COLUMBUS, Ohio - Virginia Tech won five of the 10 bouts wrestled, but 11th-ranked Ohio State used seven bonus points to pick up a 23-16 win over the 16th-ranked Hokies Sunday afternoon in a back-and-forth affair at St. John Arena. Ohio State improved to 13-5 while the Hokies finished the regular season at 18-5.
Joey Dance continued his hot streak, starting the dual with a dominating 10-3 win over 17th-ranked Nick Roberts at 125 pounds to give the Hokies an early lead. He got a pair of takedowns, a reversal and three near fall points to roll to the victory. Dance will enter the postseason 21-7 and finished his freshman year with an 18-5 dual meet record. His 18 dual meet wins are tied for the fifth-most for a single season in school history.
Eighth-ranked Johnni DiJulius picked up a second period pin over Tech’s Dennis Gustafson at 133 pounds and then third-ranked Logan Stieber rolled to a 17-1 technical fall over Erik Spjut at 141 pounds to give the Buckeyes a 11-3 lead after three bouts.
Zach Neibert eased to a 10-2 major decision over back-up Jacob Bresciani at 149 pounds, picking up four takedowns en route to the win. Tech cut the lead to one point with a come-from-behind 4-3 win by Sal Mastriani at 157 pounds. He fell behind early, but got a takedown late in the first period and held on late for the win. Chris Moon, ranked 20th at 165 pounds, made it three wins in a row for the Hokies as he picked up an 8-2 win over Joe Grandominico to give Tech a 13-11 lead.
Austin Gabel made his return to the mat after missing over two months with a knee injury and led in the third period against No. 11 Mark Martin, but gave up a takedown in the final period and fell 2-1 to Martin as the Buckeyes took the team lead back.
Nick Vetterlein grabbed the lead back for the Hokies once again as he recorded two takedowns and an escape to pick up a 5-3 win over Josh Fox. Like Dance, he went 18-5 in dual meets, tied for the fifth-most for a single season in school history.
Ohio State’s eighth-ranked Nick Heflin picked up a first period pin over Brooks Morrison, who was filling in for starter Chris Penny, at 197 pounds as the Buckeyes took the lead 20-14. Nick Tavanello iced the match with a 5-3 win over Tech’s Ty Walz at heavyweight.
“We’ve got some individuals going forward and we’ve got some guys going backwards,” Tech head coach Kevin Dresser said. “The ones going backwards have 13 days to figure it out.”
Both teams won five matches, but Tech got one major decision while OSU picked up two pins and a technical fall to account for the difference.
Virginia Tech will now begin preparations for the 2014 ACC Wrestling Championship, which will be held on Saturday, March 8 inside Cassell Coliseum on Tech’s campus.
#11 Ohio State (13-5) 23, #16 Virginia Tech (18-5) 16
125: #20 Joey Dance (VT) dec. #17 Nick Roberts, 10-3
133: #8 Johnni DiJulius (OSU) fall #20 Dennis Gustafson, 4:18
141: #3 Logan Stieber (OSU) tech fall. Erik Spjut, 17-1
149: #14 Zach Neibert (VT) maj. dec. Jacob Bresciani, 10-2
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) dec. Randy Languis, 4-3
165: #20 Chris Moon (VT) dec. Joe Grandominico, 8-2
174: #11 Mark Martin (OSU) dec. Austin Gabel, 2-1
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Josh Fox, 5-3
197: #4 Nick Heflin (OSU) fall Brooks Morrison, 1:17
285: Nick Tavanello (OSU) dec. Ty Walz, 5-3
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