Is it too early to ask, who owns the mat? If this season is like the last few in the ACC the answer is, yes. The two top teams over the past years, NC State and Virginia Tech, continue to dominate the conference in national rankings.
There is growth among conference programs and though it’s incremental, it’s wise to not overlook the up-and-comers.
The early season polling had four ACC teams in the NWCA Top 25. Three of those teams remain with three taking a spot in the receiving votes category.
Overall, having three teams ranked and three teams receiving votes is a marked improvement for conference wrestling.
Who Owns The Mat? – NWCA Top 25
Who Owns The Mat? – InterMat Rankings
|#8||Sean Fausz||NC State|
|133||#4||Tariq Wilson||NC State|
|#16||Korbin Myers||Virginia Tech|
|149||#6||Justin Oliver||NC State|
|#13||Ryan Blees||Virginia Tech|
|#16||Austin O'Connor||North Carolina|
|157||#2||Hayden Hidlay||NC State|
|#6||Kennedy Monday||North Carolina|
|165||#12||Mekhi Lewis||Virginia Tech|
|174||#5||David McFadden||Virginia Tech|
|#17||Daniel Bullard||NC State|
|184||#5||Zack Zavatsky||Virginia Tech|
|#6||Nick Reenan||NC State|
|#8||Chip Ness||North Carolina|
|197||#15||Tom Sleigh||Virginia Tech|
|HWT||#8||Billy Miller||Virginia Tech|
|#13||Cory Daniel||North Carolina|
The conference has 25 ranked wrestlers, 3 Top 25 teams and an additional 3 waiting in the wings making it one of the more promising seasons in years.
Tariq Wilson and Hayden Hidlay of NC State and Virginia Tech’s David McFadden and Zack Zavatsky find themselves in the top 5 of their weight classes. Nothing is a sure bet this season however as the number of ranked competitors conference wide is making for a crowded field.
Hidlay shared the first ACC Wrestler of the Week honors of the year with Duke’s Mitch Finesilver. This week’s honors go to Nick Reenan of NC State.
Last year three conference wrestlers appeared in the NCAA Wrestling Championship. NC State’s Michael Macchiavello and Virginia Tech’s Jared Haught faced each other in the 197 weight class championship. Macchiavello came off the mat with the win and national title.
The aforementioned Hidlay, a redshirt freshman last season, was the number one seed in the 157 weight class and reached the finals. That taste of ‘what could have been’ will certainly be a spark for the Wolfpack wrestler this season.
Even though it’s several months away the 2019 ACC Wrestling Championships will be held at Virginia Tech on March 9.
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