BLACKSBURG - The 12th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling squad came oh-so-close to knocking off fifth-ranked Ohio State on Friday night inside Cassell Coliseum, but the Buckeyes pulled out a pair of one-point wins in crucial bouts, and won the other close contests, to take down the Hokies 23-10 in front of 1,623 fans.
Jarrod Garnett, Nick Brascetta and Pete Yates all picked up big wins, but it was the pair of one-point wins, along with a technical fall early, that proved to be the difference in a top-15 battle.
“I knew before this match started that it was going to come down to who won the close matches,” head coach Kevin Dresser said. “We lost a close match at 141. We lost a close match at 157. We lost a close match at 174. We lost a close match at 197 and we lost a close match at heavyweight. So it was the same thing as last year. We’ve got to figure it out, but it’s early. I’m not too stressed out about it, but it’s never fun losing.”
The action started at 125 pounds with a pair of ranked wrestlers, but ninth-ranked Garnett dominated 13th-ranked Nikko Triggas, picking up a 10-2 major decision to give Tech a quick 4-0 lead. Garnett picked up three takedowns and a nearfall in the first period to run away with the win. The victory was the 98th of the redshirt senior’s career. The Buckeyes responded with a pair of wins to take back the lead as the Steiber Brothers picked up eight team points. Top-ranked and defending national champion Logan Steiber earned five points with a 19-4 technical fall over Erik Spjut at 133 pounds before third-ranked Hunter Steiber downed 11th-ranked Zach Neibert of Tech by a score of 8-5.
The Hokies got a big win at 149 pounds when 18th-ranked Brascetta earned a 5-3 win over eighth-ranked Cam Tessari with a reversal and takedown in the third period to make it 8-7 in favor of Ohio State. Lex Ozias, filling in for seventh-ranked Jesse Dong at 157 pounds, had a 2-1 lead on 13th-ranked Josh Demas of OSU in the third period, but Demas got an escape and a point for a minute of riding time to pull out a key 3-2 win and extend the Buckeyes’ lead.
The fourth-ranked Yates jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Mark Martin at 165 pounds and rolled to a 7-1 win to cut it back to a one-point lead for the Buckeyes after six matches.
The Hokies came close to pulling off a huge upset at 174 pounds with Austin Gabel, but third-ranked Nick Heflin got an escape in the first tiebreaker and held Ozias down to record a 3-2 win over the redshirt freshman from Tech. The Buckeyes put it away with a big win at 184 pounds. Kenny Courts broke open a 3-3 tie with Tech’s Nick Vetterlein to pull away for the 11-6 win and give the Buckeyes a seven-point lead with just two matches left. Derrick Borlie, wrestling his first dual match for the Hokies after transferring from Wisconsin, held his own against 14th-ranked C.J. Magrum, but a late takedown from the Buckeye iced the bout and the dual meet as Magrum won 7-4.
The heavyweight bout featured the return of Tech’s David Marone, who is back for a sixth year after tearing his ACL against Ohio State last year. In his first action back, he got a reversal in the third period, but Peter Capone got a pair of takedowns late to take the 6-3 win and give OSU the 23-10 win.
Tech (0-1) will be back in action Saturday, serving as the hosts for the Hokie Duals inside Cassell Coliseum. Campbell, Manchester, Wisconsin and the Hokies will wrestle four matches starting at 10:30 a.m. Tech will take on No. 25 Wisconsin at 2 p.m. and then Manchester at 3:45 p.m.
#5 Ohio State (2-0) 23, #12 Virginia Tech (0-1) 10
Nov. 16, 2012 • Blacksburg, Va.
Cassell Coliseum • Att: 1,623
125: #9 Jarrod Garnett (VT) maj. dec. #13 Nikko Triggas, 10-2
133: #1 Logan Steiber (OSU) tech fall Erik Spjut, 19-4 (7:00)
141: #3 Hunter Steiber (OSU) dec. #11 Zach Neibert, 8-5
149: #18 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. #8 Cam Tessari, 5-3
157: #13 Josh Demas (OSU) dec. Lex Ozias, 3-2
165: #4 Pete Yates (VT) dec. Mark Martin, 7-1
174: #3 Nick Heflin (OSU) dec. Austin Gabel, 2-1 (TB)
184: Kenny Courts (OSU) dec. Nick Vetterlein, 11-6
197: #14* C.J. Magrum (OSU) dec. Derrick Borlie, 7-4
285: #15 Peter Capone (OSU) dec. #20 David Marone, 6-3
* - ranked at 184 lbs.
rankings used are from Amateur Wrestling News
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).