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Virginia takes on Duke, N.C. State in dual meet after two-week hiatus

Team begins to wrap up season before ACC Championships

Two weeks after shutting down Princeton 42-0, the No. 24 Cavaliers will travel to North Carolina this weekend for dual ACC matches against Duke and N.C. State.

Following the Princeton match, the wrestling team was slated to face Old Dominion and George Mason last weekend, but both bouts were postponed because of inclement weather. The resulting two-week break in action, coach Steve Garland said, provided the team with some much needed rest and relaxation.

"The blessing in disguise is when I saw the guys back on Monday, they looked so much fresher, after not having the stresses of making weight and competing," Garland said.

The Cavaliers' chances against the Blue Devils appear strong, as Duke is still winless in the conference. N.C. State (6-11) has earned a 1-2 conference record and won its first match in five bouts last week against University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

During the season's final stretch, junior captain Chris Henrich (25-2), who is ranked third nationally, and freshman Mike Salopek (24-8), who is ranked 20th, continue to be at the core of the strong Cavalier lineup, which currently has nine wrestlers with 15 or more wins on the year.

Following this weekend's dual meet, the team faces Maryland at home Feb. 20, its final match of the season before the ACC Championships March 6. The team will not treat the dual meet any differently, though.

"Every weekend is important," senior Ross Gitomer said.

Garland noted, however, that the end of the season is naturally an exhilarating time for the team.

"This is the exciting stages of the season, as we can see light at the end of the tunnel," Garland said, "Right now, we are having fun with our training, and I am really excited to see our work pay off"

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