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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team, ranked 16th nationally, scored a 23-12 home victory over North Carolina Friday in the Cavaliers’ ACC opener at Memorial Gymnasium. UVa’s Shawn Harris (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio) and Brent Jones (Sr., Burke, Va.) each recorded upset wins to propel the Cavaliers to the win.

Harris earned the big win of the day for Virginia (13-3, 1-0 ACC), pulling a 5-4 upset over sixth-ranked Thomas Scotton at 157 pounds. Harris scored a takedown in the third period to rally from a point down and get the win.

Jones, ranked 20th nationally at 197 pounds, also notched a key win, downing 12th-ranked Dennis Drury, 4-3.

The match started at 197 pounds with Jones’ upset of Drury. North Carolina (3-6-1, 1-3) promptly knotted the scored when Ziad Haddad nabbed a 10-3 decision over UVa’s Jack Danilkowicz (Sr., Green Oaks, Ill.) at heavyweight.

Virginia won the next three weight classes. Ross Gitomer (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) scored three first-period takedowns and never trailed in a 16-5 major decision against Brian Borkoski. Matt Snyder (R-Fr., Lewistown, Pa.), wrestling up a weight class from his normal 125 pounds, then notched a 5-3 decision over UNC’s Jeremy Shaw at 133 pounds.

Derek Valenti (So., Newton, N.J.) followed with a 9-3 decision over Mike Rappo to give the Cavaliers a 13-3 advantage. UNC cut a big chunk of the lead at 149 pounds, as UVa’s Kellon Balum (Sr., Herndon, Pa.) was injured during his match with Jon Burns and was forced to take an injury default. The six-point swing cut UVa’s lead to 13-9.

Harris then handed Scotton just his fourth loss of the season at 157 pounds. Scotton is now 22-4 this year. UNC’s Kyle Kiss defeated Virginia’s Pat Riley (R-Jr., Bernardsville, N.J.), 3-1, at 165 pounds, bringing the Tar Heels to within 16-12.

UVa won the final two weight classes to clinch the team win, as No. 4 Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) dominated in a 19-6 major decision against Thomas Ferguson at 174 pounds and Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) recorded a 5-3 decision over Nick Tenpenny at 184.

The Cavaliers are home again at 1 p.m. Saturday as they take on No. 14 Virginia Tech. It marks the Hokies’ first visit to Charlottesville since 2006. Prior to the match there will be a tailgate for all fans (while supplies last), and the first 500 fans will receive a UVa t-shirt. There also will be a free youth clinic prior to the match from 11 a.m. to noon.

No. 16 Virginia 23, North Carolina 12
197: No. 20 Brent Jones (UVa) dec. No. 12 Dennis Drury (UNC), 4-3; UVa, 3-0
285: Ziad Haddad (UNC) dec. Jack Danilkowicz (UVa), 10-3; Tied 3-3
125: Ross Gitomer (UVa) major dec. Brian Bokoski (UNC), 16-5; UVa 7-3
133: Matt Snyder (UVa) dec. Jeremy Shaw (UNC), 5-3; UVa 10-3
141: Derek Valenti (UVa) dec. Mike Rappo (UNC), 9-3; UVa 13-3
149: Jon Burns (UNC) won by injury default over Kellon Balum (UVa); UVa 13-9
157: Shawn Harris (UVa) dec. No. 6 Thomas Scotton (UNC), 5-4; UVa 16-9
165: Kyle Kiss (UNC) dec. Pat Riley (UVa), 3-1; UVa 16-12
174: No. 4 Chris Henrich (UVa) major dec. Thomas Ferguson (UNC), 19-6; UVa 20-12
184: Mike Salopek (UVa) dec. Nick Tenpenny (UNC), 5-3; UVa 23-12

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