Feb. 13, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State wrestling team has four more duals before the ACC Championships on March 8, all away from Raleigh. Due to winter weather, the Pack's ACC dual at Maryland has been moved to Saturday at 4 p.m. The Pack will then head over to American for a dual on Sunday.
Popolizio Goes for 100th Career Win
NC State head coach Pat Popolizio is approaching a coaching milestone, he is two wins shy of recording 100 dual victories for his career. With the Pack having four remaining duals this year, Popolizio currenly holds a 98-64-2 record in his eight years as a head coach at NC State (2) and Binghamton (6).
Every time the NC State wrestling team was in home action this season, the Pack fans that came to watch needed a roster to see who was on the mat. Among the Pack’s starters, only three of the 10 wrestlers saw action last season. The Pack currently has five freshmen starters, two sophomores, two seniors and a junior. In all, 14 freshman have seen action in a dual this year.
For the entire 2013-14 season, not including the Pack’s redshirting grapplers, the freshman have combined for 58.6 percent (146) of the team’s total wins followed by the sophomores at 22.1 percent (55), the juniors at 10.4 percent (26) and the seniors at 8.8 percent (22).
Three NC State wrestlers have already crossed the 20-win plateau this year. Nick Gwiazdowski leads the Pack with 31 wins, the most in the nation at 285 pounds. Tommy Gantt is second with his 26 victories at 157 pounds, while freshman Pete Renda has 22 at 174 pounds. Sophomore Sam Speno is just one win away at 141 pounds from joining this group.
Thirteen of the Pack’s first 14 duals of the 2013-14 season were nonconference match-ups, and now the Pack finishes with five ACC duals over its final seven. NC State posts a 12-5 dual record thus far, with all five losses coming to ranked foes. The Pack has outscored the opposition 443-208 thus far in duals.
The American Connection
When the Pack travels to American on Sunday, the two coaching staffs will be very familiar with each other. NC State coach Pat Popolizio, assistant coach Jamill Kelly and American head coach Teague Moore were all teammates on the Oklahoma State Cowboys during their collegiate careers. Popolizio was also an assistant at American for two seasons, 2005-06, prior to coaching at Binghamton.
History vs. Maryland & American
NC State and Maryland will be meeting for the 60th time since the ACC was formed. The Terps currently lead the overall series 36-23. Last year, No. 21 Maryland narrowly won at NC State, 22-19, tanks in large part to a Pack forfeit in the second-to-last match.
NC State and American will be facing off for only the sixth time. The Pack currently holds a 3-2 edge in the overall series, winning both of the duals at American. Last year, the Pack fell at home 24-16, but won at American in 2012, 25-18.
Maryland enters its final ACC dual with a 6-8 record, including a 2-3 mark in conference action. Last weekend, the Terps used three pins and downed Duke 37-7. Maryland also has a recent road win at North Carolina, 18-15. Maryland has three wrestlers, including two in the top 10: Jimmy Sheptock is the nation’s top wrestler at 184 pounds, Spencer Myers is eighth at 285, and Christian Boley is 10th at 197.
American sits at 6-7 on the year, including a 4-5 in the EIWA conference. The Eagles fell at home to Navy this past weekend, 34-8. In common opponents, both American (21-19) and NC State (27-9) have defeated Binghamton this year. Three American wrestlers are currently ranked: David Terao is 10th at 125 pounds and Daniel Mitchell is 14th at 197, and Blake Herrin is 25th at 285.
There have been no previous matchups between NC State and Maryland probable this year.
The NC State-American dual could see a pair of rematches from earlier action. At 157 pounds, NC State’s Tommy Gantt earned a 4-0 decision over John Boyle at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. At 125 pounds, American’s David Terao has defeated the Pack’s Micah Perez twice this season, by fall at both the Cliff Keen Last Vegas Invite and the Southern Scuffle.
Live Video, Scoring, Twitter
Live video for Saturday’s dual at Maryland can be found here. Live video fro Sunday’s dual at American can be found here. Live scoring for the dual versus Maryland will be available at TrackWrestling.com. Live updates will also be provided on the NC State Wrestling twitter, @PackWrestle.
First Wrestling Coaches’ Panel Rankings
Five NC State wrestlers appear in the second NCAA Division I Wrestling Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released on Feb. 13:
• Sam Speno - #26 at 141 pounds
• Brian Hamann - #31 at 149 pounds
• Tommy Gantt - #19 at 157 pounds
• Pete Renda - #19 at 174 pounds
• Nick Gwiazdowski - #6 at 285 pounds
• Among NC State’s probables are: 6 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 1 junior and 2 seniors.
• Nick Gwiazdowski is ranked ninth nationally, the only wrestler at 285 ranked, in the NCAA’s 2014 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler standings.
• The Pack’s 2014 recruiting class was recently ranked No. 17 by WIN Magazine.
On the Horizon
NC State will have two final duals before the ACC Championships on March 8. The Pack will travel to Duke for the final ACC dual on Feb. 22, and also face No. 23 Northwestern later that day in Durham.
NC State (12-5, 1-3 ACC)
125: Micah Perez (16-14)
133: Chris Wilkes (14-10)
141: #26 Sam Speno (19-10)
149: #31 Brian Hamann (18-9)
157: #19 Tommy Gantt (26-7)
165: Nijel Jones (10-6) or Max Rohskopf (7-9)
174: #19 Pete Renda (22-7)
184: Michael Macchiavello (11-10)
197: KaRonne Jones (12-7)
285: #6 Nick Gwiazdowski (31-2)
Maryland (6-8, 2-3 ACC)
125: Paul O’Neill (10-7) or Billy Rappo (12-10)
133: Tyler Goodwin (11-6)
141: Shyheim Brown (15-6)
149: Frank Goodwin (9-7)
157: Ben Dorsay (10-10) or Daniel Orem (7-9)
165: Joshua Snook (4-10)
174: Ty Snook (3-1)
184: #1 Jimmy Sheptock (23-0)
197: #10 Christian Boley (18-2)
285: #8 Spencer Myers (20-2) or Carl Buchholz (7-1)
American (6-7, 4-5 EIWA)
125: #10 David Terao (27-7)
133: Esteban Gomez-Rivera (18-16)
141: Spencer Slishman (6-10)
149: Cole Moseley (9-10)
157: John Boyle (18-16)
165: Brad Mutchnik (7-8)
174: Keithen Cast (15-14)
184: Jason Grimes (12-18)
197: #14 Daniel Mitchell (19-6) or Brett Dempsey (8-9)
285: #25 Blake Herrin (16-9)