Hokies win second consecutive ACC Championship

ACC Championship
Virginia Tech 81.0

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Virginia Tech claimed its second straight ACC Championship, the fourth in program history, on Saturday at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C., edging out second place NC State by a score of 81.0-73.0.

Individually, the Hokies had four wrestlers earn individual titles out of seven finalists. The winners were redshirt senior Dennis Gustafson at 133 pounds, redshirt freshman Brent Moore at 141, redshirt sophomore David McFadden at 165 and redshirt senior Jared Haught at 197. Redshirt junior Ryan Blees, freshman Hunter Bolen and redshirt junior Zack Zavatsky placed second.

Moore was the named the tournament’s Most Valuable Wrestler. He went 2-0 on Saturday with a major decision over North Carolina’s A.C. Headlee and a 6-4 decision in sudden victory overtime over two-time defending ACC champion Kevin jack of NC State, the nation’s fifth-ranked wrestler at 141. Moore is the Hokies’ first MVW since Devin Carter earned the award at the 2014 tournament.

The Hokies’ four individual titles was their least at an ACC Championship in which they took home the team title. Bonus points in the quarters and semifinals helped propel Tech to its fourth ACC title in program history.


  • Trialing Virginia’s Jack Mueller 7-5 with under a minute left in the third period, Gustafson got deep on a shot and secured the takedown on the edge of the mat. He then was able to get Mueller on his back and picked up four near fall points. With riding time, he registered up an 11-7 decision, book ending his Virginia Tech career with another ACC title.
  • Two weeks ago, NC State’s Kevin Jack defeated Moore by technical fall in Raleigh. The bout at 141 on Saturday between Moore and Jack was completely different than the first from the whistle. Despite a scoreless first period, Moore was cautioned for stalling. Moore started the second period on top but Jack struck first on a reversal. He picked up two more on a takedown with the clock expiring in the second period that made it 4-1 entering the third period. Moore quickly escaped at the start of the third and picked up two to tie the score at 4-4.
  • McFadden’s win at 165 was a workmanlike, 22-9, major decision over Duke’s Zach Finesilver. It was the redshirt sophomore’s first ACC title and his record improved to 31-0 on the season.
  • Haught’s win over second-seeeded Michael Macchiavello of NC State in the finals was nothing short of epic. It took five tiebreaker periods to decide the winner. In the final tiebreaker, Haught secured a reversal that made it 6-3. Macchiavello escaped to make it 6-4 but it wasn’t enough as Haught defended his conference title.


  • Bonus point wins proved to be key in the Hokies’ run to the ACC title as Tech tallied six bonuses between the quarters and the finals. Along with Moore’s major decision over Headlee, the Hokies saw majors from Blees over Brandon Leynaud of Duke in the quarterfinals, McFadden over Pitt’s Jake Wentzel, Zavatsky over Pitt’s Gregg Harvery and Haught’s major over Duke’s Alec Schenk.
  • After Blees’ major over Leynaud, he avenged a regular season loss to second-seeded Beau Donahue of NC State in the semifinals with a 6-4 decision that clinched him a spot in the finals and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

The Hokies have eight wrestlers that automatically qualified for the NCAA Championship in Cleveland on Saturday; Gustafson, Moore, Blees, McFadden, Bolen, Zavatsky, Haught and redshirt freshman Andrew Dunn. Tech’s eight qualifiers are its most since 2015-16 when the Hokies also sent eight grapplers to nationals in New York City.


1. Virginia Tech, 81.0
2. NC State, 73.0
3. North Carolina, 52.5
4. Duke, 47.5
5. Virginia, 34.0
6. Pitt, 33.5

125: No. 3 seed Kyle Norstrem
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – lost to No. 1 seed Sean Fausz (NC State), 9-3
Consolation semifinals – lost to No. 5 seed Thayer Atkins (UNC), 3-2

133: No. 2 seed Dennis Gustafson (ACC CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 3 seed Tariq Wilson (NC State), 7-5
Finals – beat No. 4 seed Jack Mueller (UVA), 11-7

141: No. 2 seed Brent Moore (ACC CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 3 seed A.C. Headlee (UNC), 11-3 MD
Finals – beat No. 1 seed Kevin Jack (NC State), 6-4 (SV-1)

149: No. 3 seed Ryan Blees
Quarterfinals – beat No. 6 seed Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 16-4 MD
Semifinals – beat No. 1 seed Beau Donahue (NC State), 6-4
Finals – lost to No. 1 seed Troy Heilmann (UNC), 3-1

157: No. 5 seed B.C. LaPrade
Quarterfinals: lost to No. 4 seed Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh), 11-4
Consolation semifinals: lost to No. 3 seed Kennedy Monday (UNC), 7-5

165: No. 1 seed David McFadden (ACC CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 4 seed Jake Wentzel (Pittsburgh), 13-4 MD
Finals – beat No. 6 seed Zach Finesilver (Duke), 22-9 MD

174: No. 1 seed Hunter Bolen
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 4 seed Daniel Bullard (NC State), 7-4
Finals – lost to No. 2 seed Ethan Ramos (UNC), 10-6

184: No. 1 seed Zack Zavatsky
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 4 seed Gregg Harvey (Pittsburgh), 15-3 MD
Finals – lost to No. 2 seed Pete Renda (NC State), 4-0

197: No. 1 seed Jared Haught (ACC CHAMPION)
Quarterfinals – bye
Semifinals – beat No. 5 seed Alec Schenk (Duke), 13-4 MD
Finals – vs. No. 2 seed Michael Macchiavello (NC State), 6-4, (TB-2)

Heavyweight: No. 5 seed Andrew Dunn
Quarterfinals – lost to No. 4 seed Andrew Solomon (Pittsburgh), 18-6 MD
Consolation semifinals: lost to No. 2 seed Michael Boykin (NC State), 4-3 (TB-2)

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