No. 12 Virginia Tech Hosts George Mason In Annual Moss Arts Center Match

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Nathan Traxler and Virginia Tech are wrestling in Moss Arts Center for the fourth time in program history on Saturday. (Ivan Morozov)

The newest installment of one of college wrestling’s most unique traditions will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m. as No. 12 Virginia Tech (4-3, 0-0) hosts George Mason (5-3, 0-0 A10) in the Moss Arts Center.

The Hokies have wrestled in Moss three times before, with wins against Duke in 2019 (46-3) and then No. 22 Virginia in 2018 (30-6). Tech fell to then-No. 4 Missouri (22-12) in its inaugural match in the featured venue back in 2017.

“I remember watching Virginia Tech dual Missouri,” Stanford transfer Nathan Traxler said. “I think I might’ve been a sophomore – I might’ve been a freshman, I don’t remember – in college, and I remember thinking it was super cool. It’s just really awesome to kinda bring it full circle now, getting to experience it for myself. I’m really excited to have that experience.”

Traxler is one of the most experienced wrestlers on VT’s squad that hasn’t suited up in the Moss Arts Center, but his enthusiasm for Saturday’s bout resonates with a few of the team’s younger guys.

“I’m pumped because I’ve been to probably like three or four of them,” redshirt sophomore Sam Latona said. “My brother was here so I’ve been coming to them since I was in high school. I was like ‘Dang, I can’t wait to get on that stage and wrestle,’ so I’m super pumped. It’s going to be fun.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hokies didn’t host a match in Moss in 2020. That means Saturday will be the first Moss experience for many other sophomore wrestlers, like Connor Brady.

“I’m really excited,” Brady said. “I didn’t get to wrestle there last year, so it’s going to be awesome.”

Saturday is the first true dual meet of 2022 for the Hokies after the previous match vs. Binghamton and West Virginia changed formats. This will be the 18th all-time between Virginia Tech and George Mason, a series the Hokies lead 9-8. 

The two programs last met in January of 2016, a match Tech won 32-11 in Fairfax, Va. The Patriots are 5-3 overall and feature one ranked wrestler: No. 23 Alex Madrigal at 149 pounds.

The 4 p.m. match can be viewed on ACC Network Extra.

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