January 17, 2014
Hokies roll past Tar Heels, 29-3
Penny, Walz pick up major decisions
North Carolina3
(16) Virginia Tech 29

BLACKSBURG - Behind major decisions from Chris Penny and Ty Walz to end the night, the 16th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team dominated the University of North Carolina Friday evening inside Cassell Coliseum, winning nine of 10 matches en route to a 29-3 win over the Tar Heels.

Joey Dance, ranked 19th in the country, got things off to a good start as he pulled out a 4-2 sudden victory win over 20th-ranked Nathan Kraisser at 125 pounds. Dance got a reversal in the third period to take a 2-1 lead over the 2013 ACC runner-up, but Kraisser escaped late to send it to overtime. After 55 seconds of hand fighting, Dance shot in and got the double-leg takedown with three seconds left to pull out the exciting win. At 133 pounds, Dennis Gustafson used four takedowns to roll to a 10-3 win over Troy Heilmann to give Tech a 6-0 lead.

UNC got on the board at 141 pounds as sixth-ranked Evan Henderson used a second-period escape and fended off Erik Spjut late from the neutral position to win 1-0 and cut the Tech lead in half. That would be UNC’s only win of the night as the Hokies won the last six bouts. At 149 pounds, 20th-ranked Zach Neibert used a two-point nearfall late in the third period and rode Christian Barber the entire third stanza for a riding time point to pick up a 4-0 win, his 75th career victory.

Moving to 157 pounds, Sal Mastriani rallied from an early 4-2 deficit to pick up three takedowns late and beat Jake Crawford 8-6 to give the Hokies a 12-3 lead at the break. Chris Moon got a reversal and two back points on a nifty combination early in the second period and then wiggled out of a potential nearfall situation late to beat John Staudenmayer 4-3 at 165 pounds.

Down 2-1 after a period at 174 pounds, John Dickson rode Scott Marmoll the entire second period, turning him for three points late in the stanza. In the third period, the senior reversed Marmoll and rode him for another 90 seconds to pick up the 7-2 win. Nick Vetterlein, ranked 17th at 184 pounds, took care of business with three takedowns of Alex Utley to pick up a 7-5 win.

In the final two bouts, Penny rolled to a 14-3 major decision over Frank Abbondanza at 197 pounds with four takedowns and a nearfall combination and then Walz put on a takedown clinic against Bob Coe at heavyweight, using eight of them and nearfall points to pick up the 20-7 major decision.

Tech (12-2, 1-1 ACC) will be back in action on Sunday, hosting the University of Maryland at 4 p.m. Five seniors - Dickson, Neibert, Penny, Spjut and Vetterlein - will be honored before the match.

#16 Virginia Tech (12-2, 1-1 ACC) 29, North Carolina (5-5, 0-1 ACC) 3
125: #19 Joey Dance (VT) dec. #20 Nathan Kraisser, 4-2 (SV)
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Troy Heilmann, 10-3
141: #6 Evan Henderson (NC) dec. Erik Spjut, 1-0
149: #20 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Christian Barber, 4-0
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) dec. Jake Crawford, 8-6
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. John Staudenmayer, 4-3
174: John Dickson (VT) dec. Scott Marmoll, 7-2
184: #17 Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Alex Utley, 7-5
197: Chris Penny (VT) maj. dec. Frank Abbondanza, 14-3
285: #20 Ty Walz (VT) maj. dec. Bob Coe, 20-7

Referee: Eric Eckerman
Attendance: 582

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop