January 26, 2014
Bonus points the difference in Tech's 17-16 win over NC State
Vetterlein, Gustafson help push Hokies past Wolfpack
NC State16
(17) Virginia Tech 17

RALEIGH, N.C. - The 17th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team needed bonus points to escape Reynolds Coliseum with a 17-16 win over NC State Sunday afternoon in a key conference match. Both squads won five matches, but it was a major decision from Nick Vetterlein in the first bout and a another major decision from freshman Dennis Gustafson at 133 pounds that pushed the Hokies past the Wolfpack by the slimmest of margins.

The match started at 184 pounds with Vetterlein, ranked 18th in the country, giving the Hokies a quick 4-0 with a 16-7 major decision over Mike Macchiavello. Vetterlein jumped all over the freshman, picking up three takedowns and back points in the first period, and then got two more takedowns in the third period to pick up the bonus point.

The Wolfpack got an upset win at 197 pounds as KaRonne Jones rode No. 16 Chris Penny in the first portion of the tiebreaker and then escaped in the second to pull out a 2-1 victory in the first tiebreaker. At heavyweight, seventh-ranked Nick Gwiazdowski used three third-period takedowns to pull away from No. 18 Ty Walz of Virginia Tech, beating him 12-4 in a major decision.

Moving to 125 pounds, Tech’s 18th-ranked Joey Dance scored the lone offensive points of the match with a takedown in the third period to beat Micah Perez 3-2 and move to 5-0 in ACC competition.

Gustafson used a flurry of takedowns late in the match to stretch a comfortable lead over Chris Wilkes into a 13-4 major decision at 133 pounds and give the Hokies an 11-7 lead at the halfway point. That bonus point would prove to be a big one when all was said and done.

After the break, Erik Spjut lost a tough one at 141 pounds to Sam Speno. Spjut led essentially 3-2 late in the third period as Speno had riding time locked up. The two were neutral and Speno shot in on Spjut to try to get the winning takedown. Spjut sprawled and had a front headlock on Speno, but was called for a second stall warning to give Speno the tying point despite a protest from Tech’s bench. In the tiebreaker, Spjut was ridden for 30 seconds and then Speno escaped in his half to pick up a 4-3 win.

Nineteenth-ranked Zach Neibert dominated Brian Hamann 6-0 at 149 pounds to put Tech up by four points, but No. 20 Tommy Gantt downed Tech’s Sal Mastriani 4-2 at 157 pounds to make it a one-point match with two bouts left.

In a crucial match at 165 pounds, NC State’s Nijel Jones jumped out to a 6-1 lead over Chris Moon. But Moon didn’t give up and rode Jones for the entire second period, picking up two stall warnings and nearfall points to cut it to 6-5 heading to the third period. Moon escaped in the third stanza to tie it up, but gave up another takedown to Jones mid-way thru the period. The Tech junior battled for a reverse to tie it back up, got another point for a third stall warning and then one more for riding time to earn a hard-fought 10-8 win.

Trailing by four points heading into the last bout, NC State’s 19th-ranked Pete Renda couldn’t get the bonus points he needed to lift the Wolfpack to the team win, but still downed John Dickson 7-1 at 174 pounds to end the match.

“We lost very controversial matches at 141 and 197 pounds,” Tech head coach Kevin Dresser said. “We have to learn that on the road, you are not going to get the calls. Extra effort at 133 pounds by Gustafson and perseverance by Moon at 165 pounds were the difference. They showed why you keep wrestling until the very end. It was an ugly ‘W’ but it was a ‘W’.”

Tech will be take a week off from dual meet action before returning to the mat on Friday, Feb. 7 against No. 8 Pittsburgh (10-1, 4-0 ACC) at 7 p.m. in a match that will be broadcast live on ESPN3. It will be the last ACC dual match of the season for the Hokies and a chance to claim at least a share of the conference dual meet title.

#17 Virginia Tech (15-2, 4-1 ACC) 17, NC State (11-4, 0-2 ACC) 16
184: #18 Nick Vetterlein (VT) maj. dec. Mike Macchiavello, 16-7
197: KaRonne Jones (NCS) dec. #16 Chris Penny, 2-1 (TB-1)
285: #7 Nick Gwiazdowski (NCS) maj. dec. #18 Ty Walz, 12-4
125: #17 Joey Dance (VT) vs. Micah Perez, 3-2
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) maj. dec. Chris Wilkes, 13-4
141: Sam Speno (NCS) dec. Erik Spjut, 4-3 (TB-1)
149: #19 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Brian Hamann, 6-0
157: #20 Tommy Gantt (NCS) dec. Sal Mastriani, 4-2
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Nijel Jones, 10-8
174: #19 Pete Renda (NCS) dec. John Dickson, 7-1

Additionally, the following wrestlers competed in the Appalachian State Open in Boone, N.C., on Saturday. Freshmen Kevin Norstrem (133 pounds), Zach Epperly (174 pounds) and Jared Haught (197 pounds) all took home titles while wrestling unattached.

133: Kevin Norstrem (unattached; 2-0, CHAMPION)
Semifinals: def. Joel Shump (Ohio), TF 19-4
Finals: def. Emilio Martinez (Virginia), 9-2

141: Nick Anderson (2-1, SECOND PLACE)
First Round: def. John Ivahchenko (The Citadel), Fall 0:58
Semifinals: def. Ross Benzel (Limestone), MD 14-6 *
Finals: lost to Andrew Atkinsonson (Virginia), 11-4

141: Jerry Ronnau (1-2)
First Round: def. William Ferguson (The Citadel), MD 9-1
Semifinals: lost to Andrew Atkinson (Virginia), Fall 1:03
Consolations: lost to Jake Smith (UNC Pembroke), 8-4 *

149: Cameron Bowen (1-2)
First Round: def. Joel Madak (The Citadel), 8-1
Semifinals: lost to Ryan Hunsberger (George Mason), MD 16-2
Consolations: lost to Sam Melikian (NC State), Fall 4:02

149: Mattheos Lozier (unattached; 0-2)
First Round: lost to Samuel Santa Rita (The Citadel), Fall 1:29
Consolations: lost to Danny Soares (Limestone), 5-3 *

157: Chad Strube (4-1, SECOND PLACE)
First Round: def. Rodney Shepard (NC State), 6-5
Quarterfinals: def. Collins Creech (Appalachian State), 3-1
Semifinals: lost to Blake Roulo (George Maon), 4-2
Consolations: def. William Crozier (VMI), Fall 1:43
Third-Place Match: def. Isaiah Bradley (Limestone), Fall 2:03 *

165: Mason Mele (unattached; 2-2)
First Round: lost to Greg Bacci (Virginia), 5-0
Consolations: def. Joe Remaklus (UNC Pembroke), 4-0 *
Consolations: def. Seth Swoope (Limestone), 14-11 *
Consolations: lost to Aaron Dickson (Appalachian State), MD 16-8

165: David Wesley (unattached; 4-1, SECOND PLACE)
First Round: def. Will Hahn (Duke), Fall 1:09
Second Round: def. Michael Thomas (UNC Pembroke), 11-6 *
Quarterfinals: def. Aaron Dickson (Appalachian State), MD 11-1
Semifinals: def. Ethan Ramos (North Carolina), 7-6
Finals: lost to Michael Hooker (Chattanooga), TF 19-2

165: David Bergida (unattached; 4-1, SECOND PLACE)
First Round: def. Jeremy Miller (King), MD 10-2 *
Quarterfinals: lost to Michael Hooker (Chattanooga), 7-2
Consolations: won by forfeit
Consolations: def. Adrian Soto-Perez (Appalachian State), 8-1
Consolations: def. Ethan Ramos (North Carolina), MD 13-5
Third-Place Match: def. Savva Kostis (unrostered), Fall 4:40 ^

174: Zach Epperly (unattached; 2-0, CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals: def. Cody Harrington (unrostered), Fall 6:46 ^
Semifinals: def. Tyler Askey (Virginia), 8-2
Finals: def. Nick kee (Appalachian State), 4-3

174: Brooks Morrison (0-2)
First Round: def. Joey Cable (unrostered), 7-4 ^
Second Round: lost to Hunter Gamble (G-W), Fall 1:57
Consolations: lost to Patrick Davis (George Mason), Fall 0:36

197: Jared Haught (unattached; 3-0, CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals: def. Jordan Davis (Chattanooga), MD 9-0
Semifinals: def. Radford Tyler (Appalachian State), 3-0
Finals: def. Jared Johnson (Chattanooga), Fall 2:13

197: Henry Mauk (unattached; 3-2)
First Round: def. Tyrece Jones (Appalachian State), 5-4
Quarterfinals: lost to Addison Knepshield (Virginia), Fall 4:13
Consolations: def. Elijah Farmer (Appalachian State), Fall 1:07
Consolations: def. Brett Dempsey (American), 8-2
Consolations: lost to Radford Tyler (Appalachian State), 2-1

285: Dan Garwood (unattached; 3-1, THIRD PLACE)
Quarterfinals: def. PJ Shuler (Appalachian State), TF 16-1
Semifinals: lost to Kosta Karageorge (Ohio State), 3-1
Consolations: def. Brendan Walsh (Duke), 7-1
Third-Place Match: def. PJ Shuler (Appalachian State), Fall 1:14

285: Brandon Taylor (1-2)
Quarterfinals: def. Yousuf Malik (VMI), 6-1
Semifinals: lost to Mike Kosoy (NC State), MD 9-1
Consolations: lost to PJ Shuler (Appalachian State), 3-2

* - non-Division I competitor; result does not count toward NCAA qualification
^ - non-NCAA competitor; result does not count toward season record

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