133 pounds, continued his strong start to the season with a 3-2 decision over then-No. 6 Shelton Mack. It is Alexander's third win in four tries against a nationally-ranked opponent.
Sunday night at American, the sophomore earned valuable bonus points with a 13-2 major decision over the Eagles' Esteban Gomez-Rivera in the Terps' 23-21 win.
Alexander is 10-3 and is second on the team in dual points scored (23), tied for second in dual wins (6), and is tied for the team lead in pins (4).
It is the second time this season Alexander has been honored as ACC Wrestler of the Week and it marks the third time a Terrapin wrestler has received the award.
Shooting For 100
With five wins this season, head coach Kerry McCoy now stands six dual wins shy of 100 career victories (94). In five season in College Park, McCoy is 65-17-2. His .786 winning percentage is currently the highest of any Terrapin head coach in program history.
McCoy spent three seasons at Stanford prior to coming to Maryland and finished with a record of 29-19.
Alexander is 3-1, while Sheptock is 5-1. Both wrestlers knocked off ranked foes at Pittsburgh on Friday. Alexander earned a 3-2 decision over 12th-ranked Shelton Mack, and Sheptock defeated 15th-ranked Max Thomusseit by the same margin.
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 (28), technical falls (1), takedowns (24), two-point near falls (4), three-point near falls (3) and bonus points scored (19).
He is tied for the team lead in major decisions (2) 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 at the Northeast Duals and No. 15 Pittsburgh last weekend. The Terps 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. 12 Virginia Tech, No. 14 Nebraska, No. 19 Virginia, and potentially faces No. 7 Missouri and/or No. 17 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.
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.