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Why UNI Can Beat Virginia Tech

Friday, Nov. 18 | Time: 7 PM CT  | Where: Cedar Falls, IA
Broadcast Info: WATCH LIVE HERE

On Friday, November 18th, #6 Virginia Tech begins a challenging weekend starting with a dual in UNI's hot and hostile, West Gym.  

The Hokies will be favorites on paper, but a few upsets and an insane home crowd advantage could swing the dual to the Panthers.

As of right now, here is my guess for the matchups:

125: No. 3 Joey Dance (VT) vs. No. 2 Dylan Peters (UNI)
133: Dom Latona (VT) vs. No. 19 Josh Alber (UNI)
141: Dennis Gustafson (VT) vs. Jake Hodges (UNI)
149: No. 7 Solomon Chishko (VT) vs. No. 17 Max Thomsen (UNI)
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) vs. No. 16 Bryce Steiert (UNI)
165: Ryan Blees (VT) vs. Paden Moore (UNI)
174: No. 2 Zach Epperly (VT) vs. Taylor Lujan (UNI)
184: No. 10 Zack Zavatsky (VT) vs. Jacob Holschlag (UNI)
197: No. 3 Jared Haught (VT) vs. Drew Foster (UNI)
285: No. 3 Ty Walz (VT) vs. No. 19 JJ Everard (UNI)

I believe this will come down to a few key match ups.  While VT will be a heavy favorite at 184, 197 and 285, UNI has potential in a number of opportunities to put themselves in position to win the dual.

125: No. 3 Joey Dance (VT) vs. No. 2 Dylan Peters (UNI)
Dance has gotten the better of this match up historically, though it's been awhile since they last wrestled.  Should Peters wrestle (It's my belief that he will), this would be his first match back since knee surgery.  Peters is a prolific pinner, and though he could struggle getting to Joey's legs, he has that knockout punch potential that could dramatically swing this dual.

Dylan Peters drills with Coach Schwab:

133: Dom Latona (VT) vs. No. 19 Josh Alber (UNI)
Virginia Tech will have some bonus point opportunities with the upper weights. 133 is a good spot for UNI to get some bonus of their own.  Alber is dynamite from the top position and Latona is inexperienced.

141: Dennis Gustafson (VT) vs. Jake Hodges (UNI)
Gustafson doesn't know how to wrestle a boring match.  Hodges could be the guy for UNI this year in a weight where they have some depth.  This bout is great because A) It will be exciting.  B) It's Uber-important and C) UNI has a legit chance at winning this bout. 

149: No. 7 Solomon Chishko (VT) vs. No. 17 Max Thomsen (UNI)
You like Chishko here, as he almost always takes care of business.  However, we don't know how good Max Thomsen can be.  He's had nice results thus far, and when you're dealing with Freshman, there's still some mystery about how good they can be.  

157: Sal Mastriani (VT) vs. No. 16 Bryce Steiert (UNI)
Should the upsets start going UNI's way, don't be surprised if Sal Mastriani pulls one of his own.  Mastriani has knocked off some elite guys over the years.  If Mastriani can get away from underneath, look for him to pull the mini-upset on a very talented Bryce Steiert.

174: No. 2 Zach Epperly (VT) vs. Taylor Lujan (UNI)
Lujan may leave himself too open to leg attacks too much against someone as positionally sound as Epperly.  However, Lujan can wrestle extremely hard and like Peters has that  home run potential.  The pace of Lujan and his top game could make things interesting against the #2 guy in the country. Most people will be most excited for 125 and understandably so.  However, I think this one has potential to be the most entertaining of the night.

UNI has an opportunity to win 125, 133, 141, 149, 157 and 165.  A 5-5 split is possible and if UNI is on fire, maybe they can win 6 of 10.  Ultimately, the odds are with VT, but a few wins can shift this one of the Schwab Mob in a hurry.

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