BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - Ten Virginia Tech wrestlers will head to the campus of the University of Maryland this weekend to compete in Saturday’s 2013 ACC Championships in hopes of bringing home an individual title and advancing to the NCAA Championships.
The official championship website is here and it has links to directions, ticket information, times, Twitter feeds, the brackets and more. The brackets were released Tuesday and are linked to the right.
For the second year in a row, the entire event will be broadcast on ESPN3, an internet-only production. Additionally, there will be live brackets updating within seconds of a match finishing for those who can’t get ESPN3. The link to that can be found on the championship website.
Admission to the Comcast Center is $10 at the door or $5 in advance. Information on how to purchase tickets can be found on the championship website. Doors open at 10 a.m. and action gets underway at 11 a.m. The semifinals start at 1 p.m. and the consolation semifinals take place at 3:30. The consolation finals start at 5 p.m. and the finals begin at 7 p.m.
Tech will only have two wrestlers going in the first round with a chance to earn bonus points. The other eight are all seeded in the top two of their respective weight class and will receive a bye. Based on the scoring system, a wrestler only receives points for the bye if they win their next match.
Tech has never won the ACC title, finishing second twice (2006 and 2011). In the progran’s history, 12 different Hokie wrestlers have won an ACC crown, and four of them will have a chance at another crown this year. Jarrod Garnett has won two titles at 125, Nick Brascetta won the title last year at 157, Jesse Dong has won two 157-pound crowns and Pete Yates won at 165 pounds last year. Jon Bonilla-Bowman (2007; co), Matt Epperly (2008) and Yates (2012) are the only Hokies to take home tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Virginia Tech’s last conference tournament title came in 1998 when it won the Colonial Athletic Association crown. The team also won the title in 1993 and won seven Southern Conference titles (1955, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963). The most NCAA qualifiers Tech has had in one trip to the Championships was eight back in 2009. With a good showing Saturday, all 10 could make the trip this year.
Below is the lineup that will take the mat for the Hokies this weekend, with their seed before their name and their overall record and ACC dual meet records in parenthesis, followed by their first mtachup.
125: #2 seed Jarrod Garnett (25-2; 4-1) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 Shane Gentry [MD]/#6 Peter Terrezza [Duke])
133: #3 seed Erik Spjut (14-10; 3-2) - vs. #6 seed Sam Speno (NCSU)
141: #2 seed Zach Neibert (15-8; 2-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 Joe Spisak [VA]/#6 Tanner Hough [Duke])
149: #1 seed Nick Brascetta (25-4; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 Christian Barber [NC]/#5 Tommy Gantt [NCSU])
157: #1 seed Jesse Dong (21-3; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 Matt Nereim [NCSU]/#5 Chris Mears [NC])
165: #1 seed Pete Yates (28-1; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 Nigel Jones [NCSU]/#5 Randy Roden [Duke])
174: #3 seed Austin Gabel (17-10; 3-2) - vs. #6 seed Patrick Davis (NCSU)
184: #2 seed Nick Vetterlein (16-10; 4-1) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 Stephen Doty [VA]/#6 Keegan Cerwinski [NCSU])
197: #2 seed Derrick Borlie (17-9; 4-1) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 Mike Salopek [VA]/#6 Frank Abbondanza [NC])
285: #1 seed David Marone (14-9; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 Mike Kosoy [NCSU]/#5 Brian Self [Duke])
Each of these 10 men will be looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, held March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. To make it to the Big Dance, each must finish a certain place or higher at the ACCs to automatically qualify (ex: place in top 4 at 141 or win heavyweight). If they don’t, they’ll be at the mercy of the selection committee, who will choose at-large selections and announce them March 13. Below are the spots each wrestler must finish at or above to automatically qualify from the ACC.
Below are the wrestlers who earned automatic spots for the conference at each class. If any of these competitors do not compete Saturday for any reason, the ACC would lose the automatic qualifier spot for that weight class. Tech led the way with 10 guys earning spots while UVa had eight. Just because a guy earned a spot for the conference doesn’t mean he’s qualified for the NCAAs; he must still finish within the parameters of the qualification spot at the respective weight class or else hope for an at-large spot.
125: 4 (Garnett, Kraisser, Snyder, Gentry)
133: 5 (DiCamillo, Alexander, Spjut, Gambucci, Ward)
141: 4 (Henderson, Neibert, Spisak, Hunt)
149: 2 (Brascetta, Valenti)
157: 2 (Dong, Moore)
165: 3 (Yates, Sulzer, Jones)
174: 3 (Asper, Fausey, Gabel)
184: 4 (Sheptock, Vetterlein, Doty, Utley)
197: 2 (Boley, Borlie)
285: 1 (Marone)
ACC Championships Scoring
Championship Advancement: 1.0
Consolation Advancement: .5
Advancement After Bye (win only): 1.0
Tech Fall (w/near fall): 1.5
Tech Fall (w/o near fall): 1.0
Major Decision: 1.0
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).