HAMPTON, Va. - The second-seeded Virginia Tech wrestling team rolled into the finals of the Virginia Duals with a 23-10 victory over 16th-ranked and third-seeded Edinboro Saturday afternoon in the semifinals, setting up Tech’s first championship appearance at the event.
Fourth-ranked Jarrod Garnett got a takedown with less than 30 seconds left to break a 4-4 tie, and then picked up a point for riding time to beat Kory Mines 7-4 at 125 pounds to kick things off. At 133 pounds, Erik Spjut scored the only offensive points of the match with a takedown in the first period, but fourth-ranked A.J. Schopp got three escapes, including the only one in the tiebreaker, to win 3-2. Edinboro won its second match in a row when fifth-ranked Mitchell Port picked up a 15-5 major decision over Tech’s Zach Neibert at 141 pounds.
Nick Brascetta, ranked sixth in the country at 149 pounds, had to work extra time to pick up a hard-fought 2-1 win over 19th-ranked Dave Habat. In the tiebreaker, Brascetta rode Habat for 30 seconds and then escaped in his half with 5 seconds left to win. At 157 pounds, sixth-ranked Jesse Dong came up one point short of a bonus point, but still earned a 7-0 win over Michael DePalma to give the Hokies the lead. The win was the 99th of his career in a Tech singlet.
Pete Yates got bonus points for the Hokies at 165 pounds, picking up a 14-3 major decision over Johnny Greisheimer to give Tech a six-point lead. Austin Gabel was impressive at 174 pounds, using three takedowns to beat Patrick Jennings 9-2 to stretch Tech’s lead to nine points. Nick Vetterlein had his way with Vince Pickett, using several takedowns to pull out an 11-5 win at 184 pounds.
Derrick Borlie dominated Warren Bosch, an opponent he was pinned by earlier this season, taking him down five times en route to a 12-3 major decision at 197 pounds to wrap up the team match. Seventeenth-ranked Ernest James downed Ernest James at heavyweight, 3-2, to end the match.
Tech (8-2) will now wrestle an old foe in the finals of the Duals as the Hokies will face fourth-seeded and 19th-ranked Virginia at 8:15 p.m. Tech beat Virginia 25-6 earlier this year in Blacksburg. No Virginia team has ever won the Virginia Duals, but that will change tonight.
#10 Virginia Tech (8-2) 23, #16 Edinboro (6-2) 10
125: #4 Jarrod Garnett (VT) dec. Kory Mines, 7-4
133: #4 A.J. Schopp (E) dec. Erik Spjut, 3-2 (TB-1)
141: #5 Mitchell Port (E) maj. dec. #13 Zach Neibert, 15-5
149: #6 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. #19 Dave Habat, 2-1 (TB-1)
157: #6 Jesse Dong (VT) dec. Michael DePalma, 7-0
165: #5 Pete Yates (VT) maj. dec. Johnny Greisheimer, 14-3
174: Austin Gabel (VT) dec. Patrick Jennings, 9-2
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Vince Pickett, 11-5
197: Derrick Borlie (VT) maj. dec. Warren Bosch, 12-3
285: #17 Ernest James (E) dec. Dan Garwood, 3-2
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).