BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech wrestling program will host the 60th ACC Wrestling Championship Saturday inside Cassell Coliseum as it looks to defend its 2013 title. Ten Hokie wrestlers will compete in hopes of bringing home an individual title and advancing to the NCAA Championships.
The official championship website is here and it has links to directions, ticket information, times, Twitter feeds, the brackets and more. The brackets were released Thursday and are linked to the right.
For the third year in a row, the entire event will be broadcast on ESPN3, an internet-only production. Additionally, there will be live brackets updating within seconds of a match finishing for those who can’t get ESPN3. The link to that can be found on the championship website.
Live results, brackets and scores will be available through TrackWrestling for free.
Admission to Cassell Coliseum is $10 at the door or $5 in advance. Information on how to purchase tickets can be found on hokiesports.com. Doors open at 9 a.m. and action gets underway at 10 a.m. The semifinals start at 1:30 p.m. and the consolation semifinals take place at 3:45. The consolation finals start at 5:30 p.m. and the finals begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tech will have nine wrestlers going in the first round with a chance to earn bonus points. Devin Carter is the No. 1 seed at 141 pounds and will receive a bye. Based on the scoring system, a wrestler only receives points for the bye if they win their next match.
Tech won its first ACC title last year and finished second twice (2006 and 2011). In the progran’s history, 13 different Hokie wrestlers have won an ACC crown, including Devin Carter who will go for his third title this weekend. Jon Bonilla-Bowman (2007; co), Matt Epperly (2008), Pete Yates (2012) and Jarrod Garnett (2013) are the only Hokies to take home tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Virginia Tech also won Colonial Athletic Association titles in 1993 and 1998 and won seven Southern Conference titles (1955, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963). The most NCAA qualifiers Tech has had in one trip to the Championships was 10 last year.
Below is the lineup that will take the mat for the Hokies this weekend, with their seed before their name and their overall record and ACC dual meet records in parenthesis, followed by their first mtachup.
125: #2 seed Joey Dance (21-7; 5-1) - vs. #7 seed Calvin Campbell (Duke)
133: #3 seed Dennis Gustafson (14-11; 4-2) - vs. #6 seed Evan Botwin (Duke)
141: #1 seed Devin Carter (12-0; 1-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 Joe Spisak [VA]/#5 Shyheim Brown [NCSU])
149: #2 seed Zach Neibert (19-7; 5-1) - vs. #7 seed Connor Ross (Duke)
157: #4 seed Sal Mastriani (10-14; 3-3) - vs. #5 seed Jacob Crawford (UNC)
165: #2 seed Chris Moon (18-6; 5-1) - vs. #7 seed Max Rohskopf (NCSU)
174: #5 seed Austin Gabel (11-5; 0-1) - vs. #4 seed Ty Snook (MD)
184: #3 seed Nick Vetterlein (22-7; 4-2) - vs. #6 seed Jacob Kasper (Duke)
197: #3 seed Chris Penny (22-11; 4-2) - vs. #6 seed KaRonne Jones (NCSU)
285: #4 seed Ty Walz (22-11; 4-2) - vs. #5 seed Ethan Hayes (Virginia)
Each of these 10 men will be looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, held March 20-22 in Oklahoma City. To make it to the Big Dance, each must finish a certain place or higher at the ACCs to automatically qualify (ex: place in top 5 at 141 pounds or top 2 at 165 pounds). If they don’t, they’ll be at the mercy of the selection committee, who will choose at-large selections and announce them next week. Below are the spots each wrestler must finish at or above to automatically qualify from the ACC.
Below are the wrestlers who earned automatic spots for the conference at each class. If any of these competitors do not compete Saturday for any reason, the ACC would lose the automatic qualifier spot for that weight class. Pitt led the way with eight guys earning spots while Tech and Virginia both had seven. Just because a guy earned a spot for the conference doesn’t mean he’s qualified for the NCAAs; he must still finish within the parameters of the qualification spot at the respective weight class or else hope for an at-large spot.
125: 3 (Dance, Kraisser, Zanetta)
133: 2 (Gustafson, Mack)
141: 5 (Bright, Brown, Henderson, Speno, Spisak)
149: 4 (Barber, Neibert, Racciato, Sako)
157: 2 (Butler, Gantt)
165: 2 (Moon, Sulzer)
174: 3 (Doty, Renda, Wilps)
184: 4 (Sheptock, Thomusseit, Utley, Vetterlein)
197: 5 (Boley, Bonaccorsi, Nye, Penny)
285: 4 (Gwiazdowski, Myers, Tasser, Walz)
ACC Championships Scoring
Championship Advancement: 1.0
Consolation Advancement: .5
Advancement After Bye (win only): 1.0
Tech Fall (w/near fall): 1.5
Tech Fall (w/o near fall): 1.0
Major Decision: 1.0
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_Wrestling