Feb. 8, 2013
Watch on ESPN3 | Live Stats | @PackWrestle | Probable Lineups
RALEIGH, N.C. – After starting it conference dual meet schedule with three straight on the road, the NC State wrestling team returns to home action this weekend. The Wolfpack will host No. 21 Maryland, Saturday in Reynolds Coliseum at 5 p.m.
The dual meet can be seen on ESPN3, and fans can follow live stats and twitter updates throughout the meet.
The Series vs. Maryland: Saturday’s dual meet against Maryland will be the 43rd meeting in the series which dates back to 1975, NC State’s first season. The two teams have met every year since then.
NC State holds a slight 22-20 edge in the overall series, including a commanding 14-4 advantage at home. However, Maryland has won the last seven meetings, with the Pack’s last win was a 37-9 edge in 2005.
Familiar Foes: Only one potential rematch is on tap for the Maryland dual meet Saturday.
In the Penn State Open back on Dec. 2, NC State’s Matt Nereim scored a major decision over Maryland’s Brady Massaro at 157 pounds, 10-0.
NC State-Maryland Connection: NC State assistant coach Jamill Kelly and Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy were both on the 2003 US World Freestyle Team and the 2004 US Freestyle Olympic Team.
In the rankings: In the current Division I NCAA Coach Rank, four NC State wrestlers are ranked: freshman Sam Speno is No. 22 at 133 pounds, freshman Tyler Hunt is No. 33 at 141 pounds, sophomore Thomas Gantt is also No. 33 at 149 pounds, and junior Nijel Jones is No. 21 at 165 pounds.
Maryland has five wrestlers ranked: No. 27 at 125 pounds, No. 16 at 133 pounds, No. 6 at 174 pounds, No. 7 at 184 pounds, and No. 16 at 197 pounds.
Young Pack: For fans that attended NC State home meets last season, they will need a roster to help recognize this year’s squad.
Of the 10 probably starters for Saturday’s dual against Maryland, only three wrestled for the Pack last season.
Back are: juniors Nijel Jones (165) and Matt Nereim (157) and sophomore Thomas Gantt (149).
The seven newcomers are comprised of a transfer and six true freshmen.
Nereim Shines: Junior Matt Nereim has strung together back-to-back ACC wins at 157 pounds.
Nereim’s stretch started with an 8-7 decision over Blaise Butler at Virginia, and then last weekend an 11-8 decison over Chris Mears at North Carolina.
Nereim is 13-10 on the season, 5-2 in duals and 2-1 in ACC action.
Last season, Nereim was an NCAA qualifier at 149 pounds after placing second at the ACC Championships and recording 20 wins.
Up Next: The Pack will step out of ACC action after four straight conference dual meets, as NC State will travel to Davidson on Feb. 17. The Pack will also face Ohio Northern in a dual meet that day.
The Pack will close out its regular season with a home dual meet against ACC rival Duke, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.