BLACKSBURG – After an unscheduled bye week due to a COVID-19 postponement, the Virginia Tech wrestling team will be back on the mat Friday in Cassell Coliseum when it hosts Virginia in the Commonwealth Clash at 5 p.m. The dual can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.
 
The Hokies, ranked No. 8 in the country by the NWCA Coaches Poll for the eighth straight week, look to make it nine in a row against the Cavaliers, winning every meeting with the in-state rival since Nov. 23, 2013. Virginia currently holds a 3.25 – 2.75 lead in this year’s Commonwealth Clash.
 
To follow the public health guidelines and ensure the safety of Virginia Tech’s student-athletes, staff and fans, wrestling will compete without fans in attendance until further notice. Only essential staff and family members of the student-athletes will be allowed in attendance.
 
HOKIES VS. CAVALIERS
• This is the 78th meeting between Virginia Tech and Virginia on the mat. The Hokies lead the all-time series 48-28-1.
• Tech has won the last eight matchups and are 9-1 in their last 10 against UVA. Since Feb. 5, 2011, the Hokies are 12-1 against their in-state rival. In the past 20 years, Tech has a 25-5 record over the Cavaliers.
• The Hokies are No. 8 in the NWCA Coaches Poll for the fourth straight week after a 4-0 start to the season. Tech has wins over Campbell and West Virginia, who are both receiving votes latest poll.
• The Hokies have not wrestled since the quad meet at West Virginia due to their dual with North Carolina last Friday being postponed. The Cavaliers opened their ACC season last week, losing 23-9 to NC State.
 
KEY MATCHUPS
• Tech has six wrestlers ranked on InterMat to Virginia’s five, leading to three potential ranked matchups Friday night. Both the Hokies and Cavaliers have ranked wrestlers at 133, 165 and 285 pounds.
• The weight to watch Friday night is at 133 pounds. Tech’s No. 8 Korbin Myers could see UVA’s No. 12 Louie Hayes. Myers is 3-0 this season, with all three wins coming in duals and via decision.
• Hokies’ No. 1 Mekhi Lewis at 165 pounds may face No. 15 Jake Keating. Lewis secured bonus points in all four of his matches this season, winning two by major decision and two by technical fall. Lewis has yet to surrender more than four points to his opponent in a single match.
• The final potential ranked matchup Friday is at heavyweight with No. 15 John Borst and No. 20 Quinn Miller. Borst is 3-0 this season and has won two shutout technical falls, 15-0 and 17-0.
• The other three ranked Hokies are No. 10 Sam Latona (125 pounds), No. 12 Bryce Andonian (149 pounds) and No. 2 Hunter Bolen (184 pounds).
 
LATONA EARNS HONOR
• After a 3-0 Sunday at the West Virginia quad, redshirt freshman Sam Latona was named ACC Wrestler of the Week, the conference announced Jan. 12.
• Latona won his first match by forfeit and his second via a 10-2 major decision vs. Kent St. The Alabaster, Ala. native’s big win of the day came vs. West Virginia, when he defeated then-No. 12 Killian Cardinale in a 3-2 decision.
• The 125-pounder is ranked No. 12 in the country this week in InterMat’s list. Latona is 4-0 on the season with all four wins in dual action.
• This season is Latona’s first competing attached for the Hokies after an impressive 20-2 redshirt year during the 2019-20 campaign.
 
UNDEFEATED HOKIES
• Tech has 11 undefeated wrestlers competing in at least two matches this season, led by Sam Hillegas, Sam Latona and Mekhi Lewis, who are each 4-0. Latona is the only Hokie who is 4-0 in dual action.
• 10 Hokies are undefeated in dual matches this season including freshmen Hunter Catka, Sam Hillegas and Clayton Ulrey.