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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team posted two historic wins Saturday, knocking off Purdue (16-15) and Michigan State (29-10) at the ACC/Big Ten Clash at Eddie Smith Field House in Chapel Hill, N.C. The wins mark the Cavaliers’ first-ever over a Big Ten wrestling program.

“It was a big day for our program,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “I told our guys afterwards that they did something special. It’s amazing how young we are to do something like that. I’ve been involved with Virginia wrestling for several years – first as a player then as a coach – and I’ve never seen a string of dual meets like we had today. For years we’ve heard that we are an up-and-coming program, but today we showed that we’re here.”

Virginia (5-0) opened the day with a narrow 16-15 victory over the Boilermakers. The match went back-and-forth and was ultimately decided on a major-decision win by 11th-ranked Eric Albright (Jr., York, Pa.) over Matt Hemry (9-1). The other nine matches were decided by decisions. Each team won five matches total.

In the second match, Virginia romped, 29-10, over Michigan State. The Cavaliers won seven of the 10 bouts against the Spartans, highlighted by falls by Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio) and Danny Gonsor (Fr., Cleveland, Ohio).

Caponi, the ACC’s reigning Wrestler of the Week and ranked as high as No. 9 nationally, won both of his matches at 184 pounds to improve to 8-0 this year. He defeated A.J. Kissel (4-3) of Purdue and pinned Michigan State’s Nick Palmierie.

“We competed so hard and with so much energy,” Garland said. “It’s only one day and we have a long way to go, but I want our guys to be happy with what they pulled off. But it’s great that we have high standards and aren’t satisfied yet.”

The two leagues split the six matches. Last year the Big Ten swept nine matches in the ACC/Big Ten Clash.

Virginia heads to Troy, N.Y., next Saturday to compete in the Northeast Duals. The Cavaliers once again will be challenged, taking on Lehigh at 10 a.m., No. 8 Cornell at 2:30 p.m. and No. 5 Michigan at 4:30 p.m.

Virginia 16, Purdue 15
125 Ross Gitomer (UVA) dec. Akif Eren (Purdue) 3-1
133 No. 9 Eric Albright (UVA) major dec. Matt Hemry (Purdue) 9-1
141 Nick Nelson (UVA) dec. Matt Redmond 9-4
149 Mark Powell (Purdue) dec Pat Riley (UVA) 4-0
157 Jake Murphy (Purdue) dec Danny Gonsor (UVA) 3-1
165 No. 12 Justin Fraga (Purdue) dec. Brent Fiorito (UVA) 6-1
174 Nick Corpe (Purdue) dec. Chris Henrich (UVA) 7-5
184 No. 9 Rocco Caponi (UVA) dec. A.J. Kissel (Purdue) 4-3
197 Logan Brown (Purdue) dec. No. 20 Brent Jones (UVA) 7-6
HWT Calvin Cardillo (UVA) dec. Roger Vukobratovich (Purdue) 5-0

Virginia 29, Michigan State 10
125 Joel Trombly (MSU) dec. Anthony Burke (UVA) 8-5
133 No. 6 Franklin Gomez (MSU) dec. No. 9 Eric Albright (UVA) 7-1
141 Kellon Balum (UVA) dec. Jeff Wimberley (MSU) 12-5
149 Shawn Harris (UVA) dec. Tim Hammer (MSU) 4-2 (OT)
157 Danny Gonsor (UVA) wins via fall Ben Boudro (MSU) 0:59
165 Michael Chaires (UVA) major dec. Rex Kendle (MSU) 13-5
174 Chris Henrich (UVA) major dec. Blake Mesyn (MSU) 13-5
184 No. 9 Rocco Caponi (UVA) wins via fall Nick Palmierie (MSU) 6:36
197 No. 14 Joe Williams (MSU) major dec. No. 20 Brent Jones (UVA) 10-2
HWT Jack Danilkowicz (UVA) dec. Freddie DeRamus (MSU) 8-4

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