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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Highlighted by key wins at 149 and 165 pounds, the No. 20 Virginia wrestling team scored a 24-12 victory over Rutgers Saturday night at Memorial Gymnasium. Virginia (8-1) won at seven of the 10 weight classes in picking up its sixth-consecutive dual-match victory.

Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) and No. 17 Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) each scored upset victories at 149 and 165 pounds, respectively, for the Cavaliers, who were without injured starters Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.) and Matt Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at 125 and 133.

“I’m really excited,” UVa head coach Steve Garland said. “We had two starters out tonight and when you go into a battle with Rutgers, which make no mistake is a very good team, we knew we had our work cut out for us. I’m ridiculously excited because our kids stepped up in a trying situation. It was an amazing night for us.”

Sako picked up a 5-3 decision over No. 5-ranked Mario Mason, while Sulzer notched a 5-2 victory over No. 13 Scott Winston.

Rutgers (12-6) started with a 6-0 advantage after Virginia forfeited at 125 pounds. Filling in for Matt Nelson, Joseph Martinez (Fr., Platteville, Colo.) outlasted Joe Langel, 7-5, at 133 pounds to cut the lead in half. Holding a 4-3 lead entering the third, Martinez gave up an escape point before taking Langel down. He gave up another escape point but by that point had built up 2:58 in riding time to score a bonus point and win, 7-5.

Eighth-ranked Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) improved to 20-2 this year and led throughout in a 6-3 win over Billy Ashnault (19-10) at 141. Nelson picked up a pair of first-period takedowns and built up 1:19 in riding time in the win.

Sako (15-5) handed Mason just his second loss of the year at 149. Sako jumped Mason quickly with a takedown 20 seconds into the first period and then built up over a minute of riding time before Mason (16-2) escaped. Sako escaped to score the lone point in the second period. After Mason selected the down position to start the third, Sako held him down until 12 seconds remained when Mason reversed him. Mason allowed Sako to escape but could not score the takedown needed to tie the match. With 1:59 in riding time to earn the bonus point, Sako claimed a 5-3 victory.

Reigning ACC Wrestler of the Week Jedd Moore (R-Jr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) dominated at 157 in a 15-0 technical fall over Anthony Volpe. Moore (17-5) scored a takedown 14 seconds into the third period to clinch the tech fall.

Sulzer (20-5) took down Winston (16-5) midway through the first period but Winston promptly escaped. Sulzer chose the down position to start the second and escaped 50 seconds in to take a 3-1 lead to the third. Winston escaped quickly in the third, but Sulzer denied Winston’s takedown attempts and countered with a takedown just before the final horn for the 5-2 win.

Vinny Waldhauser (Fr., El Dorado Hills, Calif.) took No. 17 Greg Zannetti to the wire at 174 pounds before falling, 9-8. Waldhauser (17-13) started fast with a pair of first-period takedowns to take a 4-1 lead into the second. The match was tied 6-6 going to the third; Waldhauser escaped quickly, but Zannetti (23-3) took him down with 1:12 remaining, then held him down until just before the final horn while building up over a minute of riding time to claim the bonus point, which proved to be the difference.

No. 14 Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.) dominated throughout in a 13-5 major decision over Dan Seidenberg at 184. Fausey improved to 18-3 with the win. Rutgers’ Daniel Rinaldi then jumped to a 4-1 first-period lead en route to a 7-3 decision over Ryan Malo (Sr., Georgetown, Mass.) at 197.

Derek Papagianopoulos (R-Fr., Burlington, Mass.) punctuated the Cavaliers’ evening with a 4-0 win at heavyweight over Daniel Hopkins. After a scoreless first period, Papagianopoulos (8-2) took the bottom position and quickly escaped. He then scored a takedown with 46 seconds remaining in the period. Hopkins (6-10) selected bottom in the third, but Papagianopoulos kept him down the entire two minutes in winning the riding time point and the match, 4-0.

Virginia hits the road next Saturday (Feb. 11) for a 6:30 p.m. dual at Appalachian State.

No. 20 Virginia 24, Rutgers 12
125: Vincent Dellafave (Rutgers) won by forfeit; RU 6-0
133: Joseph Martinez (Virginia) dec. Joe Langel (Rutgers), 7-5; RU 6-3
141: Nick Nelson (Virginia) dec. Billy Ashnault (Rutgers), 6-3; tied at 6
149: Gus Sako (Virginia) dec. No. 5 Mario Mason (Rutgers), 5-3; UVa 9-6
157: Jedd Moore (Virginia) tech fall Anthony Volpe (Rutgers), 15-0 (5:14); UVa 14-6
165: No. 17 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) dec. No. 13 Scott Winston (Rutgers), 5-2; UVa 17-6
174: No. 17 Greg Zannetti (Rutgers) dec. Vinny Waldhauser (Virginia) 9-8; UVa 17-9
184: No. 14 Jon Fausey (Virginia) major dec. Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers), 13-5; UVa 21-9
197: Daniel Rinaldi (Rutgers) dec. Ryan Malo (Virginia), 7-3; UVa 21-12
285: Derek Papagianopoulos (Virginia) dec. Daniel Hopkins (Rutgers), 4-0; UVa 24-12

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