Who: #15 Iowa State vs George Mason — Kent State
Date: Friday, January 8th, 2016 – Saturday January 9th
Time: First Dual at 10:00 AM, second at 12:00 PM
Location: Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, Va
InterMat Rankings

#15 Iowa State Cyclones vs George Mason Patriots 3-3 — Kent State Flashes 5-2
125- Nathan Boston vs Ibrahim Banduka — Del Vinas
133- #14 Earl Hall vs Vince Rodriguez — #10 Mack McGuire
141- Dante Rodriguez vs Tejon Anthony — Anthony Tutolo
149- #16 Gabe Moreno vs Konbeh Koroma — #13 Michael DePalma
157- Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer vs #19 Greg Flourney — #2 Ian Miller
165- #11 Tanner Weatherman vs Blake Roulo — Tyler Buckwalter
174- #18 Lelund Weatherspoon vs Daniel Mika — Mike Vollant
184- Dane Pestano vs Luke Ludke— Cole Baxter
197- Marcus Harrington vs Cameron Houston —Jerald Spohn
285-Quean Smith vs Gary Miltenberger —Devin Nye

The Iowa State Cyclones will head east this weekend for the 36th version of the Virginia Duals held in Hampton, Virginia. The field features 12 teams from across the nation, including ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech, on the rise Arizona State, and SoCon leader Chattanooga. The 12 teams are split into three team pools with the winner of each pool advancing to a gold bracket finals. Second and third place finishers from the first round also advance to bronze and silver brackets, which means all teams will leave this weekend with at least four duals.

The Cyclones will be in the James River Pool accompanied by Kent State and George Mason, making them the favorites from their pool to advance to Saturday’s tournament finals. Iowa State’s opponents combined are 8-5, with four ranked wrestlers.

The toughest weight that that will be contested on the first day for Iowa State will be the 157 pound weight class where George Mason features their only ranked wrestler, Greg Flourney, and Kent State features potential NCAA finalist Ian Miller. Iowa State has used both Logan Breitenbach and Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer at 157 pounds this season, though the latter was designed a point scorer at the Midlands. Either wrestler will have their work cut out this weekend.

All-American Earl Hall will have an opportunity to get back on track in the early going against #10 ranked Mack McGuire of Kent State. Hall is coming off a seventh place Midlands finish, which dropped him from the top ten in the rankings to 14th.

Likewise junior Gabe Moreno will also have a chance to improve his ranking when he goes up against the #13 ranked Michael DePalma of Kent State at 149. Moreno took eighth at the Midlands championships.

Fresh off a Midlands runner-up finish Tanner Weatherman will look to continue his success against veterans Blake Roulo and Tyler Buckwalter.

The Cyclones will have a really good shot at advancing to Saturday’s finals and if they do they could potentially meet Virginia Tech, who bested the Cyclones to open the season. With Marcus Harrington and Dante Rodriguez now in the lineup, and both Weatherman and Lelund Weatherspoon adjusted to their new weights, it could be a much different outcome than the prior matchup.

The Cyclones could also potentially face Arizona State, who they are scheduled to wrestle later in the season.

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle