Moc Wrestlers Travel to Wolfpack Open on Sunday

Friday, November 9, 2012
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team travels to Raleigh, N.C., for the Wolfpack Open this weekend. The Mocs will compete against 250-300 wrestlers from across the country in 10 weight classifications.

Hosted by N.C. State, a total of 15 teams will be represented, including Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Action begins at 9:00 a.m. (E.S.T.) in Reynolds Coliseum. A link for live results is available on the wrestling schedule page on

The Mocs have two individuals ranked in the InterMat Top-20 this week. Coming off a win at the Hokie Open, sophomore Nick Soto has moved up to No. 8 in the nation at 125. Senior Dean Pavlou is ranked for the first time at 141, checking in at No. 20 this week.

Sophomore Nick Soto is the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week after going 6-1 in the opening weekend. He won the 125-pound title at the Hokie Open, posting a 10-9 win over No. 6 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech in the finals on Sunday. His only loss was to No. 9 Matthew Snyder in a dual match with Virginia on Saturday. It is the third weekly honor for Soto in his career.

The Mocs were selected as the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference title by the league's coaches. UTC has won 28 SoCon titles since joining the league in 1978. Head coach Heath Eslinger's squad claimed the tournament crown in 2012, received four of eight first-place votes and 46 points overall, narrowly edging The Citadel.

1. Chattanooga (4) - 46
2. The Citadel (4) - 44
3. Campbell - 35
4. Appalachian State - 33
5. Gardner-Webb - 25
6. VMI - 20
7. SIU- Edwardsville - 14
8. Davidson - 7

Head coach Heath Eslinger's squad boasts three members on the preseason All-SoCon team. After winning the 2012 title at 133 pounds, sophomore Nick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) will drop down to 125 and was the preseason selection there. Senior Dean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.), a two-time SoCon champion at 149, is the preseason pick at 141 this year. Senior Niko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) earned the selection at 197.

The UTC wrestling team recorded the nation's 13th highest grade-point-average for the 2011-12 season according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The Mocs posted a 3.15 g.p.a. among its starters and top reserves in 2011-12.

Between home dual matches and the Southern Scuffle, the Mocs will bring six of the top seven teams from the 2012 NCAA Championships to the Scenic City during the 2012-13 season. Highlighted by a Nov. 16 visit from Iowa, the Mocs home schedule features seven events, including the return of the prestigious Southern Scuffle.

The Scuffle (Jan. 1-2) will feature NCAA Champion Penn State, runner-up Minnesota and top-five finishers Cornell and Oklahoma State. No. 7 Illinois visits Maclellan Gym for a dual meet in Jan. 6 and there are five home Southern Conference duals. Season and single-match tickets are on sale now at the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online at

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