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    Wrestling Concludes Regular Season with Two Duals in Durham
     
    Sam Speno is the fourth Pack wrestler to reach 20 wins this year.
    Sam Speno is the fourth Pack wrestler to reach 20 wins this year.
     

    Feb. 21, 2014

    RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State wrestling team concludes its regular season this weekend, with a pair of duals in Durham on Saturday. The Wolfpack (13-6) will first face Duke in an ACC dual at 10 a.m., and then face No. 21 Northwestern at noon.

    Popolizio Goes for 100th Career Win
    NC State head coach Pat Popolizio is approaching a coaching milestone, he is one wins shy of recording 100 dual victories for his career. With the Pack having two remaining duals this year, Popolizio currently holds a 99-64-2 record in his eight years as a head coach at NC State (2) and Binghamton (6).

    Youth Movement
    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 freshmen 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 57.5 percent (149) of the team’s total wins followed by the sophomores at 22.4 percent (58), the juniors at 10.8 percent (28) and the seniors at 9.3 percent (24).

    Exclusive Club
    Four NC State wrestlers have already crossed the 20-win plateau this year. Nick Gwiazdowski leads the Pack with 33 wins, the most in the nation at 285 pounds and ninth all-time at NC State. Tommy Gantt is second with his 28 victories at 157 pounds. Freshman Pete Renda has 22 win at 174 pounds, the fourth-most for a freshman in the Pack record books. Last weekend sophomore Sam Speno joined the club recording his 20th victory at 141 pounds this year. Freshman Brian Hamann will be looking to increase the Pack total to five, as he currently has 18 wins this year.

    Dual Success
    Thirteen of the Pack’s first 14 duals of the 2013-14 season were nonconference match-ups, and then the Pack finished with five ACC duals over the final seven. NC State posts a 13-6 dual record thus far, with five losses coming to ranked foes. The Pack has outscored the opposition 482-243 thus far in duals.

    History vs. Duke & Northwestern
    NC State and Duke will be meeting for the 60th time since the two teams joined the ACC. The Pack holds a commanding 47-12 lead in the overall series, having won 14 of the last 16 meetings dating back to 1998. NC State has won the last 20 matchups in Durham, dating back to 1974 as well.

    NC State and Northwestern will be meeting for only the third time in the history of the two programs. NC State downed visiting Northwestern 21-18 in Raleigh in 1981, and the Wildcats notched a 37-9 win over the Pack in a dual in Chapel Hill in 2007.

    The Competition
    Duke sits at 6-13 on the season, including 0-5 in ACC duals. In recent ACC action, Duke fell at Maryland (37-7) and at North Carolina (24-12). A pair of Blue Devils are ranked, both Immanual Kerr-Brown (157) and Conner Hartmann (197) are ranked 22nd nationally in the Coaches’ Panel Rankings.

    Northwestern is 7-7 this year, with a 1-7 mark in the Big Ten, widely considered the top conference nationally. The Wildcats are ranked No. 21 this week, and came from behind and downed Stanford last weekend, 20-19. Seven of Northwestern’s 10 starters are ranked in the Coaches’ Panel Rankings: Michael McMullan (#1 at 285 pounds), Jason Tsirtsis (#5 at 149), Pierce Harger (#7 at 165), Alex Polizzi (#14 at 197), Lee Munster (#15 at 174), Pasquale Greco (#30 at 141), and Dominick Malone (#33 at 133).

    Common Foes
    There have been no previous matchups between NC State and Duke or Northwestern probables this year.

    Live Video, Scoring, Twitter
    Live video will be available here. Live scoring will be available at TrackWrestling.com. Live updates will also be provided on the NC State Wrestling twitter, @PackWrestle.

    Second 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

    First NCAA RPI
    Seven NC State wrestlers appear in the first NCAA Division I Wrestling Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released on Feb. 13:
    Micah Perez - #31 at 125 pounds
    Sam Speno - #14 at 141 pounds
    Brian Hamann - #24 at 149 pounds
    Tommy Gantt - #18 at 157 pounds
    Pete Renda - #25 at 174 pounds
    Michael Macchiavello - #27 at 184 pounds
    Nick Gwiazdowski - #4 at 285 pounds

    Quick Shots
    • Among NC State’s probables are: 8 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 1 junior and 2 seniors.
    Nick Gwiazdowski remains 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. Two wrestlers are named among D1CW’s Top 100 Recruits.

    On the Horizon
    The Pack will return to action on March 8, traveling to Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship.

    Projected Lineups:
    NC State (13-6, 1-4 ACC)
    125: Micah Perez (16-15) or Brenden Calas (7-6)
    133: Chris Wilkes (14-12)
    141: #26 Sam Speno (20-11)
    149: #31 Brian Hamann (18-10) or Cohl Fulk (3-5)
    157: #19 Tommy Gantt (28-7)
    165: Nijel Jones (12-6)
    174: #19 Pete Renda (24-7)
    184: Michael Macchiavello (10-11) or Shayne Brady (12-9)
    197: KaRonne Jones (12-9)
    285: #6 Nick Gwiazdowski (33-2)

    Duke (6-13, 0-5 ACC)
    125: Open
    133: Evan Botwin (4-15)
    141: Xaviel Ramos (7-19)
    149: Connor Bass (11-13)
    157: #22 Immanuel Kerr-Brown (21-9)
    165: Marcus Cain (10-14)
    174: Trey Adamson (15-11)
    184: Jacob Kasper (12-14)
    197: #22 Conner Hartmann (18-8)
    285: Brendan Walsh (5-3)

    #21 Northwestern (7-7, 1-7 Big Ten)
    125: Garrison White (7-13)
    133: #33 Dominick Malone (10-11)
    141: #30 Pat Greco (13-12)
    149: #5 Jason Tsirtsis (22-3)
    157: Ben Sullivan (7-9)
    165: #7 Pierce Harger (21-5)
    174: #15 Lee Munster (6-4)
    184: Jacob Berkowitz (9-12)
    197: #14 Alex Polizzi (18-7)
    285: #1 Mike McMullan (10-1)


     

     

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