Virginia Tech’s tenth-ranked wrestling team welcomed fans into 2022 with a dominant showing against visiting West Virginia and Binghamton in Cassell Coliseum Sunday.
Originally formatted as a tri-meet event, the coaching staff among the three participating teams agreed to reformat the competition to an individual round-robin in light of COVID-related developments. The Hokies wrestled in a total of 21 matches throughout the event, winning 16 of them.
125 – No. 16 Sam Latona snapped a two-match losing streak with a tech fall over Binghamton’s Nick Curley, 22-7. Latona scored in bunches, picking up eight takedowns throughout the match, picking up back points, and forcing a stall point against Curley. Latona also racked up over three minutes of riding time, which gave him the tech fall at the end of the match. The 2021 All-American is now 5-5 on the season.
133 – No. 5 Korbin Myers was electric in his two matches on the day, putting up a total of 30 points. Myers picked up a bonus victory ranked win over No. 32 Anthony Sobotker of Binghamton to get his day started in dominating fashion. Myers was surgical in a clinical takedown performance over West Virginia’s Michael Dolan, picking up seven takedowns to go with a stall point, escape point, and riding time point to pick up the 17-5 major decision victory. Myers didn’t give up a takedown in the 14 minutes he spent on Cassell floor.
Redshirt sophomore Brandon Wittenberg picked up a fall over Binghamton’s Christian Gannone in a wild match from the start. One takedown and escape each were traded in the first period before Wittenberg found the fall :44 into the second period.
141 – Freshman Sam Hillegas made his Cassell season debut, going 2-1 on the day. Hillegas dropped his first bout to Ryan Anderson of Binghamton 4-0 before rebounding in his second match to pick up the fall over West Virginia’s Caleb Rea at 2:47 in the opening period. Hillegas then ended his day picking up a major decision victory over Lucas Seibert of West Virginia. Hillegas scored 10 points via takedown and two sets of four nearfall to put him ahead in the first period. He improved his season record to 4-3.
149 – True freshman Kylan Montgomery had split results on Sunday. Montgomery dropped his first bout to Binghamton’s Nick Lombard 8-2 then picked up a 7-1 decision victory over West Virginia’s George Johnson to pick up his second career win in Cassell Coliseum.
157 – No.-23 Connor Brady’s solid season continued as he picked up two wins. Brady controlled both matches against West Virginia’s Alex Hornfeck and Binghamton’s Tyler Martin. He wasted little time against Martin, shooting in for the takedown and securing the fall 1:51 into the first period.
165 – Freshman Clayton Ulrey was back in action following a 4-0 open tournament campaign at the F&M Open on Friday. Ulrey picked up a 6-1 decision victory over Binghamton’s Brevin Cassella with two lefty high crotch takedowns, an escape, and a riding point in his first victory of the day. Ulrey picked up his second victory with a forfeit from West Virginia’s Peyton Hall.
174 – No. 4 at 174 pounds, Mekhi Lewis was dominant once again, going 2-0 highlighted by a spectacular takedown to pin in his opening bout. Lewis controlled the majority of the bout against Binghamton’s Jacob Nolan before escaping a takedown attempt transitioning right into an attack of his own before pinning Nolan at 3:56 into the bout. Lewis then picked up four takedowns and accumulated more than four minutes of riding time over West Virginia’s Scott Joll to pick up the 10-4 decision victory. Lewis remains undefeated at 12-0 on the season.
184 – Simeone Holmes picked up his first Cassell Coliseum win over Binghamton’s Sam DePrez in an entertaining match from the start. The two put up a combined 14 points in the opening period before Holmes secured the 14-8 decision via crafty scrambles and solid mat wrestling in the final period. Holmes dropped his two other bouts, a close 1-0 decision to Binghamton’s Cory Day and a 10-1 loss to West Virginia’s Anthony Carman.
197 – Freshman Andy Smith made his season debut, splitting matches on the day. Smith dropped a 10-4 decision to No.-12 Louie DePrez of Binghamton to start his Sunday. He rebounded with a 9-5 decision over West Virginia’s Jackson Moomau courtesy of three takedowns for his first Cassell win of the season. Smith most recently placed fifth at the 2022 Southern Scuffle, going 5-1 at the ever-prestigious tournament in Chattanooga.
285 – No.-13 Nathan Traxler picked up two decisive victories over ranked opponents. He squared off against No.-20 Joe Doyle of Binghamton and dominated early with a takedown and back points before eventually locking up a bow and arrow for the fall 2:46 into the match. Traxler picked up ranked victory number two of the day over West Virginia’s No.-22 Michael Wolfgram with a 5-2 decision. Traxler is now 5-1 against ranked opponents on the season.
The Hokies will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 1,5 at 4 p.m. to take on visiting in-state foe George Mason in the annual Moss Arts Center match.