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#4 PackWrestle: New Rankings & Virginia Preview

157-pound senior, Hayden Hidlay
Photo by Carie Dernlan @ Dec 22 NLWC Event

New Rankings

NC State (2-0) held steady at #4 in this week’s NWCA Coaches Poll. They remain the highest ranked non-Big Ten team in the country, but this may be their ceiling even with an undefeated season, as the top 3 of Iowa, Penn State, & Michigan are not on the Pack’s schedule. In order to move up, we will probably need those three to cannibalize themselves. Even still, going undefeated this year will be just as difficult as last. Four ACC teams sit in the top-15, and NC State faces them all consecutively from January 22nd to February 5th - two on the road.

FloWrestling also released a new batch of individual rankings following last week’s action. See where our guys check-in below:

  • 125 - Camacho #3 (previous: 3)
  • 133 - Trombley #17 (17)
  • 141 - T. Wilson #10 (11)
  • 157 - H. Hidlay #2 (2)
  • 165 - T. Bullard #11 (7)
  • 174 - D. Bullard #14 (10)
  • 184 - T. Hidlay #3 (3)
  • 285 - D. Wilson #16 (16)

Predictably, the Bullards both fell a bit after being upset against their App State opponents. Otherwise, not much movement. But this week provides more opportunity - lots of ranked matchups!

Virginia Dual

How to Watch: ACC Network Extra

Wrestling Rules & Scoring

The Pack kick off their conference slate with a trip up to Charlottesville, where they will face an underrated Virginia (1-0) team. With seven of their starters ranked, it’s surprising that the Cavaliers haven’t found their way into the top-25 of the latest Coaches Poll. NC State won last year’s meeting between the two schools, 28-9, winning eight of ten bouts, and both teams look very similar in 2021. In fact, seven of the bouts (133, 141, 157, 174, 184*, 197, 285) will be rematches from 2020. That level of familiarity mixed with six ranked matchups could result in a tight affair. There will be several toss-up matches that could swing the final outcome either way. See below for projected lineups and my predictions:

*Assuming that Trent Hidlay makes his return this week.

  • 125: #3 Jakob Camacho vs. Patrick McCormick (Camacho major; 4-0 NCSU)
  • 133: #17 Jarrett Trombley vs. #15 Louie Hayes (Hayes decision; 4-3 NCSU)
  • 141: #10 Tariq Wilson vs. #24 Brian Courtney (Wilson decision; 7-3 NCSU)
  • 149: Ed Scott vs. #25 Denton Spencer (Scott decision; 10-3 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. #20 Justin McCoy (Hidlay major; 14-3 NCSU)
  • 165: #11 Thomas Bullard vs. #14 Jake Keating (Bullard decision; 17-3 NCSU)
  • 174: #14 Daniel Bullard vs. Victor Marcelli (Bullard decision; 20-3 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay vs. Michael Battista (Hidlay major; 24-3 NCSU)
  • 197: Nick Reenan vs. #2 Jay Aiello (Aiello decision; 24-6 NCSU)
  • 285: #16 Deonte Wilson vs. #18 Quinn Miller (Wilson decision; 27-6 NCSU)

Key Matchups

#17 Jarrett Trombley vs. #15 Louie Hayes

Trombley will once again square-off with Louie Hayes. They met twice last year and split matches - Trombley winning in the dual, Hayes winning in the ACC tournament. Both contests were decided by two points, so this one falls into the “toss-up” category for sure. With two guys so closely-contested, making a prediction is difficult. I tried to look at it without my Wolfpack-colored glasses on and figured of the several toss-ups in the dual, this was probably the most likely one for the Cavaliers to take. But I could just as easily see Trombley winning this match too. If he can control the ties with his underhook and get out quick on bottom, he will have a strong opportunity for another ranked win.

Ed Scott vs. #25 Denton Spencer

This one is going to be a battle. Spencer is a hammer on top and his stout frame makes it hard to score on him from neutral. But I see Ed Scott’s aggressive style allowing him to pull the Cavalier up and get him extended for scoring opportunities. If the freshman can avoid the mistakes on bottom that cost him last week, then I think we’ll see him get his first ranked win. But let me be clear - any deficiencies from bottom and Spencer will make him pay - like for real, he is a pitbull on top. Scott needs to get out quick.

Nick Reenan vs. #2 Jay Aiello

This is another rematch from last year’s dual, however it was a bit abbreviated. Reenan was injured mid-bout and unable to continue, so Aiello claimed the injury default victory. With the way it went down, we didn’t get to see much in terms of how these two match up. Well, we will certainly get some answers on Friday. Nick has started this season the hottest we have seen since his sophomore campaign. He finally looks healthy and like he has his confidence back, but his opposition thus far has been far from the country’s best. The second-ranked Aiello presents a much tougher challenge, but if the Pack senior can pull this off we may finally be able to pronounce him back.

This should be a good dual - I think it will feel a lot closer than the final score will indicate. Even in the event that Virginia can steal some of the close matches and take five out of ten, I think NC State has the higher bonus point potential. I expect major decisions (4 team points) from Camacho & the Hidlays (if Trent goes) so that should be enough to have the Pack ahead when all is said and done.

Action starts at 5PM (yes, that’s right) on Friday evening, so hurry home from work and get this one on the TV. Go Pack!