Cyclones to host #4 Virginia Tech

Who: #18 Iowa State vs. #4 Virginia Tech
Date: Sunday January 18th, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM – Central
Location: Ames, Iowa
Online: Cyclones.tv ($$)
InterMat Rankings

#18 Iowa State Cyclones 5-1
125- Kyle Larson
133- #6 Earl Hall
141- Dante Rodriguez or John Meeks
149- #15 Gabe Moreno
157- Luke Goettl or Danny Woiwor
165- #5 Mike Moreno
174- #11 Tanner Weatherman
184- #17 Lelund Weatherspoon
197- #3 Kyven Gadson
285- Quean Smith

#4 Virginia Tech Hookies 8-1
125- #4 Joey Dance
133- #18 Kevin Norstrem
141- #3 Devin Carter
149- #13 Sal Malstrani
157- #4 Nick Brascetta or Jake Spengler
165- Chad Strube
174- #9 Zach Epperly
184- Austin Gabel
197- Jared Haught
285- #9 Ty Walz

This weeked the Iowa State Cyclones will return to their home mat to face one of the best dual teams in the nation as #4 Virginia Tech will be coming to town. The Hokies are coming off of a Virginia Duals title where they went 4-0 defeating Kent State, Arizona State, #21 Old Dominion, and then #14 Virginia in the finals. Virginia Tech also holds a win over #5 Ohio State, and lost a close dual with #6 Penn State last month. The Hokies are led by their two returning All-Americans Joey Dance (125) and Devin Carter (141) and possibly a third All-American Nick Brascetta (157) who was a 2013 8th place finisher, but has been dealing with injuries so far this season.

Virginia Tech will come into Ames on Sunday fresh off a matchup with the UNI Panthers on Friday. The extra dual scheduled for Virginia Tech may be an advantage in the Cyclones favor.

But may the Cyclones won’t need an extra help after their 41-3 dismantling of Penn last Sunday. The Cyclones picked up seven bonus victories in their nine wins, with Gabe Moreno picking up an upset at 149.

The best two matchups in the dual will come at 133 and 174. All-American Earl Hall and #18 ranked Kevin Norstrem will have a rematch from Las Vegas where Hall won a 5-3 match. Even though Hall appears to be a strong favortie on paper, I think this will be one of the best matches in the dual.

At 174 Tanner Weatherman will be looking to get back on track after he lost against Penn, but trying to do so against Zach Epperly, who has a win over Matt Brown of Penn State, is a tough task. Weatherman did win the match 3-2 in Vegas, but this could very easily swing to the Hokie’s favor.

Iowa State will need to continue to see bonus points in this dual to help bring home a top five dual win. Senior All-Americans Mike Moreno (165) and Kyven Gadson (197) combined for an extra four dual team points last Sunday, and the Cyclone captains will once again be asked to put some points on the board. Moreno will face freshman Chad Strube who has recently been called into the lineup after the Hokies lost Chris Moon.

If Nick Brascetta doesn’t go and Jake Spengler gets the start for Virginia Tech, Luke Goettl will also be asked to try and put some extra points on the board. Spengler got his redshirt pulled last weekend at the Virginia duals where he struggled.

149 is another match where Gabe Moreno can look to climb the rankings against #13 Sal Malstrani. This is another potential swing match the Cyclones need to win to pull the upset.

Freshman sensation Dante Rodriguez will have the toughest task going up against NCAA runner-up Devin Carter at 141. Rodriguez has been putting together an excellent first season, and is coming off a pin over Penn. The other All-American for Virginia Tech Joey Dance will also be a tough match for Kyle Larson, but we’ve seen Larson’s ability to slow a match down against top ranked guys and if the match is close Larson will have his chance.

Virginia Tech is also favored at heavyweight, where Ty Walz will take on Quean Smith. Walz took second at Las Vegas by knocking off Adam Coon, so he will be a tough matchup for Smith.

Iowa State will be favored at 184, where Lelund Weatherspoon returned to the mat for the Cyclones after dealing with an injury.

On paper the dual is split 5-5, which is why an upset from Gabe Moreno, or bonus wins from Mike Moreno and Kyven Gadson will play a huge roll if the Cyclones are going to mount the upset.