No. 21 Cavaliers Finish Sixth at Southern Scuffle
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 21st-ranked Virginia wrestling team finished in sixth place out of 22 teams Monday at the Southern Scuffle, held at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. UVa posted 82 points, finishing behind No. 5 Penn State (191.5), No. 3 Minnesota (177.5), No. 10 Missouri (136), No. 4 Cornell (130) and No. 11 Oregon State (103).
Of the 11 Cavaliers who remained alive heading into action Monday, six finished as Top-8 placewinners in their respective weight classes, highlighted by a third-place finish at 141 pounds by Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.), and Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) took fifth place at 125 and 165 pounds, respectively, while Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) and Jedd Moore (R-Jr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) nabbed seventh at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Joseph Martinez (Fr., Platteville, Colo.) finished eighth at 133.
Ranked No. 19 nationally at 141 pounds, Nelson rebounded from a semifinal loss to No. 5 Mike Mangrum of Oregon State to rattle off back-to-back wins to take third place. Nelson topped Old Dominion’s Justin LaVelle, 6-0, before posting a 6-2 win over Nick Hucke of Missouri in the third-place match.
Ranked No. 9 nationally at 125 pounds, Snyder took fifth place at 125 pounds after his second victory in as many days against No. 12 Steve Bonanno of Hofstra. After downing Bonanno 9-7 in overtime in the quarterfinals Sunday, Snyder posted a 6-5 win in the fifth-place bout. Snyder suffered a pair of losses Monday, with both coming to ranked foes – a 10-1 major decision to top-ranked Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the semifinals and a 4-1 defeat to No. 13 Nico Megaludis of Penn State.
Sulzer finished fifth at 165, including a big win in the fifth-place match, a 9-1 major decision over No. 12 Zach Toal of Missouri for his first victory of the year over a ranked foe. Sulzer downed Kyle Kiss of North Carolina, 7-3, and Brandon Wright of Chattanooga, 5-1, before falling 2-0 to No. 20 Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State to fall into the fifth-place match.
Moore nabbed seventh place at 157 pounds, downing Virginia Tech’s Matt Stephens, 4-0, in the seventh-place match. Moore also scored a 2-0 win over Ohio’s Harrison Hightower, then dropped into the seventh-place bout following a 4-2 loss to Drake Houdashelt of Missouri.
Competing unattached at 149 pounds, Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) finished seventh at 149. He pinned Savva Kostis of Appalachian State in 4:31 to start the day, then fell to Christoph Villalonga of Cornell before knocking off No. 18 Craig Eifert of Cornell, 7-4, in the seventh-place match.
Joseph Martinez (Fr., Platteville, Colo.) finished eighth at 133 pounds. He downed Virginia Tech’s Brock LiVorio, 6-4, to start the day, then fell to No. 16 Garrett Druckett of Oregon State before suffering an 11-10 defeat against Nick Flannery of Cleveland State in the seventh-place match.
Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.), Vinny Waldhauser (Fr., El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Ryan Malo (Sr., Georgetown, Mass.), Zach Nye (Fr., Enola, Pa.) and Ethan Hayes (Fr., New Lebanon, Ohio) all reached the second day of action Monday at their respective weight classes but were eliminated prior to the medal round.
Virginia returns to dual action on Jan. 13 when it travels to NC State.
Final Team Standings (Top 10)
1. Penn State, 191.5
2. Minnesota, 177.5
3. Missouri, 136.0
4. Cornell, 130.0
5. Oregon State, 103.0
6. Virginia, 82.0
7. Chattanooga, 79.0
8. Appalachian State, 63.5
9. Hofstra, 58.0
10. Ohio, 57.0