February 14, 2015
Hokies claim ACC dual meet title with 22-15 win over Duke
Dance, Epperly pick up tech falls
(9) Virginia Tech 22

BLACKSBURG - The ninth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team claimed the ACC dual meet title with a 22-15 win over Duke Saturday night in Cassell Coliseum.

Joey Dance, ranked fourth in the country at 125 pounds, led off the meet and cruised to a 22-7 (6:36) technical fall over Thayer Atkins after picking up three takedowns and back points in the first period. In the next match, Duke got on the board when Mitch Finesilver picked up a 12-6 decision over Kevin Norstrem. Devin Carter, ranked third in the country at 141 pounds, then picked up a 12-5 decision over Evan Botwin. With the win, Carter wrapped up his career with an undefeated mark in his home gym.

Brent Waterman took the mat for the Hokies at 149 pounds in the place of the resting Sal Mastriani, but fell to Marcus Cain, 6-1. Fifth-ranked Nick Brascetta rolled to a 5-3 win at 157 pounds after controlling the pace throughout the match. In the most dramatic match of the night, Chad Strube picked up a 5-4 decision over Brian Dorsey. Strube was initially credited with a takedown in the closing seconds of the match, but after a Duke challenge, the call was reversed in favor of a Dorsey takedown, tying the match at 4-4. Then, with 13 seconds left after the Dorsey takedown, Strube escaped just before the buzzer to get the win to give Tech a 14-6 lead in the team score.

Seventh-ranked Zach Epperly took care of business in dominant fashion against Randy Roden by way of a 17-2 (5:30) technical fall. At 184 pounds, Austin Gabel got out to an early 5-3 lead on Jasob Kasper before losing by injury default. He was taken down and re-injured his knee, having to take the deault. Duke’s best wrestler, No. 7 Conner Hartmann, earned a 7-4 win over Jared Haught at 197 pounds, but Haught fought until the end, picking up a take-down in the closing seconds. Eighth-ranked Ty Walz picked up the 5-2 decision in the final bout of the night after two big takedowns in the second and third periods to seal the win for Tech.

The Hokies earned the dual meet victory, 22-15, clinching the ACC Dual Meet Title with one match to go. The title is the 19th ACC crown for Virginia Tech since joining the conference in 2004, the third for wrestling, but the first dual meet title as the other two were tournament titles.

"We had some really bad energy tonight and I'm really embarrassed at the overall effort," said head coach Kevin Dresser. "I'm not happy."

Virginia Tech has now won 32 of its last 35 ACC dual matches dating back to Feb. 16. 2008. Pittsburgh, in its first year in the league, won the inaugural ACC dual meet title last season, although the Hokies have won the past two tournament titles.

Prior to the match, Tech’s three seniors, David Wesley, Chris Moon and Carter, were honored for their careers with the Hokies.

Tech will wrap up its regular season next weekend, taking on North Carolina on Friday night in Chapel Hill and Hofstra Sunday afternoon in Hempstead, New York.

#9 Virginia Tech (13-2, 4-0 ACC) 22, Duke (10-6, 1-4 ACC) 15
125: #4 Joey Dance (VT) tech fall Thayer Atkins, 22-7 (6:35)
133: Mitch Finesilver (D) dec. #17 Kevin Norstrem, 12-6
141: #3 Devin Carter (VT) dec. Evan Botwin, 12-5
149: Marcus Cain (D) dec. Brent Waterman, 6-1
157: #5 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. Immanuel Kerr-Brown, 5-3
165: Chad Strube (VT) dec. Brian Dorsey, 5-4
174: #7 Zach Epperly (VT) tech fall Randy Roden, 17-2 (5:30)
184: Jacob Kasper (D) inj. def. Austin Gabel, 3:48
197: #7 Conner Hartmann (D) dec. Jared Haught, 7-4
285: #8 Ty Walz (VT) dec. Brendan Walsh (D), 5-2

Referee: Steven Curtis
Attendance: 714

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