No. 4 Hokies head to St. Louis for the NCAA Championship

BLACKSBURG – With the ACC Dual Meet Championship and the ACC Tournament championship in their possession, the fourth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team now shifts their focus to the 2017 NCAA Championship in St. Louis that will run from March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center.

All of the morning sessions will be broadcast live on ESPNU and all evening sessions will be shown live in primetime on ESPN. Every match and every mat will be broadcast on ESPNU, ESPN and the WatchESPN platforms.

Of the seven Hokies that traveled to St. Louis, five are returning All-Americans, including two-time All-Americans Ty Walz, a redshirt senior, and Zach Epperly, a redshirt junior. Senior Joey Dance, who is seeded second at 125 pounds, is the highest seeded Hokie while redshirt sophomore Solomon Chishko is seeded sixth at 149 pounds and redshirt senior Sal Mastriani is seeded 15th at 157. Redshirt sophomore Zack Zavatsky (No. 5, 184) and redshirt junior Jared Haught (No. 4, 197) round out the seeded Tech upperweights. Six of the eight grapplers that competed at nationals last year’s will hit the mats for the Hokies this weekend.

Last year, the Hokies pieced together a historic run at the NCAA Championships held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tech placed fourth, the highest finish in program history and best finish for an ACC program, and saw six wrestlers earn All-America honors, the most in school history.

LAST TIME OUT
Thanks to the performances of six individual champions, the Hokies ripped through the field and took home the third ACC Tournament title in program history.
Joey Dance (125), Solomon Chishko (149), Zach Epperly (174), Zack Zavatsky (184), Jared Haught (197) and Ty Walz (285) each won their weight classes.
Dance became the fifth wrestler in program history while Zavatsky successfully defended his conference title at 184.
It was the Hokies’ first ACC Tournament championship since 2014.
Tech became the first team since the 2008 squad and only the second team in conference history to win both the ACC regular season and tournament championships in the same season.
Tech’s 93 team points were followed by NC State final total of 64 points.

HOKIES RULE THE ACC
• Thanks to the performances of six individual champions, the Hokies ripped through the field and took home the third ACC Tournament title in program history.
• Joey Dance (125), Solomon Chishko (149), Zach Epperly (174), Zack Zavatsky (184), Jared Haught (197) and Ty Walz (285) each won their weight classes.
• Dance became the fifth wrestler in program history while Zavatsky successfully defended his conference title at 184.
• Redshirt junior Dennis Gustafson finished third at 141 and redshirt senior Sal Mastriani placed second.
• It was the Hokies’ first ACC Tournament championship since 2014.
• Tech became the first team since the 2008 squad and only the second team in conference history to win both the ACC regular season and tournament championships in the same season.
• Tech’s 93 team points were followed by NC State final total of 64 points.

SAL BOUNCES BACK
• Redshirt senior Sal Mastriani turned in a strong campaign in his final year in Blacksburg as he went on to post a 16-6 record and finished in the top 20 in the prominent individual rankings.
• The Towaco, N.J. native was a qualifier to the national tournament in 2015 but failed to qualify at last year’s NCAAs.
• This season, Mastriani finished sixth at the 2016 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite and earned a No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament.

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