COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 16th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team split 10 matches with 25th-ranked Oregon State in the first round of the NWCA National Duals, but a pin from freshman Joey Dance in the first match was the difference as the Hokies held on for an 18-16 win over the Beavers Sunday afternoon at St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State University.
Dance got the Hokies off to a big start with a third-period pin at 125 pounds. Leading by 10 points and looking for a major, he turned Pat Rollins and picked up the big six team points with the fall at 5:38. It was just his second pin of the season and the first against a Division I opponent. Dennis Gustafson eased his way to a 6-4 win at 133 pounds over Drew Van Anrooy to make it 9-0 before Erik Spjut used two takedowns to beat Joey Delgado 4-3 at 141 pounds to make it 12-0.
Zach Neibert, ranked 17th in the country at 149 pounds, used a takedown and three nearfall points in the first period to pull away from 11th-ranked Scott Sakaguchi 10-6 to make it 15-0 in favor of the Hokies after four bouts. At 157 pounds, Tech’s Sal Mastriani got three takedowns, but eighth-ranked RJ Peña used a nearfall in the first period to post a 10-7 win to get the Beavers on the board. OSU’s Toney Chay pulled the upset over 18th-ranked Chris Moon, using the riding time to beat him 2-1 at 165 pounds.
After Tech’s John Dickson fell 7-4 at 174 pounds, Nick Vetterlein had to use a takedown late in the match to avoid the upset loss as he beat Austin Morehead 9-8 despite being ridden for close to two minutes. Eleventh-ranked Taylor Meeks rolled to a 15-1 major decision over Virginia Tech’s Chris Penny at 197 pounds to cut it to a five-point deficit, but 14th-ranked Amarveer Dhesi of Oregon State could only manage a 6-3 win over Tech’s Ty Walz at heavyweight as the Hokies held on for the win.
Tech (16-3) will be back in action at 7 p.m. Sunday night against No. 4 Cornell in the semifinals of the event.
#16 Virginia Tech (16-3) 18, #25 Oregon State (9-7) 16
125: #20 Joey Dance (VT) fall Pat Rollins, 5:38
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Drew Van Anrooy, 6-4
141: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Joey Delgado, 4-3
149: #17 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. #11 Scott Sakaguchi, 10-6
157: #8 RJ Peña (OS) dec. Sal Mastriani, 10-7
165: Toney Chay (OS) dec. #18 Chris Moon, 2-1
174: Joe Latham (OS) dec. John Dickson, 7-4
184: #18 Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Austin Morehead, 9-8
197: #11 Taylor Meeks (OS) maj. dec. Chris Penny, 15-1
285: #14 Amarveer Dhesi (OS) dec. #16 Ty Walz, 6-3
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