ST. LOUIS - Three Virginia Tech wrestlers picked up wins Thursday morning in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center with two of those being of the upset variety. Overall, Tech went 3-3 in the first session.
At 133 pounds, sixth-seeded Devin Carter took care of Nathan McCormick of Missouri, pinning him in the second period. The sophomore was in control from the beginning, leading 9-1 at the time of the pin.
Zach Neibert (141) and Nick Brascetta (149) took the mats nearly simultaneously and both pulled big upsets. Neibert led 10th-seeded Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska 4-2 early, but found himself trailing 5-4 after being ridden the entire second period with riding time as a factor. But Neibert returned the favor in the final period, riding Sueflohn for the two minutes to erase the riding time and turned him for two back points midway through to pick up the 6-5 upset win. Just a minute later, Brascetta capped off his upset over ninth-seeded David Habat of Edinboro. Scoreless after one period, Brascetta escaped and got a takedown to grab a 3-0 lead. Habat escaped in the third, but Brascetta held him off for the 3-1 win.
Three Hokies were on the short end of the stick. Erik Spjut wrestled sixth-seeded Frank Perelli of Cornell tough, but fell 4-2 at 125 pounds. At 165 pounds, sixth seeded Pete Yates had a rough go of it as he was beaten 13-2 by unseeded Dallas Bailey of Oklahoma State. Yates’ only points were a takedown in the second period, but Bailey got several takedowns, a reversal and back points late, plus riding time to pick up the major decision. Chris Moon ran up against second-seeded and undefeated Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. Despite putting up a good fight, he lost 9-4 and now must battle back through the wrestlebacks starting tonight.
All six wrestlers will be back in action tonight in the second round and in the wrestlebacks. Session II begins at 6:30 p.m. local time, 7:30 Eastern. All will wrestle just one match regardless of if they win or lose. For Spjut, Yates and Moon, if they lose at any point between now and Friday night, they are eliminated.
125: Erik Spjut (0-1)
First Round: lost to #6 seed Frank Perelli (Cornell), 4-2
Wrestlebacks: vs. Johnni DiJulius (Ohio St.)
133: #6 seed Devin Carter (1-0)
First Round: def. Nathan McCormick (Missouri), Fall 4:39
Second Round: vs. #11 Steven Keith (Harvard)
141: Zach Neibert (1-0)
First Round: def. #10 seed Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska), 6-5
Second Round: vs. #7 Nick Nelson (VA)
149: Nick Brascetta (1-0)
First Round: def. #9 seed David Hobat (Edinboro), 3-1
Second Round: vs. #8 Eric Grajales (Michigan)
165: #6 seed Pete Yates (0-1)
First Round: lost to Dallas Bailey (Oklahoma St.), MD 13-2
Wrestlebacks: vs. James Brundage (Rider)
174: Chris Moon (0-1)
First Round: lost to #2 seed Chris Perry (Oklahoma St.), 9-4
Wrestlebacks: vs. Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg)
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