HAMPTON, Va. - The 15th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team opened competition at the 34th annual Virginia Duals on Friday with a pair of impressive wins inside the Hampton Coliseum. The Hokies, seeded third in the 14-team tournament, opened with a 27-6 win over Division II Nebraska-Kearney before dispatching of Rider 25-9 in the quarterfinals. Tech won 15 of the 20 matches wrestled on the day in opening defense of its 2013 Virginia Duals crown.
In the first match of the day, the Hokies defeated UNK, which is ranked second in the latest D-II national poll. Sal Mastriani picked up a technical fall and Chris Penny beat the top-ranked guy in the D-II poll at 197 pounds to highlight the win.
In the quarterfinals, Tech’s two ranked wrestlers - Joey Dance (125) and Zach Neibert (149) - both lost, but the Hokies won five of the last six bouts to pull away from Rider. Mastriani again picked up bonus points, this time with a major decision, and Penny won by injury default to pick up six team points.
“Good effort equals good results,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “Tomorrow, things get much tougher. We need to be ready to rumble come Saturday!”
The Hokies will be back in action on Saturday at 2 p.m., taking on 14th-ranked and second-seeded Edinboro in the semifinals. Tech beat the Scots earlier this season in Blacksburg, 23-14, but the Hokies had the services of third-ranked Devin Carter at 141 pounds, who picked up a pin. Carter is out with a torn hamstring. Edinboro also didn’t have top-ranked 141-pounder Mitchell Port for that dual, so the Hokies will have to find some points from other starters in the lineup.
Top-seeded Virginia and fourth-seeded Kent State will meet in the other semifinal.
If the Hokies beat Edinboro, they’ll wrestle in the championship bout at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. A loss would send them to the third-place match, also at 8:30 p.m., against the loser of the other semifinal.
#15 Virginia Tech (9-1) 27, #2 (D-II) Nebraska-Kearney (3-1) 6
125: #18 Joey Dance (VT) dec. Connor Bolling, 5-3
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) maj. dec. Ryan Bauer, 17-5
141: #3 (D-II) Brock Coutu (UNK) dec. Erik Spjut, 8-5
149: #19 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Tyler Anderson, 5-1
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) tech fall Colton Johnson, 24-7
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Travis Leiskau, 6-2
174: #4 (D-II) Patrick Martinez (UNK) dec. John Dickson, 5-2
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Mark Fiala, 6-3
197: Chris Penny (VT) dec. #1 (D-II) Romero Cotton, 7-1
285: Ty Walz (VT) dec. Kelsey Empting, 4-3
#15 Virginia Tech (10-1) 25, Rider (7-4) 9
125: #16 Rob Deutsch (R) dec. #18 Joey Dance, 4-3 (TB-2)
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Chuck Zeisloft, 5-4
141: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Paul Kirchner, 2-1
149: Curt Delia (R) dec. #19 Zach Neibert, 5-4
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) maj. dec. Wayne Stinson, 17-6
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Ramon Santiago, 7-4
174: Jim Resnick (R) dec. John Dickson, 7-6
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Clint Morrison, 6-4
197: Chris Penny (VT) inj. def. Donald McNeil, 2:56
285: Ty Walz (VT) dec. Greg Velasco, 5-1
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_Wrestling