This week will not feature an official “Dual of the Week,” but instead Duals of the Week. While the rest of the non-DI wrestling world is headed to Louisville, Kentucky for the National Duals, we have the only surviving DI dual tournament, the Virginia Duals. This isn’t the time or place for the National Duals discussion, that’s an article or seven of its own. The 40th edition of the Virginia Duals will take place on Friday and Saturday from a familiar location, the Hampton Coliseum. As the name indicates, some of Virginia’s DI schools will be present with Virginia and mainstay, Old Dominion, along with six other schools from ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, EIWA, and MAC. Teams will compete in a dual format and wrestle forward for a championship or through the consolations all the way down to seventh place. Here are some of the important potential matchups to watch for as you follow the championship bracket in the National College division.
Also, the Virginia Duals features four other separate tournaments that take place alongside the DI mats. They include the American College division, which is made up of eight teams from various non-DI schools. The National High School bracket features 16 teams, 11 of which are out-of-state, battling against some of Virginia’s top schools. The American High School division has five out-of-state teams and 11 teams from around the state. The Black and Blue High School bracket is comprised solely of Virginia teams and has a distinct local flavor as half of them are from the Greater Hampton Roads area.
Follow along at home as the event will be streamed live on TrackWrestling.
Virginia vs. Kent State
The marquee matchup of this dual will take place at 133 lbs. Virginia is expected to present 17th ranked Louie Hayes while Kent State has #30 Tim Rooney. Both are former national qualifiers with Hayes making the NCAA Round of 12 in 2018 at 125 lbs, while Rooney made the tournament after placing third in the MAC. When Hayes was competing at 125, Rooney was at 141 for the Golden Flashes, so the pair have never squared off collegiately. This is the only meeting of the dual between wrestlers who are currently ranked, but 197 could be another solid match. Jay Aiello is coming off of a runner-up finish at the Midlands after upsetting Iowa’s Jacob Warner. Kent State’s Colin McCracken is close to cracking the top 33 and currently sports a 15-8 record. McCracken’s best showing of the year came at the Navy Classic when he majored national qualifier Drew Phipps (Bucknell) and fell by a point to #20 Jordan Pagano (Rutgers) in the finals.
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