Henrich Takes Second, Cavaliers Ninth at Southern Scuffle
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Led by a runner-up finish from Chris Henrich (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.) at 174 pounds, the 25th-ranked Virginia wrestling team tied for ninth place in the team competition Thursday at the UNCG Southern Scuffle, hosted by UNC Greensboro at Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Events Center.
Competing in the tournament without three starters because of injuries, the Cavaliers finished with 65.5 points to tie with Hofstra for ninth place. Top-ranked Cornell shared the team title with No. 7 Penn State with 151.5 points apiece.
Jon Fausey (R-Fr., Dalmatia, Pa.) and Gus Sako (Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) also placed in the tournament for Virginia. Fausey took sixth place at 184 pounds, while Sako had a breakout tournament and finished eighth at 141 pounds.
Henrich, ranked second nationally, started his day with a 16-2 major decision over seventh-seeded Byron Sigmon of UNCG in the quarterfinals. He coasted into the finals when Ohio’s Nick Purdue, the No. 6 seed, took a medical forfeit. He then ran into a buzzsaw in the championship match, falling to No. 10 Ed Ruth of Penn State, 7-2, in the final. Ruth also upset top-ranked Mack Lewnes of Cornell, in the semifinals.
With four wins in the tournament, Henrich now owns 115 career victories and needs just one to tie Mike Krafchick (116, 1991-95) for the Virginia career wins record.
Ranked 17th nationally, Fausey notched sixth place at 184 pounds after picking up five wins. He advanced to the quarterfinals today before dropping a 3-1 double-overtime decision to No. 15 Luke Robertus of Navy, the tournament’s fourth seed. He rebounded to defeat Hofstra’s Ben Clymer, 5-2, and score a major decision over Boston University’s Brock Mantella before falling 7-2 to eighth-ranked Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota, the third seed.
Sako took eighth place at 141 pounds and racked up five wins in the tournament. Sako picked up a trio of wins through the consolation bracket to reach the medal round. He topped Appalachian State’s Mike Essler, 7-2, Wednesday in the wrestle-backs, then won a 5-1 decision against Old Dominion’s Brennan Brumley before pinning Penn State’s Adam Lynch. He finished his tournament with a 4-2 loss to Penn’s Zach Kemmerer, the No. 7 seed, and an 8-1 loss to 14th-ranked Germane Lindsay of Ohio, who was the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Competing unattached, Stephen Doty (So., St. Louis, Mo.) reached the quarterfinals Thursday before dropping a 9-4 decision to Ohio’s Nick Purdue. He then fell 6-3 to Justin Zeerip of Michigan in the wrestle-backs.
Matt Snyder (R-So., Lewistown, Pa.) dropped a 12-4 contest to 20th-ranked Jason Lara of Oregon State in the quarterfinals, then lost 6-3 to 16th-ranked Frank Martellotti of Penn State in the wrestle-backs.
Competing unattached, Nick Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio) was eliminated in the 165-pound wrestle-backs Thursday when he was pinned by Utah Valley’s Jeb Clark.
Virginia returns to team dual action on Friday, Jan. 7 when it competes in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum. Brackets for the event will be announced Tuesday.