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Wrestlers Head East To The Virginia Duals

ISU Athletics Communications

After finally getting the monkey of a winless season off of their back against Oregon State last weekend, the wrestlers only took a few days off before hoping on a jet plane out to the coast in the hopes of picking up a few more wins. This weekend’s event, the Virginia Duals, is a huge tournament. The D-1 competition is just one of five going on across the mats. There is also a lower division college bracket and three different high school brackets for various levels of competition. At an event like this wins aren’t just important for this season’s record, but for impressing the many recruits and high school coaches that will be in the arena.

In order to ensure that all the teams get four duals, competition starts on Friday morning with pool action. Iowa State drew in to a pool with unranked Virginia and #10 Arizona State. This adds a little extra spice to the matchup because Virginia is where Cyclone alum and longtime assistant coaches Trent and Travis Pauslon landed when the ISU staff turned over last spring. Following the two pool duals the teams are placed in to Gold, Silver, and Bronze brackets based on the morning’s results. Teams in the Silver and Bronze brackets will have one more dual on Friday afternoon before finishing up on Saturday morning while teams in the Gold Bracket will wrestler Saturday afternoon before capping off the Duals on Saturday evening.

Last time Iowa State attended this event they ended up taking first place. Based on results so far this season, this weekend is likely to be a little more rough.

Projected Lineups


Weight Virginia Wrestler Record - ISU Wrestler Record - Arizona State Wrestler Record
Weight Virginia Wrestler Record - ISU Wrestler Record - Arizona State Wrestler Record
125 Louie Hayes 8/13/9 20-4 vs. Sinjin Briggs 1-2 vs. Ryan Millhof 17/17/NR 8-4
133 Jack Mueller 3/3/3 14-1 vs. Ian Parker 13-5 vs. Ali Naser 13-7
or Markus Simmons 16-7
141 Sam Martina 5-9 vs. Kannen Storr 11/16/NR 11-6 vs. Nikko Villarreal 7-8
149 Sam Krivus 14-8 vs. Jarrett Dagen NR/NR/19 11-3 vs. Josh Maruca 15/16/16 18-7
or Dante Rodriguez 6-6 Jason Tsirtsis 12-4
157 Fred Green 9-6 vs. Chase Straw 10-6 vs. Josh Shields 7/7/4 20-2
165 Andrew Atkison 9-4 vs. Logan Breitenbach 2-4 vs. Anthony Valencia 15/15/16 16-7
or Skyler St. John 1-3
174 Will Schany NR/NR/19 14-5 vs. Danny Bush 12-8 vs. Zahid Valencia 1/1/2 16-0
184 Micheal Battista 1-10 vs. Dane Pestano 11-6 vs. Kordell Norfleet 4-7
197 Jay Aiello 10-7 vs. Sam Colbray 8-8 vs. Cade Belshay 3-8
HWT Tyler Love 6-8 vs. Marcus Harrington 13-7 vs. Tanner Hall 4/4/4 12-3

Ranking from FloWrestling/Intermat/TheOpenMat


Where: Hampton, Virginia

When: 8AM CST, Friday, January 12th

Stream: Trackwrestling ($$)

NCAA WRESTLING: MAR 17 Division I Championships Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Key Matches


This is the first of two key toss ups in this dual. Krivus was an NCAA qualifier last season and like Degen he’s sitting just outside the rankings. Despite having one of the best win percentages on the team, up to this point Degen doesn’t have any wins over guys who are sure fire “silver” or “gold” caliber wrestlers for NCAA qualification purposes. So a win here is important for him to solidify himself as somebody who is likely to earn an allocation, and who would be competitive for an at large if need be.

For the team the concerns are more immediate. There are two matches in this dual that could be considered tossups. And if Iowa State is going to avoid ending up in the Bronze bracket on Friday afternoon they need to win all the tossups. That starts at 149.


As luck would have it the two toss up matches bump right up against each other in the lineup. At 157 Straw lost a bad match in the first dual of the year but since then has quietly put together a pretty solid season even though his record doesn’t show it yet. A win would be nice for Straw’s resume as he climbs in to having a winning record, but it is essential for ISU to have a shot at starting off the day with a dual win.


These are three weights where Virginia will be sending out wrestlers that are heavy favorites. Iowa State probably isn’t going to pick up any wins at these weights. But if Briggs, Parker/Simmons and Breitenbach/St. John can avoid giving up too many bonus points in these matches the chances at a dual win greatly increase.


The opposite situation of what we have at 125/133/165, these are three weights where Virginia is sending out guys with losing records to go up against three ISU wrestlers who have expectations that they’ll still be taking the mat when NCAAs come around in Cleveland in March. If Iowa State is going to win this dual they are probably going to need bonus points, and this is where they need to come from. Anything less than a major decision at these weights is a negative for ISU’s chances in this dual and a couple of pins or tech falls would go a long way towards giving ISU some buffer to lose one of the toss ups.


My first cut at this dual was a 14-23 win for Virginia. And honestly that feels about right based on how ISU has done this season. A win is totally possible - if the Cyclones can take both the tossups, limit bonus points for Virginia, and earn bonus of their own at the weights discussed above then you can suddenly be looking at a 20-19 or slightly better victory without needing anything crazy to happen. But so far this season just winning all the matches we’re supposed to isn’t a sure thing.

Arizona State

Where: Hampton, Virginia

When: 12PM CST, Friday, January 12th

Stream: Trackwrestling ($$)

2017 NCAA Division 1 Men's Wrestling Championships Photo by Mark Buckner/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Key Matches


This match has some extra implications because Naser beat Simmons at Midlands over the holiday break. And while Parker has the edge for the starting spot at this weight he hasn’t really separated himself from Simmons when it comes to results. If Parker is able to come out ahead here he not only earns a solid win for his resume, but he also makes a statement that the weight should be his for the remainder of the season.


As you can tell, Friday is a big day for Jarrett Degen. As mentioned in the Virginia preview, he’s sitting just outside the rankings despite his impressive record because he lacks any marquee wins. Against Maruca or Tsirtsis he’ll get his shot to make a statement that he belongs in the top 20. This is probably the most important single match of the dual for ISU’s NCAA outlook. Get a win and you can start to pencil in some points from Degen in Cleveland with confidence. Take a loss and you hope he can qualify and win a match or two.


This one isn’t likely to be close. I think Arizona State runs away with this one on the order of 11-30 or so.

Friday Afternoon & Saturday Brackets

Once it is known who Iowa State will wrestle on Friday afternoon there will be details in the comments below. The possible teams for ISU to end up matched up against are:

  • Bucknell
  • Campbell
  • Chattanooga
  • Fresno State
  • Kent State
  • #20 Lock Haven
  • #11 UNI
  • Oklahoma
  • Old Dominion
  • #9 Virginia Tech

Next Up

The wrestlers will be back in Ames next Sunday, January 21st to take on Big XII foe West Virginia.


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