SALEM, Va. - The eighth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team opened up its season with a convincing 28-9 win over Hofstra Friday night at the Salem Civic Center. Bolstered by pins from Chris Penny and Devin Carter, the Hokies rolled to their first win ever against the Pride.
Action kicked off at 184 pounds with Nick Vetterlein taking a 14-6 major decision and Chris Penny picking up a first-period pin to set the tone for Tech. Redshirt freshman Ty Walz made his collegiate debut, picking up an exciting 6-4 victory in sudden victory of Michael Hughes to give Tech a 13-0 lead.
Heralded freshman Joey Dance then debuted at 125 and pulled out a 3-1 win for his first collegiate win before the Pride got on the board at 133 pounds as Jamel Hudson beat Erik Spjut 9-5. One of the featured bouts was up next as Tech’s Devin Carter, ranked third in the country, and Hofstra’s Luke Vaith, ranked 11th, squared off at 141 pounds. Carter came out firing and put this one away quickly, pinning Vaith with five seconds left in the first period. Fifth-ranked Zach Neibert struggled a little bit at his new weight of 149 pounds, but put away Cody Ruggirello late for the 13-9 win to give Tech a 23-3 lead.
Hofstra got three more points at 157 pounds with Nick Terdick’s 10-6 win over Sal Mastriani and continued its run when 11th-ranked Joseph Booth hung on for a 5-3 win over 16th-ranked Chris Moon. Seventeenth-ranked Austin Gabel finished the night on a positive note for the squad, picking up a 5-1 win to account for the final score.
Tech (1-0) will be back in action on Sunday, wrestling three dual matches as part of the Hokie Duals at the Civic Center. Tech will take on Kent State (9 a.m.), Chattanooga (11 a.m.) and VMI (1 p.m.) The Hokie Open will also take place on five other matches in an open tournament that begins at 10 a.m.
#8 Virginia Tech (1-0) 28, Hofstra (0-2) 9
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) maj. dec. Dwight Howes, 14-6
197: Chris Penny (VT) fall David Heitman, 2:57
285: Ty Walz (VT) dec. Michael Hughes, 6-4 (SV)
125: #20 Joey Dance (VT) dec. Jamie Franco, 3-1
133: Jamel Hudson (H) dec. #17 Erik Spjut, 9-5
141: #3 Devin Carter (VT) fall #11 Luke Vaith, 2:55
149: #5 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Cody Ruggirello, 13-9
157: Nick Terdick (H) dec. Sal Mastriani, 10-6
165: #11 Joseph Booth (H) dec. #16 Chris Moon, 5-3
174: #17 Austin Gabel (VT) dec. Victor Pozsonyi, 5-1
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).