Bolstered by their upper weights all season, it was the middleweights of the fifth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team that propelled the Hokies in a 26-13 win over Duke in front of a sold out crowd at the Moss Arts Center on Sunday evening.
The Hokies (15-1, 4-0 ACC) move to 7-0 all at the Moss Arts Center and have now won 15-consecutive ACC dual meets. The Blue Devils fall to 3-6 overall and 0-2 in the ACC.
With the score tied at 13-13 entering the final four bouts, redshirt sophomore Solomon Chishko gave Tech a bonus point at 149 pounds with a convincing 22-9 major decision over Xaviel Ramos. Going up against a tough foe in Duke’s Jake Faust and holding onto a slim 4-3 lead entering the third period, redshirt senior Sal Mastriani started bottom and picked up a key two-point reversal to go up 6-3. A point for stalling and riding time gave Mastriani an 8-3 decision and the Hokies a 20-13 lead.
Redshirt senior David Bergida made it 23-13 with an 8-4 decision at 165 pounds before redshirt junior Zach Epperly sealed the match win with a gritty 3-1 win at 174.
Duke chose to draw weight classes and the match started at 184 pounds. Redshirt sophomore Zack Zavatsky and redshirt junior Jared Haught both registered bonus points at 184 and 197, respectively, with Haught picking up a 22-7 tech fall at 5:57.
The match of the night between No. 3 Ty Walz and No. 5 Jacob Kasper lived up to the hype and was closer than the final score indicated. Kasper led 7-5 after two periods but Walz started bottom and picked up a reversal at the beginning of the third period that made it 8-7 Kasper after an escape. It was all Kasper from there though as four back points lifted him to a 15-7 major decision.
Redshirt senior Joey Dance nearly picked up a tech fall in the waning seconds of the bout at 125 but settled for a major decision to get the Hokies back on track. After the Blue Devils won the next two bouts, Tech went on to win the next four.
Tech will go on a one week break before facing NC State at Cassell Coliseum for the 2017 ACC Dual Meet Championship on Saturday, February 11, at 7 p.m. The Hokies will then face South Dakota State in its final regular season home dual of the season on Sunday, February 12.
No. 5 Hokies 26, Duke 13
184: No. 4 Zack Zavatsky (VT) MD Alec Schenk (Duke), 13-3
197: No. 3 Jared Haught (VT) TF Luke Farinaro (Duke), 22-7 (5:57)
285: No. 5 Jacob Kasper (Duke) MD No. 3 Ty Walz (VT), 15-7
125: No. 2 Joey Dance (VT) MD Thayer Atkins (Duke), 18-4
133: Cole Baumgartner (Duke) dec. Dennis Gustafson (VT), 9-4
141: Zach Finesilver (Duke) FALL Brendan Ryan (VT), 4:02
149: No. 7 Solomon Chishko (VT) MD Xaviel Ramos (Duke), 22-9
157: No. 14 Sal Mastriani (VT) dec. Jake Faust (Duke), 8-3
165: David Bergida (VT) dec. Garrett Neff (Duke), 8-4
174: No. 2 Zach Epperly (VT) dec. No. 18 Connor Bass, 3-1
— Courtesy of VT Athletics