HAMPTON, Va. - The 15th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team wrapped up competition at the 34th annual Virginia Duals on Saturday by splitting a pair of matches inside the Hampton Coliseum to place third at the prestigious event. The Hokies, seeded third in the 14-team tournament, opened the day with a 23-9 loss to 14th-ranked and second-seeded Edinboro before beating Kent State 19-16 in the third-place match.
In the third-place bout, Joey Dance got the Hokies off to a good start with a win, but the Golden Flashes won the next two matches to take a 7-3 lead. Nineteenth-ranked Zach Neibert rolled to an 11-1 major decision at 149 pounds to tie it up and then Sal Mastriani picked up the highlight of the weekend with a first-period pin of fifth-ranked Ian Miller at 157 pounds. Miller pinned Mastriani in the first dual match, but Mastriani got the pin just one minute in. For the weekend, Mastriani picked up a major decision, a technical fall and a pin.
The Golden Flashes won the next three bouts to set up a winner-take-all heavyweight bout between Tech’s Ty Walz and Kent State’s Mimmo Lytle. Tied at 1-1 in the third period, Walz got in on a leg and converted the takedown to propel him to the 3-2 win that would give the Hokies the team win.
“Our fight was good in most places,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “I’m excited for the progress at 157 pounds. We need to have a great week to get ready for UNC and Maryland.”
Each team won five matches, just like the first time the two teams met, but Mastriani’s upset win and bonus points proved to be the difference in the nip-and-tuck affair.
The University of Virginia won the team title, beating Edinboro in the finals, 20-19. After no Virginia school won the Virginia Duals in the first 32 years of the event, a school from the Commonwealth has won the event the past two seasons after the Hokies won the event last year.
Tech (11-3) will be back in action next weekend, hosting a pair of ACC matches. The Hokies will take on the University of North Carolina on Friday night at 7 p.m. before taking on the University of Maryland Sunday at 4 p.m. in a Senior Day match. Both bouts will take place inside Cassell Coliseum and are free for fans to attend. The UNC match will be broadcast live on ESPN3 while Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on HokiesXtra.
#14 Edinboro (4-2) 23, #15 Virginia Tech (10-2) 9
125: #17 Kory Mines (E) dec. #18 Joey Dance, 2-0
133: #4 A.J. Schopp (E) maj. dec. Dennis Gustafson, 11-2
141: #1 Mitchell Port (E) maj. dec. Erik Spjut, 12-3
149: #14 Dave Habat (E) dec. #19 Zach Neibert, 5-3
157: #18 Johnny Greisheimer (E) dec. Sal Mastriani, 7-2
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Zach Towers, 7-3
174: Patrick Jennings (E) dec. John Dickson, 7-4
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Nick Mitchell, 3-2
197: Chris Penny (VT) dec. Vince Pickett, 5-3
285: #17 Ernest James (E) dec. Ty Walz, 3-1 (SV)
#15 Virginia Tech (11-2) 19, Kent State (7-6) 16
125: #18 Joey Dance (VT) dec. Alfredo Gray, 3-1
133: #18 Mac McGuire (KS) maj. dec. Dennis Gustafson, 8-0
141: Tyler Small (KS) dec. Erik Spjut, 4-0
149: #19 Zach Neibert (VT) maj. dec. Michael DePalma, 11-1
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) fall #5 Ian Miller, 1:00
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Tyler Buckwalter, 5-3
174: Caleb Marsh (KS) dec. John Dickson, 11-4
184: #9 Sam Wheeler (KS) dec. Nick Vetterlein, 9-6
197: Cole Baxter (KS) dec. Chris Penny, 6-4
285: Ty Walz (VT) dec. Mimmo Lytle, 3-2
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