CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The ninth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team won seven of the eight matches contested Saturday inside Carmichael Auditorium, downing the University of North Carolina 32-9.
Things got off to a rough start for the Hokies as 13th-ranked Nathan Krausser pulled the upset for the Tar Heels at 125 pounds, beating fourth-ranked Jarrod Garnett 9-2. Kraisser, who Friday night upset Virginia’s sixth-ranked Matt Snyder, took down Garnett and turned him for three points in the first period and then got two more takedowns in the third period to ice the win. The loss was just the ninth dual meet defeat in 65 career matches for the senior from Newark, Del.
At 133 pounds, Erik Spjut got a takedown with 17 seconds left to battle back from an early deficit and break a 4-4 tie to beat UNC’s Joey Ward 6-5 to tie the team score back up. The Hokies forfeited at 141 pounds to make it 9-3 in favor of the Tar Heels, but sixth-ranked Nick Brascetta dominated the action at 149 pounds, using three takedowns to beat Christian Barber, 8-2.
Jesse Dong got a forfeit win at 157 pounds to give Tech a 12-9 at the halfway mark and then fifth-ranked Pete Yates used a takedown and two separate, three-point nearfall combinations in the second period to pitch a 10-0 shut out of John Staudenmayer at 165 pounds.
The most exciting match of the bout came at 174 pounds with Tech’s Austin Gabel and UNC’s Tanner Eitel needing the tiebreaker to settle things. Tied at 1-1 after regulation and sudden victory, Gabel started the tiebreaker on the bottom and escaped late, but dove right back in on Eitel’s legs to get the takedown at the buzzer. Eitel was able to escape in his portion of the session, but Gabel held on for the big 4-2 win.
After giving up a takedown early, Nick Vetterlein used four takedowns, including two big ones in the second period, to pull away from UNC’s Alex Utley and pick up a 10-6 win at 184 pounds.
Derrick Borlie had his way with UNC’s Frank Abbondanza at 197 pounds, using five takedowns and a nearfall combination to roll to the 15-3 major decision. At heavyweight, David Marone made quick work of Cody Klempay, pinning him at the 1:30 mark in the first period. It was the first pin of the season for the sixth-year senior.
“Overall, it was a decent team performance,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “A job well done by Spjut and Gabel winning in a couple of toss-up matches. We have some guys who are learning how to grind and we have some guys who still need to get a lot better at it.”
With the win, the Hokies moved to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. The Tar Heels dropped to 4-4, 0-2 in the league. Tech will be back in action Sunday, hosting NC State at 2 p.m. inside Cassell Coliseum. Admission is free.
#9 Virginia Tech (10-2, 3-0 ACC) 32, North Carolina (4-4, 0-2 ACC) 9
125: #13 Nathan Kraisser (NC) dec. #4 Jarrod Garnett, 9-2
133: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Joey Ward, 6-5
141: #8 Evan Henderson (NC) wins by forfeit
149: #6 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. Christian Barber, 8-2
157: #7 Jesse Dong (VT) wins by forfeit
165: #5 Pete Yates (VT) maj. dec. John Staudenmayer, 10-0
174: Austin Gabel (VT) dec. Tanner Eitel, 4-2 (TB-1)
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Alex Utley, 10-6
197: Derrick Borlie (VT) maj. dec. Frank Abbondanza, 15-3
285: David Marone (VT) fall Cody Klempay, 1:30
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).