CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The 17th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team rolled past ACC rival Duke University 33-4 Friday night in front of a packed house at Charlotte Latin School in head coach Kevin Dresser’s 150th dual match at the helm of the Hokies. Tech won seven of the eight matches wrestled (nine of 10 overall) in improving to 14-2 overall, 3-1 in the ACC.
After Duke forfeited at both heavyweight and 125 pounds to start the match, Dennis Gustafson got things off to a great start at 133 pounds. The true freshman trailed early, but battled back with a takedown and nearfall points to take a lead. Duke’s Evan Botwin held a 9-7 lead late with a win in sight before Gustafson picked up a reversal and three nearfall points in the waning seconds to pick up the wild 12-9 victory.
Erik Spjut controlled the action at 141 pounds, rolling to an 11-5 win over Xaviel Ramos before 19th-ranked Zach Neibert picked up an 11-6 win over Jake Faust at 149 pounds despite giving up several takedowns.
Duke got on the board at 157 pounds as Immanuel Kerr-Brown remained undefeated in ACC duals with a 16-4 major decision over Tech’s Sal Mastriani. Chris Moon used a pair of takedowns to beat Marcus Cain 4-0 at 165 pounds and then John Dickson rallied for a big win at 174 pounds. After taking a 3-1 lead, Dickson gave up an escape and a takedown to Trey Adamson to fall behind 4-3. The senior escaped with 15 seconds left and then got the takedown in sudden victory to pick up the 6-4 win.
At 184 pounds, 18th-ranked Nick Vetterlein used five takedowns to defeat Dylan Ryan 13-6 before 16th-ranked Chris Penny used a takedown with 30 seconds left and then held on late to beat Conner Hartmann 6-5 at 197 pounds in the final bout of the night.
“We had a good effort considering we had some major travel issues today,” said head coach Kevin Dresser. “The guys sat on I-77 for an extra three hours with a broken bus, but sometimes you have to get it done under less than desirable circumstances. Today was a train wreck!”
Dresser is now 107-43 in his time as Virginia Tech’s head coach. His 107 wins are the third-most in program history, trailing just Frank Teske (122; 23 years) and Jerry Cheynet (188; 22 years).
The two teams participated in the event at Charlotte Latin School in an effort to support Wounded Warrior Project.
Tech will be back in action on Sunday, taking on NC State at 2 p.m. inside Reynolds Coliseum. NC State defeated Campbell Friday night to improve to 11-3 overall.
#17 Virginia Tech (14-2, 3-1 ACC) 33, Duke (4-8, 0-3 ACC) 4
285: #18 Ty Walz (VT) wins by forfeit
125: #17 Joey Dance (VT) wins by forfeit
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Evan Botwin, 12-9
141: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Xaviel Ramos, 11-5
149: #19 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Jake Faust, 11-6
157: Immanuel Kerr-Brown (Duke) maj. dec. Sal Mastriani, 16-4
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Marcus Cain, 4-0
174: John Dickson (VT) dec. Trey Adamson, 6-4 (SV)
184: #18 Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Dylan Ryan, 13-6
197: #16 Chris Penny (VT) dec. Conner Hartmann, 6-5
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