LAS VEGAS - The Virginia Tech wrestling team is battered and bruised, but six Hokies remain alive in the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational after one day of action in the desert. Junior Devin Carter, seeded second at 141 pounds, is the lone Tech wrestler to advance to the semifinals, but tweaked a hamstring in his quarterfinal bout and had to gut out a 14-11 win on basically one leg just to advance. Tech had four wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals, but only Carter won to stay in the championship bracket.
Carter opened up with a pair of pins to give him 30 for his career and move him into third place all-time at Tech. In his quarterfinal match, he raced out to an 11-4 lead over Virginia’s Joe Spisak before hurting the hamstring. He hung on for the 14-11 win, but now must see how the muscle responds overnight. Carter, ranked third in the country, is 12-0 on the season.
Joey Dance won his first match, but dropped his second-round bout at 125 pounds. The freshman won his next two matches to advance to Saturday’s action. At 133 Dennis Gustafson lost his opening bout, but rallied for three wins to stay alive in the tournament.
Chris Moon won his first match of the day at 165 pounds, but was injured during the bout and while he finished the match, he forfeited out after that. Chad Strube went 1-2 at 157 pounds and was eliminated. Ty Walz was seeded third at heavyweight, but went 2-2 to get eliminated.
“It was a rough day for the Hokies,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “We came out here to test our toughness and tomorrow will do just that. Unfortunately, 165 pounds [Moon] has a knee sprain and it looks like 141 pounds [Carter] might be a scratch.”
Tech sits in ninth place with 37.5 points after the first day.
Competition resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. local time (noon Eastern) with consolations. The session featuring the semifinals and more consolations culminating with the fifth- and seventh-place matches begins at 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. Eastern) and the finals and third-place matches begin at 3 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Eastern).
Here are all the results from Tech’s nine wrestlers competing:
125: Joey Dance (8th seed; 3-1)
First Round: def. Brendan Campbell (Navy), MD 10-2
Second Round: lost to #19 David Terao (American), 3-2
Consolations: def. A.J. Salazar (Grand Canyon), 10-4 *
Consolations: def. Rami Haddadin (Boise State), 6-4 (SV)
Consolations: vs. Nick Roberts (Ohio State) - SATURDAY
133: Dennis Gustafson (3-1)
First Round: lost to #4 Joe Colon (Northern Iowa), TF 18-3 (6:45)
Consolations: def. Alfredo Orozco (Western Wyoming College), TF 15-0 (3:29) *
Consolations: def. Aaron Hansen (Citadel), MD 14-5
Consolations: def. Chasen Tolbert (Utah Valley University), 8-6
Consolations: vs. Rosario Bruno (Michigan) - SATURDAY
141: Devin Carter (2nd seed; 3-0)
First Round: def. Dylan Phillipy (San Francisco State), Fall (1:05) *
Second Round: def. Austin Solari (Grand Canyon), Fall (1:05) *
Quarterfinals: def. #11 Joe Spisak (Virginia), 14-11
Semifinals: vs. Anthony Abidin (Nebraska) - SATURDAY
157: Chad Strube (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. Chayse Jackson (Grand Canyon), MD 9-0
Second Round: lost to #5 R.J. Peña (Oregon State), MD 11-2
Consolations: lost to Brady Bersano (California Baptist), 8-7 *
165: Chris Moon (6th seed; 1-0; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. Vincent Aboytes (San Francisco State), 6-0 *
174: Austin Gabel (6th seed; 2-1)
First Round: def. Patrick Kissel (Purdue), 4-3
Second Round: def. Kevin Radford (Arizona State), 5-3
Quarterfinals: lost to #16 Stephen Doty (Virginia), 4-0
Consolations: vs. Eric Morris (Harvard) - SATURDAY
184: Nick Vetterlein (9th seed; 2-1)
First Round: def. James Suvak (Virginia), MD 12-4
Second Round: def. #11 Trent Weatherman (Iowa State), 8-6
Quarterfinals: lost to #4 Jacob Swartz (Boise State), 8-2
Consolations: vs. Shayne Brady (North Carolina State) - SATURDAY
197: Chris Penny (10th seed; 2-1)
First Round: def. Chace Eskam (Arizona State), 4-3
Second Round: def. James Fox (Harvard), Fall (4:52)
Quarterfinals: lost to #5 Travis Rutt (Oklahoma), 8-5
Consolations: vs. Zach Nye (Virginia) - SATURDAY
285: Ty Walz (3rd seed; 2-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. Peter Anguiano (Grand Canyon), 13-6 *
Second Round: lost to Ethan Hayes (Virginia), 4-3
Consolations: def. Marcus Malecek (Air Force), MD 16-5
Consolations: lost to Blaize Cabel (Northern Iowa), 9-7
* - counts toward overall record but not toward NCAA qualification as competitor is not a Division I wrestler
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