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AWN Duals of the Week: Hofstra at Minnesota

AWN/TOM Duals of the week

The first week of the 2012-13 seasons is in the books. Kicking things off with the All-Star Classic was a good idea. Some great early season match-ups can get the fan base energized for what should be an exciting season from start to finish.

We have two duals to look at this week. In our first dual, the 13th ranked Michigan Wolverines face the 17th ranked Central Michigan Chippewas. It is great when we have early season battles between top 25 teams. Michigan will have many new young faces in the line-up while Central Michigan will have a mix of new and old faces. This dual should be a great battle. Our second dual will feature the top ranked Minnesota Gophers and the 25th ranked Hofstra Pride.

#13 Michigan vs. #17 Central Michigan
(Line-ups may change) – Based on AWN rankings

Projected Line-up

125: #16 Sean Boyle vs. Christian Cullinan

133: Rossi Bruno vs. #3 Scott Sentes

141: Camryn Jackson or #14 Stephen Dutton vs. Scott Mattingly

149: #11 Eric Grajales  vs. Donnie Corby

157: Jake Salazar or Michael Carpenter vs. Lucas Smith

165: Taylor Massa vs. Mike Ottinger

174: #15 Dan Yates vs. Anthony Bill

184: Jordan Thomas vs. #5 Ben Bennett or Craig Kelleher

197: #17 Maxwell Huntley vs. Jackson Lewis

HWT: Justin Dozier vs. #3 Jarod Trice

These teams match up well. The fact that 125 pound starter Joe Roth is not listed as the starter is interesting. With him out Central Michigan will have more of an up hill battle. There are eight nationally ranked wrestlers scheduled to wrestle in this dual.

The Match-ups

125: With Roth out, Boyle will be favored to win this bout. Boyle was a round of 12 wrestler in 2011 and missed last year due to injury. If he is back to old form, he should have a solid season for Michigan. Cullinan steps in for nationally ranked Joe Roth. Cullinan but together a solid season last year going 21-15 while wrestling both 133 and 141 pounds. This is not an easy one for Boyle but we have him winning by decision.

133: This weight may end up being the match of the night. Sentes returns from a red shirt year. He is a two-time NCAA All-American and two-time conference champion. People took notice when he lost his intra-squad match a week ago. He is still the starter and will be tested in this bout. He will face true freshman Rossi Bruno. Bruno was one of the top recruits in the country last year. Bruno has the ability to go with just about anyone in the country. This should be a great match. In a close bout, we have Sentes winning by decision. With that said, we are putting an upset alert on this match.

141:  Michigan has listed two possible starters at this weight. We will see either Camryn Jackson or Stephen Dutton. Dutton is currently ranked 14th in the country, so we will break this down with him as the wrestler. Dutton transfers in from Lehigh where he had a solid career. If he wrestles, we have him as the favorite, if not; it is really a toss up. Mattingly who is an NCAA qualifier has shown the ability to step up and knock off ranked wrestlers in the past. Should be a close match no matter which Michigan wrestler gets the nod. If it is Dutton we have a decision for Michigan, if it is Jackson, we have a decision for Central Michigan.

149: Grajales has made the round of twelve at the NCAA championships the past two years. In his third year at this weight, he should be one of the top contenders for All-American honors in 2013. He will face Corby who is a two-time NCAA qualifier and last years MAC conference champion. This should be a good early test for Grajales. Look for Grajales to come away with a decision.

157: The second weight that Michigan lists two wrestlers as possible starters. Jake Salazar or Michael Carpenter will go for the Wolverines. We will break this down as if Salazar is the one to get the start. Salazar is coming off a 10-11 season. He will face a very good redshirt freshman in Lucas Smith. Smith posted a 32-8 record in open competition last year. Smith is one of the young wrestlers we have on the watch list for this season. We have Smith winning by decision no matter who wrestlers for Michigan.

165: This is another match that you should really keep an eye on. Blue chip recruit Taylor Massa will make his Michigan debut. The highly sought after recruit comes into the match with many expectations. This match will be a great test to see where he is at as a true freshman. He will face Ottinger who posted a 23-10 record in his true freshman year and won the MAC championships earning a birth to the NCAA tournament. This should be an exciting match. In a close one, we are giving Massa a decision.

174: Dan Yates of Michigan is the favorite at this weight. Yates was 24-10 last year and is a two-time NCAA qualifier. He will face Bill from Central Michigan. Bill posted a 13-17 record last year. He will need to have improved if he is to knock off Yates in this one. Central Michigan will need him to keep this to a decision and we think he does. Yates with the decision.

184: Michigan will send out their third true freshman with Jordan Thomas. Thomas who was also one of the top recruits last year also comes in with high expectations. Thomas may have his hands full depending on which wrestler Central Michigan sends out. They currently list both Bennett and Kelleher. We are thinking that they may wrestle Kelleher here against the true freshman and bump Bennett up to wrestle nationally ranked Huntley at 197 pounds. However, this is just speculation. As of now, we are going under the assumption that Bennett wrestles. If he does, we have him winning by major.

197: Maxwell Huntley of Michigan is coming off a 15-15 season, but he did qualify for the NCAA tournament. His record is a bit deceiving if you look at the number of ranked wrestlers he faced last year. If Central Michigan does not bump either wrestler up from 184, we will see Jackson Lewis. Lewis was 5-6 in open tournaments a year ago. We have Huntley winning by decision.

HWT: Michigan will not be wrestling their nationally ranked heavyweight Ben Apland. Instead, Michigan will send out Justin Dozier. Dozier will face the third ranked heavyweight in the country in Jarod Trice. Trice who returns from an Olympic redshirt year, should be in the drivers seat in this match. We have Trice getting a Major to close this dual out.

This should be a very exciting dual.

TOM’S Prediction

Michigan – 18

Central Michigan – 14

#1 Minnesota vs. #24 Hofstra
(Line-ups may change) – Based on AWN rankings

Projected Line-up

125: #13 David Thorn vs. #4 Steve Bonano

133: #5 Chris Dardanes vs. #18 Jamie Franco

141: #8 Nick Dardanes vs. #10 Luke Vaith

149: #1 Dylan Ness vs. Matt Spataro or Cody Ruggirello

157: Alec Ortiz vs. Tyler Banks

165: #8  Cody Yohn vs. Nick Terdick

174: #5 Logan Storley vs. Jermaine John

184: #4 Kevin Steinhaus vs. Taras Lyzhnyy

197: #10 Scott Schiller vs. Victor Pozsonyi

HWT: #1 Tony Nelson vs. Paul Snyder

This dual is one of the features for a few reasons. First is to see how new Minnesota 125 pound wrestler David Thorn looks at his new weight. Second, there are 12 nationally ranked wrestlers participating in the dual. Finally, it is the first look at the nation’s top ranked team.

The Match-ups

125: This match-up alone may be worth the price of admission. The Minnesota fans are anxiously waiting the debut of David Thorn at 125 pounds. Not only should they see that, they will get to see him face the number four wrestler in the country returning All-American Steve Bonano. This match could go in favor of either wrestler. The question will be; how does Thorn handle the cut? We will find out soon enough. We have Bonano earning a hard fought decision in this match. We will put an upset alert on it though.

133: Two more nationally ranked wrestlers will square off at 133 pounds. Chris Dardanes who is coming off a close loss at the All-Star Classic will face Jamie Franco. Dardanes had a great first year in 2011 posting a 25-12 record while earning All-American honors. Franco went 21-13 a year ago and was an NCAA qualifier. These two did wrestle at the national tournament and Dardanes came away with a fall. We have Dardanes by major.

141:  This match will feature two very closely ranked wrestlers. Dardanes was 22-10 last year and went 2-2 at the NCAA Championships. He will face Minnesota native Luke Vaith. Vaith was 24-10 last year and was an NCAA qualifier as well. He went 1-2 at the championships. We do expect this one to be close and can imagine that there will be some Minnesota fans cheering for the other team in this one, at least those from Vaith’s hometown. This will be close and we see Dardanes winning by a decision. We will also put our second upset alert of the dual on this match.

149: Top ranked Ness will face one of two wrestlers for the Pride. He will face either Matt Spataro or Cody Ruggirell. Spataro went 3-4 last season, while Ruggirell missed time due to injury. He did wrestle in the Hokie open last week going 1-2. Look for Ness to earn a major decision.

157: The big question at Minnesota this year is; who will be the main starter at 157 pounds? At this point, it is still unclear with numerous wrestlers fighting to take the spot. For this preview, we are going with Alec Ortiz. Ortiz (or whomever the Gophers put out there) will face Tyler Banks. Banks was 12-13 last year. He did knock-off a ranked wrestler last year so we know he has the ability to wrestle with some of the better wrestlers in the country. This will be a close match no matter who ends up on the mat. We are giving a decision to Banks.

165: Cody Yohn enters his senior year hoping to get over the hump and become an All-American. He will start his senior campaign off against Nick Terdick. Terdick was lightly wrestled last year and posted a 5-7 record on the season. We have Yohn winning by a major decision.

174: Logan Storley was an All-American last year as a true freshman for the Gophers. He had a great season and should be better this year with the added year of experience. Storley will face Jermaine John for the Pride. As a freshman, John posted a 9-17 record last year. Storley wins by major.

184: Two-time All-American Kevin Steinhaus will look to keep things rolling for the Gophers in the upper weights. He has an interesting match-up with Taras Lyzhnyy (Luuzh-knee). Lyzhnyy comes to Hofstra via the Ukraine. He was a University World Silver medalist in 2010. We are not sure what to expect from him just yet, but we will find out more on Friday night. For now, we will be conservative and go with Steinhaus and a decision.

197: Scott Schiller will make his debut Friday night for the Gophers. Many fans are excited to see how he looks to start the year. He will face a true freshman in Pozsonyi. Schiller looked good in open tournaments last year posting a 26-4 record. Schiller wins by major.

HWT: Closing out the dual top ranked Tony Nelson will go for the Gophers. Nelson is the defending national champion at the weight. He will face Paul Snyder. Synder was 19-13 a year ago. This should be a good early test for Nelson. We have Nelson winning by decision.

TOM’S Prediction

Minnesota – 28

Hofstra – 6


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