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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team started its 2011 ACC schedule with a 26-12 victory over NC State on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium. Six Cavaliers were victorious, with four of the wins resulting in bonus points.

Virginia (12-4, 1-0 ACC) started strong with a pin from Matt Snyder (R-So., Lewistown, Pa.) against Pedram Rahmatabadi at 125 pounds. Snyder scored an early takedown, then turned Rahmatabadi and picked up a quick pin at the 1:21 mark. It was Snyder’s fifth pin of the season.

Joe Spisak (Fr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) pushed UVa’s lead to 11-0 with a technical fall over NC State’s Conor Hovis at 133. Spisak scored his first takedown a minute into the first period, then turned that takedown into a three-point near fall and added a two-point near fall to lead 7-0 through a period. Hovis was assessed a pair of stall warnings early in the second, resulting a point for Spisak, who then added three back points again. In the third, Spisak closed out the tech fall with a takedown and two back points.

NC State (6-4, 0-1) then picked up three consecutive wins by decision to close within 11-9. At 141, Darrius Little scored a 5-3 decision over Gus Sako (Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) in sudden victory time. Little scored a quick takedown and promptly allowed Sako to escape. Sako pounced on Little midway through the period for a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead. Little controlled action for much of the final two periods, racking up 1:04 in riding time to garner the riding time point and force overtime, where he quickly took down Sako for the deciding points.

At 149 pounds NC State’s Matt Nereim notched a 12-5 win over Derek Valenti (Jr., Newton, N.J.), although the match was much closer than the score indicates. Nereim jumped out to an early lead, scoring a pair of first-period takedowns, although Valenti quickly escaped each. After choosing the bottom position to start the second period, Valenti scored on an escape and was able to control action until late in the second when he allowed Nereim to reverse him, giving Nereim the 6-5 lead. Nereim scored on an escape in the third, then put the match away with a takedown and three ensuing back points.

The 157 match went down to the wire, with NC State’s Colton Palmer picking up a 3-1 win over Shawn Harris (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio). There was no scoring until the second period, when Palmer, who selected bottom to start the period, reversed Harris. Palmer rode Harris out the remainder of the period, and despite two stall warnings which resulted in a Harris point, he also rode him for the entire third period. With 3:21 in riding time, Palmer picked up the riding time point for the 3-1 decision.

UVa’s fortunes turned at 165. Trailing for most of the match, Conner Miller (Fr., Washington, Va.) broke through late to gather a 3-1 win over Colin Genthert. There was little action in the first period, and it was much of the same in the second as the lone scoring came on a Genthert escape. Miller selected the bottom position in the third period and struggled to escape, but finally did so with 30 seconds remaining. Miller then went on the attack and picked up control with a takedown with about 15 seconds left for the 3-1 win.

At 174, fourth-ranked Chris Henrich (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.) improved to 20-1 with a 19-3 technical fall over Nigel Jones. The UVa career wins leader, Henrich picked up his 121st career victory. Henrich jumped out to a 4-0 lead before allowing a Jones reversal. After scoring a quick escape, Henrich again went on the offensive and finished the tech fall 15 seconds into the final period.

Quinton Godley topped 20th-ranked Jon Fausey (R-Fr., Dalmatia, Pa.), 2-1, at 184 pounds. Neither wrestler scored a takedown in the match. Godley picked up an escape point to start the second period, then added a point when Fausey was assessed his second stall warning. Fausey picked up an escape point late in the third, but could not score the necessary takedown for the win.

Mike Salopek (R-So., North Huntingdon, Pa.) wore down KaRonne Jones and picked up a 11-0 major decision at 197. Salopek scored an early first-period takedown and added a second-period takedown to bring a 4-0 advantage into the third period. After Jones selecting the top position, Salopek scored two on a reversal and then added three points on a near fall. He added a point when Jones was assessed a penalty for locking hands. Salopek racked up 4:41 in riding time to claim the riding point for the 11-0 win.

Jack Danilkowicz (R-Sr., Green Oaks, Ill.) grinded out a 4-3 win over Eloheim Palma in the heavyweight bout, providing UVa with the final 26-12 team score. Palma started fast with a quick first-period takedown, but Danilkowicz eventually was able to escape, and he then scored a takedown with three seconds remaining in the period to grab a 3-2 lead. After a scoreless second stanza in which Danilkowicz rode Palma for the entire period, Danilkowicz picked up a point when Palma allowed him to escape with just over a minute remaining. Both wrestlers had opportunities for takedowns in the final minute, but the lone scoring came on a Palma point after Danilkowicz’s second stall warning late in the period.

Virginia will be home again Sunday for a pair of matches. UVa will match up with No. 21 Penn at 2:30 p.m. and VMI at 4 p.m. Penn and VMI will open the action Sunday with a 1 p.m. dual. Admission to all the matches is free. Free parking is available in the Culbreth Road Garage, while parking also is available in the Central Grounds Garage (hourly rates apply).

Virginia 26, NC State 12
125: Matt Snyder (UVa) pinned Pedram Rahmatabadi (NCSU), 1:21; UVa 6-0
133: Joe Spisak (UVa) tech fall Conor Hovis (NCSU), 15-0; UVa 11-0
141: Darrius Little (NCSU) dec. Gus Sako (UVa), 5-3 (SV); UVa 11-3
149: Matt Nereim (NCSU) dec. Derek Valenti (UVa), 12-5; UVa 11-6
157: Colton Palmer (NCSU) dec. Shawn Harris (UVa), 3-1; UVa 11-9
165: Conner Miller (UVa) dec. Colin Genthert (NCSU), 3-1; UVa 14-9
174: No. 4 Chris Henrich (UVa) tech fall Nijel Jones (NCSU), 19-3; UVa 19-9
184: Quinton Godley dec. No. 20 Jon Fausey (UVa), 2-1; UVa 19-12
197: Mike Salopek (UVa) major dec. KaRonne Jones (NCSU), 11-0; UVa 23-12
HWT: Jack Danilkowicz (UVa) dec. Eloheim Palma (NCSU), 4-3; UVa 26-12
Rankings according to InterMat

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