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Wrestling set to host Campbell in its home opener

The Cavaliers look to continue their momentum after starting the season 2-0

<p>The Cavaliers face a formidable opponent in the Camels, who have already downed No. 16 Lehigh this season.</p>

The Cavaliers face a formidable opponent in the Camels, who have already downed No. 16 Lehigh this season.

On Saturday at 1 p.m. Virginia wrestling will host Campbell at the Aquatic and Fitness Center for its home opener. 

The Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0 ACC) picked up their two wins this season on the road against American and Maryland by scores of 33-6 and 24-9, respectively. Alternatively, the Camels (2-1, 0-0 SoCon) started their season with wins against Montreat and No. 16 Lehigh before losing to No. 21 Oregon State by a score of 23-12. The Cavaliers look to continue their momentum against a Campbell team that has faced fierce competition so far this season. 

Cavaliers to Watch 

No. 16 Graduate Student Brian Courtney 

Courtney has started his season 2-0 and looks to continue his undefeated streak. Courtney, who moved down to 133 pounds this season, looks to continue his journey to a consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 

No. 31 Graduate Student Jarod Verkleeren

The 149-pound graduate transfer from Penn State has made an impact in his first season as a Cavalier, winning both matches by a combined score of 22-1. Verkleeren, who had a 32-16 record at Penn State, looks to build on his early season success. 

No. 19 Senior James McCoy 

The 165-pound McCoy has had an impressive start to the season, winning his first two matches. McCoy defeated No. 31 freshman John Martin Best of Maryland 8-4 on Nov. 12. Against American University, McCoy won his match by major decision. 

No. 21 Graduate Student Quinn Miller 

The heavyweight wrestler has been unstoppable this season, registering an 8-2 win against a ranked opponent for Maryland and a first period pin against American. 

Camels to Watch 

No. 15 Graduate Student Josh Heil 

Heil was named SoCon wrestler of the week after picking up two wins against nationally ranked opponents. The 149-pound wrestler is a four-time NCAA Championship qualifier who looks to add to his already impressive resume. 

No. 18 Junior Caleb Hopkins 

Hopkins, who wrestles at 184-pounds, had a 4-2 victory against Lehigh. Hopkins was seeded as the No.14 wrestler at last year's NCAA Tournament. Last season, Hopkins led Campbell in pins registering five over the course of the season. 

No. 32 Sophomore Levi Hopkins 

The 197-pound wrestler posted a win against a ranked opponent when the Camels faced off against Oregon State earlier this season. Additionally, Hopkins was named to the SoCon All-Freshman team last season. 

Key Matchups 

133-pound weight class: Brian Courtney vs. Domenic Zaccone 

Against Oregon State, sophomore Domenic Zaccone surprisingly defeated No.19 senior Devan Turner by a score of 5-4. Courtney — who currently is ranked No. 15 — should not overlook Zaccone who looks to get his second ranked win of the season. 

149-pound weight class: Jarod Verkleeren vs. Josh Heil 

Heil will face his third ranked opponent of the season who will pose another threat to ending his win streak. Alternatively, Verkleeren will face his biggest test of the season after dominating unranked competition so far this season. The two graduate students are filled with years of experience so expect this matchup to be close. 


Virginia is eager to continue its win streak but should not underestimate an underrated Campbell team with multiple ranked wrestlers who look to make an impact. Alternatively, the home opener should serve as a major confidence boost for the Cavaliers, who have so far gutted it out on the road. With the way Virginia has started its season, their momentum should be enough to carry them to a tight victory. 

The Cavaliers’ home opener is set to start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville.