March 4, 2015
Hokies ready for 61st ACC Wrestling Championship
Tech looks to defend back-to-back titles in Pittsburgh
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BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech wrestling will head north for the 61st ACC Wrestling Championship Sunday inside the Petersen Events Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh as it looks to defend its back-to-back titles. 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 Wednesday and are linked to the right. Changes can be made by schools up to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night, at which time the brackets will be official.

For the fourth year in a row, the entire event will be broadcast on ESPN3, an internet-only production. Those links to that can be found to the right.

Live results, brackets and scores will be available through TrackWrestling for free.

Admission to the Petersen Events Center is $10 for adults, $5 for Seniors (60+) & Youth (12 & under), and free to current students from ACC schools with a valid ID. Tickets are available at or by calling 800-643-7488. Doors open at 10 a.m. and action gets underway at 11 a.m. The semifinals start at 1 p.m. and the consolation semifinals take place at 3:30 p.m. The consolation finals start at 5 p.m. and the finals begin at 7 p.m.

Tech will have five wrestlers going in the first round with a chance to earn bonus points. The top two seeds at each weight class receive byes and those are: Joey Dance (1st at 125), Devin Carter (1st at 141), Sal Mastriani (2nd at 149), Nick Brascetta (1st at 157) and Ty Walz (2nd at heavyweight) for the Hokies. 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 in 2013 and repeated last year in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies finished second twice (2006 and 2011). In the progran’s history, 16 different Hokie wrestlers have won an ACC crown, including Devin Carter who will go for his fourth title this weekend and Nick Brascetta who will go for title No. 3. Jon Bonilla-Bowman (2007; co), Matt Epperly (2008), Pete Yates (2012), Jarrod Garnett (2013) and Carter (2014) 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 in 2013.

Below is the lineup that will take the mat for the Hokies this weekend, with their seed before their name and their official overall NCAA qualification record (vs. NCAA competition, at certified weight class) and ACC dual meet records in parenthesis, followed by their first mtachup.

125: #1 seed Joey Dance (26-2; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 seed Dom Forys [PITT]/#5 seed Thayer Atkins [DUKE])
133: #3 seed Kevin Norstrem (16-13; 2-3) - vs. #6 seed Evan Finesilver (DUKE)
141: #1 seed Devin Carter (20-2; 4-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 seed Joe Spisak [VA]/#5 seed Evan Botwin [DUKE])
149: #2 seed Sal Mastriani (20-7; 2-1) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 seed Christian Barber [NC]/#6 seed Sam Speno [NCSU])
157: #1 seed Nick Brascetta (7-1; 5-0) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #4 seed Ronnie Garbinsky [PITT]/#5 seed Chris Mears [UNC])
165: #3 seed Chad Strube (9-11; 3-2) - vs. #6 seed Troy Reashard (PITT)
174: #3 seed Zach Epperly (20-5; 4-1) - vs. #6 seed Trey Adamson (DUKE)
184: #6 seed Tae Leary (0-1; 0-1) - vs. #3 seed Nicky Hall (NCSU)
197: #3 seed Jared Haught (13-15; 3-2) - vs. #6 seed Nick Bonaccorsi (PITT)
285: #2 seed Ty Walz (22-6; 4-1) - BYE (semifinals vs. winner of #3 seed Ryan Solomon [PITT]/#4 seed Pat Gillen [VA])

Each of these 10 men will be looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, held March 19-21 in St. Louis. 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 174 pounds or top 2 at 157 pounds), as long as every wrestler who earned a spot for the league competes. 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.

125: 3rd
133: 3rd
141: 4th *
149: 3rd
157: 2nd
165: 3rd
174: 5th
184: 2nd
197: 2nd
285: 2nd

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. Note, (^) if a wrestler who grabbed a spot for the ACC (listed below) does not compete at the conference qualifier, that spot is lost by the ACC and thrown back into the at-large pool.

125: 3 (Dance, DeAngelo, Forys)
133: 2 (DeCamillo, Heilmann, Norstrem)
141: 4 (Carter, Ward, Spisak, Speno) - ^ [Speno]
149: 3 (Mastriani, Barber, Racciato)
157: 2 (Brascetta, Kerr-Brown)
165: 3 (Sulzer, Ramos, Rohskopf)
174: 5 (Butler, Epperly, Wilps, Renda, Staudenmayer) *
184: 2 (Thomusseit, Kasper)
197: 2 (Hartmann, Nye)
285: 2 (Gwiazdowski, Walz)

* - ACC will contest a fifth-place match to determine last qualifier at this weight ... it will not be scored in terms of the team race

ACC Championships Scoring
1st: 10
2nd: 7
3rd: 4
4th: 2

Championship Advancement: 1.0
Consolation Advancement: .5
Advancement After Bye (win only): 1.0
Fall/DQ/Forfeit/Injury Default: 2.0
Tech Fall (w/near fall): 1.5
Tech Fall (w/o near fall): 1.0
Major Decision: 1.0

The event will also double as a book drive for a local Pittsburgh elementary and middle school. Pitt and the ACC will be collecting books at the ticket window and the merchandise table and then the donated books will be presented to the school during the awards ceremony.

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter

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