A Cyclone team full of new faces is headed out east to take on Virginia Tech this weekend in the opening dual meet of the season. With the graduation of Mike Moreno and Kyven Gadson, the suspension of Gabe Moreno, Nathan Boston bumping Kyle Larson out of the lineup and Dante Rodriguez being redshirted, half of the lineup in Blacksburg will be different from last year.
Virginia Tech is one of the toughest dual teams on Iowa State's schedule and a win is unlikely. But with so many new guys taking the mat for the Cyclones, we'll still be able to learn a lot about what to expect from the team this winter.
Where: Blacksburg, Va.
When: Saturday, November 7th, 12:00 PM CST
Live Stream: Flowrestling
|Weight||Iowa State Cyclones Wrestler||Record||-||Virginia Tech Hokies Wrestler||Record|
|125||UR/UR Nathan Boston||0-0||vs.||#6/#5 Joey Dance||0-0|
|133||#8/#4 Earl Hall||0-0||vs.||#19/UR Kevin Norstrem||0-0|
|141||UR/UR John Meeks||0-0||vs.||UR/UR Solomon Chisko||0-0|
|149||UR/UR Blayne Briceno||0-0||vs.||#12/#14 Sal Mastriani||0-0|
|157||UR/UR Logan Breitenbach||0-0||vs.||#3/#3 Nick Brascetta||0-0|
|165||#6/#7 Tanner Weatherman||0-0||vs.||UR/UR Dave McFadden||0-0|
|174||#17/#13 Lelund Weatherspoon||0-0||vs.||#3/#2 Zach Epperly||0-0|
|184||UR/UR Dane Pestano||0-0||vs.||UR/#17 Austin Gabel||0-0|
|197||UR/UR Duke Egli||0-0||vs.||#17/UR Jared Haught||0-0|
|HWT||UR/UR Quean Smith||4-0||vs.||#2/#2 Ty Walz||0-0|
Not many freshman can be expected to come right out of the gate in their first varsity match and beat a wrestler who took fourth place at NCAAs in 2014 and made it to the round of twelve in 2015. The coaches have high hopes for Boston but in this match keeping it close and scoring at least one set of offensive points will be a "win" even if Joey Dance is the one who gets his hand raised.
This is a match John Meeks needs to win if he expects to man the 141 weight class for the Cyclones this year. Chisko is a freshman but was a highly ranked recruit and is coming off a successful 24-7 redshirt season last year. A win here doesn't solidify Meeks as the starter for the whole season - to do that he'll need some wins over ranked opponents to show he's not only a lock to qualify for NCAAs but a favorite to win a few matches once he gets there, and he won't get that out of this one match. But a loss would likely mean a burned redshirt for Dante Rodriguez for the second year in a row and could mean this is the last time we see Meeks take the mat for the Cyclones.
Despite his All American finish, Zach Epperly went 0-2 against Tanner Weatherman last season and also looked very tentative last weekend at the NWCA All Star Classic. Weatherspoon is finally back down to his natural weight after a season and a half at 184 and he has a great shot here to push himself into the top ten by starting off the season with a win in what is easily the marque matchup of the dual.
If you look through the 2015-2016 schedule there are three duals that look like probable losses. Oklahoma State, Iowa, and Virginia Tech. Tech is a very solid team up and down the lineup and looks to match up well against a shorthanded Iowa State. ISU will only be favored at 133 and 165 with toss ups at 141 and 174 pounds. This dual will likely end up being a 10-25 type loss for the Cyclones.
The Cyclones open up the home slate with a double dual against Midland University and Boise State this coming Thursday, November 12th.