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Feb. 18, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia wrestling team put forth a valiant effort before a great crowd in their last home match of the season. After falling behind early, the Cavaliers tied it up against their Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke Blue Devils, but ultimately lost the match, 19-15. On Senior Recognition Night, the crowd rose to its feet several times to cheer on what remained a close and exciting contest throughout.

Jim Hartey opened the match for the Cavaliers at 165-pounds, losing a 10-6 well-fought bout to Duke’s Steve Smith and giving the Blue Devils the early 3-0 lead. Virginia tied it up at 3-3 after Rocco Caponi came back in the last seconds of his 174-pound bout against Duke’s Levi Craig for the 5-4 win. Duke regained the lead 6-3 after Blue Devil Frank Cornely defeated UVa’s Kyle Narkiewicz at 184-pounds with a close 10-8 victory.

The Blue Devils extended their lead to 12-3 after Mark Thompson pinned Virginia’s Scott Smith at the one-minute mark of the 197-pound bout. Virginia’s Nick Smith closed the gap to 12-6, winning 5-3 in the heavyweight contest over Duke’s Venroy July. Anthony Burke then brought the Cavaliers within three with a 4-1 win over Blue Devil Kellan McKeon, giving Duke the 12-9 overall lead.

UVa’s Byron Dunlap tied the match score at 12 with a 6-5 come-from-behind win against Duke’s Bryan Gibson at 133-pounds. Duke regained the lead after the 141-pound bout with Wes Kuser’s 11-3 major decision over Virginia’s Chet Naylor, making the overall score 16-12.

It took two minutes of overtime for Duke to extend its lead to 19-12 and seal its win on the night, with Antwone Floyd pulling out a 6-3 win over UVa’s Paul Dunstan at 149-pounds. Paul Bjorlo ended the night on a high note for the Cavaliers, winning at 157-pounds with a score of 7-1 over Duke’s Zach Weisberg, making the final match score 19-15 in favor of Duke.

With the loss, Virginia falls to 4-11 overall, 0-4 in the ACC. The win improves Duke to 9-4 overall, 2-2 in the conference.

Virginia will return to dual match action on Saturday, February 19th when the Cavaliers travel north to the University of Maryland at 1:00 PM and American University at 7:00 PM for their final regular season contests.

Here is a look at a match-by-match breakdown of the Virginia vs. Duke dual:

Wgt.	Opponents						Result		UVa/Duke165	Steve Smith (Duke) def. Jim Hartey (UVa)			10-6		0-3174	Rocco Caponi (UVa) def. Levi Craig (Duke)			5-4		3-3184	Frank Cornely (Duke) def. Kyle Narkiewicz (UVa)		10-8		3-6197	Mark Thompson (Duke) def. Scott Smith (UVa)		Fall @ 1:00	3-12HWT	Nick Smith (UVa) def. Venroy July (Duke)			5-3		6-12125	Anthony Burke (UVa) def. Kellan McKeon (Duke)		4-1		9-12133	Byron Dunlap (UVa) def. Bryan Gibson (Duke)		6-5		12-12141	Wes Kuser (Duke) def. Chet Naylor (UVa)			MD, 11-3	12-16149	Antwone Floyd (Duke) def. Paul Dunstan (UVa)		6-3 (OT)		12-19157	Paul Bjorlo (UVa) def. Zach Weisberg (Duke)		7-1		15-19

— UVa —

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