COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fourth-ranked Cornell University won all 10 matches as the Big Red blanked the 16th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team 34-0 in the quarterfinals of the NWCA National Duals Sunday night at St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State University. The Hokies wrestled the No. 2 seed tough early on, but Cornell won all four matches decided by two points or less and then piled up bonus points late.
Joey Dance, ranked 20th in the country at 125 pounds, got the first takedown against top-ranked Nahshon Garrett, but Garrett used a of takedown, back points, two escapes and a riding time point to rally for the 7-2 win over Dance. Dennis Gustafson gave 15th-ranked Mark Grey all he could handle at 133 pounds, but Grey converted a scramble to a controversial takedown late in the second period to propel him to a 3-1 victory. At 141 pounds, Erik Spjut wrestled hard against fourth-ranked Mike Nevinger, but Nevinger used an escape in the second period and held off Spjut late to pick up the hard-earned 1-0 win.
Fourth-ranked Chris Villalonga and 17th-ranked Zach Neibert needed extra time to settle their affair at 149 pounds, but Villalonga got an escape in his half of the tiebreaker after he held Neibert down to claim a 2-1 victory in the first tiebreaker. The Hokies dropped another close one at 157 pounds when sixth-ranked Brian Realbuto escaped with one second left after being reversed by Tech’s Sal Mastriani. The escape tied the match and Realbuto got the point for riding time to earn a 6-5 win.
At 165 pounds, 10th-ranked Dylan Palacio pulled out the first dominating effort in beating 18th-ranked Chris Moon 8-1. He used a takedown, a reversal, back points and nearly five minutes of riding time to roll to a 8-1 win. Jesse Shanaman downed Tech’s John Dickson at 174 pounds 8-4 to give Cornell a 21-0 lead that clinched the match. Second-ranked Gabe Dean got two late takedowns on 18th-ranked Nick Vetterlein to stretch his lead into a major decision as he won 16-7.
Chris Penny had the lead late in the match against No 17 Jace Bennett, but was taken down and pinned in the third period. The senior got the first takedown of the match, and then got two more in the second period to take a 6-5 lead into the final stanza. He chose neutral, but Bennett took him down to his back and pinned him at the 6:08 mark. Ty Walz fell to Jacob Aiken-Phillips 6-2 at heavyweight to complete the shut out.
“That’s a very frustrating one right there,” Tech head coach Kevin Dresser said. “We had some good efforts tonight, but we didn’t capitalize when we had the chances to win matches.”
The shutout loss marked the first time the Hokies had been blanked since being beaten 43-0 by No. 12 Edinboro in 2007, Dresser’s first year at the helm of the program.
Tech (16-4) will be back in action at 11 a.m. Monday morning against Chattanooga in the consolations of the event. The loser is eliminated while the winner advances to another consolation match at 1 p.m. against the winner of the Iowa State/Central Michigan match.
#4 Cornell (11-0) 34, #16 Virginia Tech (16-4) 0
125: #1 Nahshon Garrett (C) dec. #20 Joey Dance (VT), 7-2
133: #15 Mark Grey (C) dec. Dennis Gustafson, 3-1
141: #4 Mike Nevinger (C) dec. Erik Spjut, 1-0
149: #4 Chris Villalonga (C) dec. #17 Zach Neibert, 2-1 (TB-1)
157: #6 Brian Realbuto (C) dec. Sal Mastriani, 6-5
165: #10 Dylan Palacio (C) dec. #18 Chris Moon, 8-1
174: Jesse Shanaman (C) dec. John Dickson, 8-4
184: #2 Gabe Dean (C) maj. dec. #18 Nick Vetterlein, 16-7
197: #17 Jace Bennett (C) fall Chris Penny, 6:03
285: Jacob Aiken-Phillips (C) dec. #16 Ty Walz, 6-2
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