Virginia Concludes Action at NCAA Championships
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Virginia wrestling team completed its stay in the 2012 NCAA Championships Friday as all six Cavaliers were eliminated from the competition. UVa finished with 17.5 points, which put the Cavaliers in a 28th-place tie at the end of Session IV.
Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.), the No. 12 seed at 184 pounds, reached the round of 12 before falling one win shy of All-America status with a 2-0 loss to No. 3 seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan.
“It’s amazing how this tournament has such big highs and lows,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “We went 6-0 to start the day, which was a pretty amazing run, and it was the way we won which was so great. We got down big in four of them and came back to win. Our guys showed a lot of heart, but the next round we started losing the heartbreakers. That was tough to swallow.
“We had a lot of highlights. Gus Sako beat the No. 5 seed, Nick Sulzer beat the 10 seed, Nick Nelson beat (Josh) Kindig from Oklahoma State. We’ve got a great, young team, and the only guy we lose is Nick Nelson. We feel like we made a lot of step forward, but we just didn’t reach our ultimate goal.”
Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.), Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.), Matt Nelson (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.), Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio), Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) also were eliminated from the competition Friday afternoon.
Virginia’s day started extremely well as all six Cavaliers won their first matches in the second wrestleback round, but Fausey was the only one to win his second bout in the third wrestleback. Four of UVa’s five losses in the first session came by three points or fewer.
Fausey (24-5) opened with an 8-2 win against Casey Newburg of Kent State then topped Nathan Schiedel of Binghamton, 5-3. Against Newburg, Fausey jumped out to the early lead with a takedown near the edge of the mat at the 1:32 mark of the first period, then rode Newburg the rest of the period. He added takedowns in the second and third period to slowly stretch his lead and put the match away.
Fausey again took control first against Schiedel with a first-period takedown. He stretched the lead to 4-1 in the second when he reversed Schiedel, but Schiedel escaped with one second left in the period to cut the lead to 4-2. Fausey was penalized a point late in the third for his second stall warning, but racked up 2:27 in riding time to earn that point and win 5-3.
Fausey could not get his offense going in falling 2-0 to No. 3 seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in the round of 12. After a scoreless first period, Bennett quickly escaped to start the second. He then rode Fausey for the entire third period to secure the riding time point and win 2-0 and clinch All-America honors.
The No. 11 seed at 125 pounds, Snyder (24-7) was locked in a close bout with Jared Germaine of Eastern Michigan before putting him on his back and earning the pin at the 5:24 mark. He then took on No. 6 seed Frank Perrelli of Cornell, falling 4-1.
Matt Nelson (19-7) rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to top Zach Zehner of Wyoming, 10-9, at 133 pounds. Nelson then was defeated by Zach Horan of Central Michigan, 5-3 and was eliminated from the tournament.
The No. 7 seed at 141 pounds, Nick Nelson (27-4) fell into a 6-1 hole in the first period against Oklahoma State’s Joshua Kindig, but stormed back for a 6-4 win in sudden-victory time. Nelson was not as fortunate in his next match as he fell to Cornell’s Mike Nevinger, 11-2. Nelson finishes his UVa career with 91 wins, which is tied for 10th-most in program history.
Despite giving up a quick takedown and two-point nearfall, Sako (23-8) rallied for a 10-8 upset win over No. 5 seed Ian Miller of Kent State at 149 pounds. He fell 3-2 to No. 10 seed Cam Tessari of Ohio State in the third wrestleback round.
Sulzer (27-9) opened with a 10-8 decision over Army’s Coleman Gracey at 165, but lost 3-2 to Wisconsin’s Ben Jordan in an elimination match.
Virginia’s 2012 NCAA Championships Results
No. 11 seed Matt Snyder (2-2) – 125 pounds
1st Round – defeated Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State), 3-2
2nd Round – lost to No. 6 seed Frank Perrelli (Cornell), 4-3 (SV)
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – pinned Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan), 5:24
Wrestlebacks Rd. 3 – lost to No. 3 seed Alan Waters (Missouri), 4-1
Matt Nelson (2-2) – 133 pounds
1st Round – pinned by No. 7 seed AJ Schopp (Edinboro), 2:23
Wrestlebacks Rd. 1 – defeated Jamie Franco (Hofstra), 6-2
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – defeated Zach Zehner (Wyoming), 10-9
Wrestlebacks Rd. 3 – lost to Zach Horan (Central Michigan), 5-3
No. 7 seed Nick Nelson (2-2) – 141 pounds
1st Round – defeated Mike Kessler (Appalachian State), 1-0
2nd Round – lost to Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech), 4-2
Wrestlebacks Rd. 1 – defeated Joshua Kindig (Oklahoma State), 6-4 (SV)
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – lost to Mike Nevinger (Cornell), 11-2 MD
Gus Sako (2-2) – 149 pounds
1st Round – lost to No. 2 seed Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State), 7-2
Wrestlebacks Rd. 1 – defeated Mario Mason (Rutgers), medical forfeit
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – defeated No. 5 seed Ian Miller (Kent State), 10-8
Wrestlebacks Rd. 3 – lost to No. 10 seed Cam Tessari (Ohio State), 3-2
Nick Sulzer (2-2) – 165 pounds
1st Round – lost to No. 7 seed Josh Asper (Maryland), 6-4
Wrestlebacks Rd. 1 – defeated No. 10 seed Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 3-2 (TB)
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – defeated Coleman Gracey (Army), 10-8
Wrestlebacks Rd. 3 – lost to Ben Jordan (Wisconsin), 3-2
No. 12 seed Jon Fausey (3-2) – 184 pounds
1st Round – defeated Ian Hinton (Michigan State), 9-0 MD
2nd Round – lost to No. 5 seed Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), 7-6
Wrestlebacks Rd. 2 – defeated Casey Newburg (Kent State), 8-2
Wrestlebacks Rd. 3 – defeated Nathan Schiedel (Binghamton), 5-3
Wrestlebacks Rd. 4 – lost to No. 3 seed Ben Bennett (Central Michigan), 2-0