clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#3 PackWrestle: New Rankings & Virginia Tech Preview

New, 14 comments
2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championship Photo by Justin K. Aller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

New Rankings

For the second week in a row, NC State (13-0) checked-in at #3 on the NWCA dual poll. Without another loss from #2 Penn State, this is likely the highest the Pack will reach this year, as Iowa and Penn State are very clearly the two best teams.

New weight class rankings from Flo have also dropped. Check out our guys below:

  • 125: Camacho #16 (last week: 16)
  • 141: T. Wilson #11 (14)
  • 157: H. Hidlay #2 (2)
  • 165: T. Bullard #10 (10)
  • 174: D. Bullard #15 (16)
  • 184: T. Hidlay #3 (3)

Following his loss in the UNC dual, Nick Reenan has dropped out of the rankings, and rightfully so. He just doesn’t look right, and hasn’t all year. I have no inside information, but if it were my call I would shut him down for the rest of the season. When healthy, he is a contender at any weight, and he clearly isn’t that right now. I think it would be best to get him a head start on next season.

Virginia Tech Dual

How to Watch: ACC Network

For the third straight week, the Pack will face a top-10 ACC challenger. This week, it’s #7 Virginia Tech. The Hokies’ (11-1) lone loss came against UNC back on January 24th, and are looking to create a three-way tie for the ACC dual championship with a win on Friday.

Ever since Popolizio’s arrival in Raleigh, Virginia Tech has represented the team to beat for the Wolfpack. This has created quite the rivalry between these two programs, which are responsible for each of the last 4 ACC Tournament Championships (two each).

The Hokies have solid guys throughout their lineup. The lightweights are all toss-up matches - if the Pack can take at least two of the first four (125-149), our advantage at the upperweights should pull us through to a victory. This is where a healthy Nick Reenan would make such a positive impact, but with his questionable bill of health, we may not be able to capitalize on what is a weak spot in the Hokie lineup at 197.

See below for probable lineups and my predictions:

  • 125: #16 Jakob Camacho vs. #18 Joey Prata (Camacho decision; 3-0 NCSU)
  • 133: Jarrett Trombley vs. #25 Collin Gerardi (Trombley decision; 6-0 NCSU)
  • 141: #14 Tariq Wilson vs. #24 Mitch Moore (Wilson decision; 9-0 NCSU)
  • 149: AJ Leitten vs. Bryce Andonian (Andonian decision; 9-3 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. #12 BC LaPrade (Hidlay decision; 12-3 NCSU)
  • 165: #10 Thomas Bullard vs. #7 David McFadden (McFadden decision; 12-6 NCSU)
  • 174: #15 Daniel Bullard vs. Cody Hughes (Bullard decision; 15-6 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay vs. #2 Hunter Bolen (Hidlay decision; 18-6 NCSU)
  • 197: Nick Reenan or Tyrie Houghton vs. Stanley Smeltzer (Smeltzer decision Houghton; 18-9 NCSU)
  • 285: Deonte Wilson vs. #20 John Borst (Wilson decision; 21-9 NCSU)

Key Matchups

Jarrett Trombley vs. #25 Collin Gerardi

If Virginia Tech is going to win this dual they will probably need this one - and by my perception these two are very even. I could see it going either way, but I just like Trombley’s ability to make every match one that he can win. He uses his upper-body ties to slow it down and control position. If he can do that against the Hokie freshman, I think he has a good shot of taking this one. And not only would it be huge for the dual result, but this has massive seeding implications as well. The winner of this likely goes into ACCs as the 2- or 3-seed, and on the opposite side of the bracket as likely 1-seed Phillippi from Pitt. The loser will probably fall to the 4- or 5-seed meaning they will have to go through the Panther to make the finals.

#11 Tariq Wilson vs. #24 Mitch Moore

These two wrestled earlier in the year at CKLV, with Tariq edging out a win in sudden victory. However, I think Tariq is in a much better head-space than he was in early December, and once again, I will continue to put my money on Tariq at home. Moore will try to make this a one-takedown match by wrestling from a knee, but Tariq only needs one opening to bust this one open, and I like the possibility of a turn from top as well.

#3 Trent Hidlay vs. #2 Hunter Bolen

This is the big one. Each of these guys have put themselves solidly ahead of the rest of the All-American threats at this weight. Neither are on the level of #1 Zahid Valencia at this time, but they have taken care of just about everyone else, and now it’s time for them to do battle. Bolen is a big 184, and will have a size advantage in this one, but I just can’t see him stopping Trent from raising the roof on Friday night. Hidlay is so positionally sound and explosive, I don’t think Bolen will be able to get through his head-hands defense nor stop his underhook-ankle tap. This will definitely be a tense bout, with huge dual and seeding implications on the line, but Trent is just too solid in every position. A win here puts either guy in prime position to earn the 2-seed at NCAAs, which is massively important to avoid being on the same side as Arizona State’s Valencia.

Come out to Reynolds on Friday night at 7PM for the final home dual of the season. It should be electric!