Iowa State vs. Virginia Tech Preview

Who: The #13 Iowa State Cyclones visit the #6 Virginia Tech Hokies
When: Saturday, November 7th
Where: Cassel Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA
Time: 1 PM, (12 central)

Lineups:
Iowa State Cyclones
125: Nathan Boston RFr / Kyle Larson RJr
133: #7 Earl Hall Sr.
141: #18 Dante Rodriguez So. / John Meeks RJr.
149: Wil Stetzel Sr. / Blayne Briceno RSo.
157: Logan Breitenbach RFr. / Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer RFr.
165: #6 Tanner Weatherman RSr.
174: #17 Lelund Weatherspoon RJr.
184: Dane Pestano RSo.
197: Duke Egli RSo.
285: Quean Smith RJr.

Virginia Tech Hokies
125: #6 Joey Dance Jr.
133: #20 Kevin Norstrem RSo.
141: Solomon Chisko RFr.
149: #12 Sal Mastriani RJr.
157: #3 Nick Brascetta RSr.
165: Chad Strube So. / David McFadden Fr.
174: #4 Zach Epperly RSo.
184: Austin Gabel RSr.
197: #16 Jared Haught RSo.
285: #4 Ty Walz RJr.

Storylines: The Hokies look for revenge over the Cyclones after the Cyclones upset the then #4 ranked Hokies last year in Ames in a 21-12 victory. Last years match was highlighted by Tanner Weatherman’s win over all American Zach Epperly with a last second takedown. The Cyclones will be without highly touted 197 pounder Marcus Harrington and 2x NCAA qualifier Gabriel Moreno. The Hokies return all starters except for 3x all American Devin Carter. The Hokies return 3 all americans in Brascetta, Epperly and Walz; while the Cyclones return 0. Previously Joey Dance and Earl Hall had became all americans for their respective teams.

Analysis:

125: Joey Dance will be a tough test for whoever the Cyclones throw out on the mat. Previously Dance placed 4th at NCAAs as a freshman. Dance lead in the quarterfinals over future 4th placer Thomas Gilman 5-1 before falling apart in the match; and losing his wrestle-back to become an All-American. Dance provides excellent defense with a unique over-collar shrug and mis-direction single that many can not stop.

Last year Larson dropped a 1 point decision to Dance. Larson dropped a 7-3 decision to Boston in wrestle-offs; so we may expect to see Boston. Boston will be very tall and lanky for the weight and will provide matchup problems for many at the weight. He has very funky and unique leg defense that few others possess. Additionally he rides unorthodox and is excellent from the top position.

133: Here we have a rematch from last year where Hall won a 7-2 decision over Norstrem. Both of the wrestlers are native of Florida. Both Hall and Norstrem provide explosive attacks and can potentially attack upper body positions. While both are ranked in the top 20; we can potentially expect fireworks here

141: Questions remain on if the Cyclones will start sophomore Dante Rodriguez or junior John Meeks. Rodriguez had a tremendous freshman campaign but has a valuable redshirt to burn. Meeks has shown flashes of brilliance and put together one of the most impressive high school careers in Iowa high school history. The puzzle got more complicated when Rodriguez pinned Meeks at last weeks wrestle offs. Whoever competes for the Cyclones we expect ready to go; and Meeks may decide his own fate if he wrestles in this event.

Chisko is coming off a very successful redshirt and was a highly touted recruit out of Pennsylvania. Rumors have spread the freshman was neck and neck with redshirt junior Sal Mastriani ; but cut down a weight class for the team. Although unranked; we expect Chisko to be a serious threat to all comers at the weight.

149: The Cyclones will be without last year #9 seed at the NCAA tournament Gabe Moreno. Either Blayne Briceno or Wil Stetzel will start for the meet. Briceno pinned Stetzel at last weeks wrestle offs; after Stetzel stormed out to a quick lead.

The Hokies return #12 Sal Mastriani at the weight; who had a breakout season last year. Mastriani defeated 3x all american Devin Carter to obtain the 149 spot last season. Mastriani was very hot early and was ranked inside the #8 for most of the season before fading late. Mastriani hits the patented left handed hi-crotch frequently, and handily defeated Gabe Moreno last year in Ames.

157: The Cyclones will start a redshirt freshman here; either Logan Breitenbach or Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer. Breitenbach won a 2-1 overtime decision at last week’s wrestle-offs. Both were highly touted high school wrestlers; and are expected to be active contributors for the Cyclones.

Virginia Tech returns All-American Nick Brascetta here. Brascetta has fought injuries through out his career; but has always shown up for nationals. Brascetta provides a variety of leg attacks and will ride hard. The senior has all american finishes of 4th and 8th . He may be heavily favorite in this match by many.

165: Tanner Weatherman has moved down a weight class and gathered the #6 ranking. Weatherman has provided a wild career in which he frequently attacks and scores points. In 2013 he burst onto the scene defeating two seeded wrestlers on his way to making the round of 12; a feat he would repeat in 2014. Weatherman has frequently shown signs of brilliance; and if he can find consistency and can make the weight fine he will be a serious threat to all comers.

Virginia Tech will throw out sophomore Chad Strube or freshman phenom David McFadden. Strube went 9-13 last season and lost by decision to the Cyclones Michael Moreno before placing 4th at the ACC tournament. It’s hard to know what to expect out of a true freshman; but David McFadden is as talented as they come. The freshman was widely considered the #1 152 pounder in the country last year; and boasts an impressive resume over many of the who’s- who of high school wrestling.

174: Cyclone junior Lelund Weatherspoon has also moved down a spot into his natural weight. Weatherspoon qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons; last year where he went 2-2. Weatherspoon may be a serious threat down a weight class that has cleared out from last year. He provides a ton of upper body attacks and excellent re-attacks; and will be a serious threat at the weight assuming he can maintain the weight.

Redshirt Sophomore Zach Epperly comes off an All-American season in which he placed 7th at the NCAA championship. This match may be the most competitive of the dual; as Cyclone 165 pounder Weatherman owns 3 wins over Epperly. Epperly provides an unorthodox style; and is excellent in scrambling and ankle-roll situations.

184: The Cyclones will throw out the Hawaiian warrior Dane Pestano. Pestano has limited results; but was highly touted out of high school. Pestano is short and stocky with a left leg lead; and has an excellent single leg and high crotch.

The Hokies return senior Austin Gabel. Gabel is a former NCAA qualifier; and had to sit out last years NCAAs due to knee injury. Although unranked Gabel is savvy and has competed well with all americans Kenny Courts and Hayden Zilmer.

197: The Cyclones look to fill the shoes of all time great Kyven Gadson. Marcus Harrington will man the spot later in the season; but for now we will likely see redshirt sophomore Duke Egli. Egli has seen limited competition due to injury; but showed promise in his wrestle off against Harrington in which he lost 11-5.

Jared Haught will man the spot for the Hokies. He comes in with a #16 ranking; and comes back after qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Haught is huge for the weight and had 2 losses to Cyclone Gadson last season; one by fall and one by decision.

285: The Cyclones return junior starter Quean Smith. Smith is short, stocky and extremely powerful. Smith lost a close decision to Walz last year. Smith missed last years Big 12s to a season ending injury; but showed vast improvement over his previous season.

The Hokies return All-American Ty Walz. Walz is short and stocky, and has excellent leg attacks for a big man. Just last week Walz looked fantastic in dismantling NCAA runner up Adam Coon 9-3.

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