EIWA Dual Of The Week 2021-22

Collegiate Wrestling Duals Full Preview + Predictions

Collegiate Wrestling Duals Full Preview + Predictions

What's this NCAA wrestling event going down in Niceville, Florida on Monday and Tuesday? Click and we'll tell you!

Dec 18, 2021 by Andrew Spey
Collegiate Wrestling Duals Full Preview + Predictions
Just when you thought your weekend of college wrestling was over, guess what? Five day weekend!

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Just when you thought your weekend of college wrestling was over, guess what? Five day weekend! 

That’s right, the Collegiate Wrestling Duals are adding 18 dual meets to the D1 docket this Monday and Tuesday. An excellent collection of teams will be battling it out in Niceville, Florida. Now that’s what I call Nice, Nice Baby. 

Just how good are the participating programs? I will show you with our team tournament rankings

#1 Penn State

#2 Iowa

#5 Arizona State

#6 NC State

#7 Cornell

#11 Virginia Tech

#12 Missouri

#23 Central Michigan

#25 Northern Iowa

#28 Lehigh

#40 Binghamton

#51 Hofstra

These teams will be split into two, six-team divisions, Red and Blue. Each division will then be further divided into two three-team groups. The three-team groups will have a round-robin on Day 1 with a third, placement-dual on day 2. 

Teams will not wrestle opponents from the other divisions, so it will in essence be two separate tournaments run simultaneously. 

This graphic on this tweet below may make better sense than my description. 

So those divisions are:

RED: Iowa, NC State, Missouri, CMU, Lehigh, Binghamton

BLUE: Penn State, Arizona State, Cornell, Virginia Tech, UNI, Hofstra

Initially, the plan appeared to include a bracket on the second day to determine an overall champ.

The format was altered to accommodate the scheduling preferences of the coaches. The name of the event was changed likely due to the fact that the NWCA National Duals still very much exist, with the latest edition slated for this upcoming January.

It’ll be streamed on Rokfin and will cost a mere $20 if you don’t have a subscription to that platform and a meager $10 if you do. 

You’re probably looking for a link to watch right now. Well sorry, I can’t do everything for you. What’s next, you need me to move your mouse over and click the link for you, too?  Do I need to plug in your laptop or charge your phone? How about I pay your electricity bill, sort your recyclables and shampoo your dog? Must I do literally everything for you?!?

Psyche, I’m kidding, here’s a link

I’d also like to point out that Frank Popolizio and his team at Journeymen are putting in a ton of work to host this event and they should be commended for their efforts. It’s good when there are more big-time wrestling events, and this is no exception!

I mean it's not like I mind when the demand for talented wrestling bloggers goes up! That's some inflation I can live with! 

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Below, a breakdown of what to expect in Niceville, Florida on December 20 and 21 (all times listed below are eastern, the posted schedule from Journeymen is in local central time). 

Day 1 - Session 1 - Red

11:00 AM -  Binghamton vs Missouri

Key Matchups

133: HM Anthony Sobotker, BU vs #13 Matt Scmitt or Trey Crawford, Mizzou

197: #12 Lou DePrez, BU vs #4 Rocky Elam, Mizzou

Prediction: Missouri wins big. The Bearcats will likely steal a match or two, depending on who Coach Smith sends out for the Tigers, but Mizzou should take this one comfortably. 

1:00 PM - Binghamton vs NC State

Key Matchups

133: HM Anthony Sobotker, Bingo vs HM Jarrett Trombley, NCSU

197: #12 Lou DePrez, Bingo vs #17 Isaac Trumble, NCSU

Prediction: Doesn’t get much easier for the Bearcats in their second match, as the Wolfpack should devour their first opponent of the event. DePrez and Sobotker will again lead the charge for Binghamton but the final result will likely be a lopsided victory for NC State. 

2:00 PM - Missouri v NC State

Key Matchups

125: #16 Noah Surtin, Mizzou vs #11 Jakob Camacho, NCSU

165: #3 Keegan O’Toole, Mizzou vs #18 Thomas Bullard, NCSU

174: #17 Peyton Mocco, Mizzou vs #4 Hayden Hidlay, NCSU

285: #17 Zach Elam, Mizzou vs Owen Trephan, NCSU

Prediction: One of the most evenly matched duals of the event, this will almost certainly decide who wins the pool and wrestles for the first place of the Red division on Tuesday. 

I could see this going either way, and expect to see the lead ping-pong back and forth. Bonus points might be the difference, so the pressure will be on the big guns to secure the extra team points.

Pretty much every weight is a key matchup, and this may end up being the most entertaining dual of the entire two-days. I think NC State has a little too much firepower and has it wrapped up (barely) after Trent Hidlay’s match (assuming the dual starts at 125) but would not be shocked by some late dual heroics by one or both of the Elam brothers. 

Final standings

  1. NC State

  2. Missouri

  3. Binghamton

Day 1 - Session 1 - Blue

11:00 AM - Hofstra vs Virginia Tech

Key Matchups

165: Ricky Stamm, HU vs Clayton Ulrey, VT

197: HM Trey Rodgers, HU vs Dakota Howard, VT

Prediction: I can see there being more than a couple of competitive bouts, but the Hokies will overwhelm Hofstra and should win by a large margin. 

1:00 PM - Hofstra v Arizona State

Key Matchups

174: Ross McFarland, Hof vs Zane Coleman, ASU

184: Charles Small, Hof vs Josh Nummer, ASU

Prediction: Like their EIWA counterpart, Binghamton, Hofstra will be heavy underdogs in back-to-back matches. We expect nothing but maximum effort from Coach Papadatos’ wrestlers, but they won’t be able to overcome a top 5 opponent like the Sun Devils.

3:00 PM - Virginia Tech vs Arizona State

Key Matchups

133: #5 Korbin Myers, VT vs #11 Michael McGee or Julian Chlebove, ASU

149: #9 Bryce Andonian, VT vs #5 Kyle Parco, ASU

Prediction: The expected group championship bout, this is another marque dual of the first session that will happen concurrently with Mizzou vs NCSU. I think Tech will have to steal a bout or two from the Sun Devils to get the dub. It could happen, but I’m not being bold enough to predict it, and instead think the Sun Devils win a close one. 

Final standings

  1. Arizona State

  2. Virginia Tech

  3. Hofstra

Day 1 - Session 2 - Red

5:00 PM - Lehigh vs Central Michigan

Key Matchups

149: #24 Manzona Bryant, LU vs HM Corbyn Munson, CMU

157: #15 Josh Humphreys, LU vs #20 Johnny Lovett, CMU

285: #7 Jordan Wood, LU vs #8 Matt Stencel, CMU

Prediction: It’s always a treat when these two traditional powers from non-Power 5 conferences get together. We saw them both at an earlier Journeymen event, and in fact saw these key 157-pound and 285-pound matchups already back in November. 

I think Lehigh gets it done in the dual meet but there’s a lot of ways this dual could play out. 

7:00 PM - Iowa v Central Michigan

Key Matchups

141: #2 Jaydin Eierman, Iowa vs #6 Dresden Simon, CMU

285: #5 Tony Cassioppi, Iowa vs #8 Matt Stencel, CMU

Prediction: This one is a bit more straightforward, as the Hawkeyes will be the heavy favorite, regardless of what lineup they choose to go with. 

Additionally, Iowa has published their list of probable starters, and Spencer Lee is listed at 125 along with Jesse Ybarra. Michael Kemerer is not listed, with Nelson Brands as the only 174-pounder in the match notes. 

9:00 PM - Iowa v Lehigh

Key Matchups

125: #1 Spencer Lee or Jesse Ybarra, Iowa vs #22 Jaret Lane, LU

285: #5 Tony Cassioppi, Iowa vs #7 Jordan Wood, LU

Prediction: Iowa will once again be a heavy favorite, not surprising as they are the reigning NCAA champions that returned their entire starting lineup. Which is not to say the Mountain Hawks are going to roll over. There should be some decent scraps in this dual meet. 

Final standings

  1. Iowa

  2. Lehigh

  3. Central Michigan

Day 1 - Session 2 - Blue

5:00 PM - Northern Iowa v Cornell (EIWA Dual Of The Week)

Key Matchups

184: #4 Parker Keckeisen, UNI vs #14 Jonathan Loew, CU

285: #19 Carter Isley, UNI vs #20 Lewis Fernandes, CU

Prediction: The Panthers will make Cornell fight for every point, but with superstars like Vito and Yianni back on the mat, the odds will be stacked against them. Perhaps the biggest story from this dual is what weight Vito Arujau will wrestle, 133 or 125. I suspect Vito is on his way down to 125 but he's also only listed at 133 in the Cornell Match Notes

Now, I'm not saying I don't trust Cornell's match notes, but I've also known them to be slightly less than totally forthcoming when it comes to projected weight classes. 

7:00 PM - Northern Iowa vs Penn State

Key Matchups

125: #13 Brody Teske, UNI vs Baylor Shunk, PSU

184: #4 Parker Keckeisen, UNI vs #1 Aaron Brooks, PSU

Prediction: The Schwab Mob won't have much time to catch their breath before taking on the number one ranked (tournament) team. A win by Penn State will set up the marquee bout of Day 1, which happens next! 

9:00 PM - Cornell v Penn State

Key Matchups

133: #4 Vito Arujau, or Dom LaJoie CU vs #1 Roman Bravo-Young, PSU

165: #10 Julian Ramirez, CU vs #14 Creighton Edsell, PSU

174: #11 Chris Foca, CU vs #1 Carter Starocci, PSU

197: #33 Jacob Cardenas, CU vs #2 Max Dean, PSU

Prediction: I have to caution that I don’t think we’ll see Vito vs RBY as my guess is that Arujau will wrestle 125 at this event, but won't stop this from being a dynamite dual meet. 

As for the result of it, all indications point to RBY, Nick Lee, Starocci and Brooks being healthy and ready to go in Florida, and four #1 ranked returning champs is hard to beat, even for deep lineup line Cornell’s.

Final Standings

  1. Penn State

  2. Cornell

  3. Northern Iowa

Day 2 - Session 1 - Red

2:00 PM - 5th Place Bout - Binghamton vs Central Michigan (Or Lehigh)

Key Matchups

125: Micah Roes, BU vs Brock Bergelin, CMU

197: #10 Lou DePrez, BU vs Aaron Bolo, CMU

285: #23 Joe Doyle, BU vs #8 Matt Stencel, CMU

Prediction: Day 2 kicks off with the two fifth-place bouts from each division, followed by the two third-place bouts, and then the two first-place duals each get center stage in consecutive championship matches.

The battle for fifth in the Red division should produce some exciting individual matches. In the end, I think the MAC’s standard bearer will prevail. Assuming, of course, that they didn’t prevail earlier over Lehigh. We’ll leave those hypotheticals alone but feel free to imagine different outcomes. 

Because honestly, who knows what the future holds? The wheel of fortune turns as indiscriminately for the lowly pauper as it does the mighty king. 

4:00 PM - 3rd Place Bout - Lehigh (or CMU) vs Missouri (or NCSU)

Key Matchups

125: #22 Jaret Lane, LU vs #16 Noah Surtain, MU

149: #24 Manzona Bryant, LU vs HM Josh Edmond, MU

157: #15 Josh Humphreys, LU vs #14 Jarrett Jacques, MU

Prediction: I’ll leave other hypothetical matchups to the alternate realities to Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch and focus on the matchup I predicted earlier. As such, I think the SEC’s top wrestling program takes third in the Red division.

Day 2 - Session 1 - Blue

2:00 PM - 5th Place Bout - Northern Iowa vs Hofstra

Key Matchups

184: #4 Parker Keckeisen, UNI vs Charles Small, HU

285: Carter Isley, UNI vs Zachary Knighton-Ward, HU

Prediction: Over on the Blue side of the jamboree, we’ve got a classic east coast-midwest bruhaha. I think we’ll see the Panther Train chugalug to a win. And really, that’s what you want to see: a bruhaha decided by a chugulug. 

4:00 PM - 3rd Place Bout - Cornell vs Virginia Tech (or ASU)

Key Matchups

149: #1 Yianni Diakomihalis, CU vs #9 Bryce Andonian, VT

174: #11 Chris Foca, CU vs #3 Mekhi Lewis,VT

184: #14 Jonathan Loew, CU vs #7 Hunter Bolen, VT

Prediction: This could be one of the highlights of the Duals, assuming everything works out to make it happen. Of particular interest is the stylistic matchup we could see between two New Jerseyan titans Chris Foca and Mekhi Lewis. I think Virginia Tech takes it but this one but it's pretty much a coin toss. 

Day 2 - Session 2 - Red & Blue

6:00 PM - 1st Place Bout Red - Iowa vs NC State (or Mizzou)

Key Matchups

149: #8 Max Murin, Iowa vs #3 Tariq Wilson, NCSU

184: HM Myles Wilson, Iowa vs #3 Trent Hidlay, NCSU

197: #5 Jacob Warner, Iowa vs #17 Isaac Trumble, NCSU

Prediction: The first of the two headliners. I would personally love to see an Iowa vs Missouri dual here, for no other reason but to get a Marinelli vs O’Toole matchup at 165. But this preview isn't about what I want, so we’ll leave that possibility to the quantum realm and focus on a Hawkeye vs Wolfpack dual instead. 

If Spencer wrestles, you have to figure 125, 133, 141, 157, 165 and 285 will go to the Hawkeyes, with Warner also being a pretty strong favorite at 197. It will likely take an upset or two and bonus point wins for NC State to gank this one. 

If Spencer doesn’t wrestle, a few more pathways to victory emerge for the Wolfpack, but in either event, I’m taking the Hawkeyes to be crowned champions of the Red Division of the inaugural Journeymen Collegiate Duals. 

8:00 PM - 1st Place Bout Blue - Penn State vs Arizona State (or VT)

Key Matchups

149: #18 Beau Bartlett, PSU vs #5 Kyle Parco, ASU

197: #2 Max Dean, PSU vs #9 Kordell Norfleet, ASU

285: #4 Greg Kerkvliet, PSU vs #3 Cohlton Schultz, ASU

Prediction: We close out the two-day NCAA extravaganza with a dual between two top 5 teams. The last time these two programs met it was an upset for Arizona State that saw the Sun Devil student body storm the mat, a rare occurrence in our sport. 

Also a rare occurrence? Penn State losing a dual meet against anyone. It’s happened but twice in the last 6 seasons going on 7. I do not think Tuesday night will make it thrice. Instead, I believe the Nittany Lions will head into the holidays as Blue Division champions. 

Final Predictions


  1. Iowa

  2. NC State

  3. Missouri

  4. Lehigh

  5. Central Michigan

  6. Binghamton


  1. Penn State

  2. Arizona State

  3. Virginia Tech

  4. Cornell

  5. Northern Iowa

  6. Hofstra

This preview ended up being rather larger than I anticipated. 18 duals is a lot I suppose! Looking forward to them all!