Wrestling Takes A Swing North
<div id="Content" readability="89.6395759717"> Jan. 13, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State's wrestling team returns to the mat this weekend with dual matches at VMI on Friday and at Virginia on Saturday.
Friday's match at VMI (2-2) is set for a 7 p.m. start. The match Saturday at UVa (11-4) will begin at 1 p.m. This weekend's matches will be the first for the Pack (5-3) since winning three of four last Saturday at the NC State Duals.
"This will be another good test for us," Wolfpack coach Carter Jordan said. "We need to stay aggressive and take the fight to our opponent. That's the key for us. We get in trouble when we're passive and stay back on our heels. You can't wrestle like that. We're getting better at being the aggressor."
VMI is led by No. 14 heavyweight Josh Wine (7-3), a senior who took fourth place at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro last month. Wine finished the 2009-10 season with a 22-2 overal record and has won 29 of his last 34 bouts dating back to the beginning of last season.
Virginia, the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion, features a trio of ranked wrestlers, led by senior Chris Henrich (19-1) at 174. Henrich's only loss this season was a 7-2 decision at the hands of 10th-ranked Ed Ruth of Penn State. Jon Fausey (No. 18 at 184) and Mike Salopek (No. 14 at 197) also are in this week's national rankings.
"These are both good wrestling teams and we'll have to wrestle well if we're going to be successful," Jordan said. "We just need to keep building on the progress we've made in the last couple of weeks."
The most important recent development for the Wolfpack is the return to action of senior 149-pounder Darrion Caldwell. The 2009 national champion missed all of 2009-10 following shoulder surgery. He returned last week and went 6-0 with five pins in his first week back on the mat.
In the process Caldwell improved his career record to 100-12. He is just the second wrestler in school history to win 100 or more matches, and he now has 55 career pins to rank second in school history in that category. Caldwell is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation at 149.
With Caldwell back, the middle of NC State's lineup is especially strong with junior Darrius Little (17-6) at 141, Caldwell at 149, junior Colton Palmer (20-8) at 157 and junior Quinton Godley (15-9) at 174. Sophomore heavyweight Eloheim Palma (9-3) and sophomore 125-pounder Pedram Rahmatabadi (11-6) both have wrestled well for the Pack.
Following are the probable starting lineups for this weekend's dual matches:
NC State (5-3)
125 -- Pedram Rahmatabadi (11-6)
133 -- Conor Hovis (2-8)
141 -- Darrius Little (17-6)
149 -- #1 Darrion Caldwell (6-0)
157 -- Colton Palmer (20-8)
165 -- Colin Genthert (4-10)
174 -- Quinton Godley (15-9)
184 -- Nijel Jones (3-3 at 184, 5-9 overall)
197 -- KaRonne Jones (9-12)
Hwt -- Eloheim Palma (9-3)
<span class="c3">125 -- John