NORFOLK, Va. - After suffering its first defeat of the season two days ago, the 12th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling rebounded with a dominating 29-3 win over Old Dominion Tuesday night at the Constant Center. The Hokies won nine of the 10 matches and picked up bonus points at two weights to cruise to 8-1 on the season. Old Dominion fell to 2-3 with the loss.
“I was impressed with our sense of urgency tonight,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “Starting four freshmen this year will provide some ups and downs, so our effort, had to rock each time out. Our effort rocked tonight and we learned a lot from our Sunday loss. Losing isn’t always a bad thing.”
The match got started at 165 pounds with Tech’s 20th-ranked Chris Moon earning a bonus point with an 11-2 major decision over ODU’s Dillon Geoghegan. At 174 pounds, Austin Gabel took care of Billy Curling, 5-2. Nick Vetterlein then built upon Sunday’s big upset win over No. 9 Jon Fausey of Virginia with a 14-5 major decision over Austin Coburn at 184 pounds.
At 197 pounds, Chris Penny jumped out to a quick lead, but had to fend off an attacking Kevin Beazley late to hold on for a 5-4 win to make it 14-0. At heavyweight, freshman Ty Walz used three takedowns to propel him to a 7-4 win over Matt Tourdot to move him to 9-0 on the season. Moving to 125 pounds, 17th-ranked Joey Dance got a takedown in the third period to tie it up, but Brandon Jeske reversed him late to pull ahead 5-3. Dance escaped with 20 seconds left and got a last-second takedown to storm back for the 6-5 win.
At 133 pounds, freshman Dennis Gustafson picked up his first official college victory, even though he had seven as an unattached wrestler earlier, picking up four takedowns in a dominating 9-3 decision over Scott Festejo. The big match of the evening pitted third-ranked Devin Carter of Tech and ninth-ranked Chris Mecate of ODU at 141 pounds, but while Mecate became the first wrestler this season not to give up bonus points to Carter, he still was the victim in the match, falling 9-3. Carter got off to a quick start with a takedown and nearfall in the first period and used another takedown in the second period before capping it with an escape and a point for riding time as he moved to 9-0 on the season. Carter is now 80-12 for his career and 41-6 in dual matches.
The final two bouts saw 12th-ranked Zach Neibert battle back from an early takedown with a reversal and a takedown of his own to beat Lenny Richardson, 5-3, at 149 pounds, but ODU finally got on the board in the last match as Tristan Warner beat Sal Mastriani 7-2 at 157 pounds to avoid the shutout.
The 26-point win is the biggest for the Hokies over ODU since Tech registered a 25-point win (31-6) in 2011.
Tech will send some wrestlers to the Mat Town Open this weekend and then the starters will head to Las Vegas on Dec. 6 and 7 for the Las Vegas Invitational.
#12 Virginia Tech (8-1) 29, Old Dominion (2-3) 3
165: #20 Chris Moon (VT) maj. dec. Dillon Geoghegan, 11-2
174: Austin Gabel (VT) dec. Billy Curling, 5-2
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) maj. dec. Austin Coburn, 14-5
197: Chris Penny (VT) dec. Kevin Beazley, 5-4
285: #14 Ty Walz (VT) dec. Matt Tourdot, 7-4
125: #17 Joey Dance (VT) dec. Brandon Jeske, 6-5
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Scott Festejo, 9-3
141: #3 Devin Carter (VT) dec. #9 Chris Mecate, 9-3
149: #12 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Lenny Richardson, 5-3
157: Tristan Warner (ODU) dec. Sal Mastriani, 7-2
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).