Virginia Wrestlers Place Second at ACC Championships
March 9, 2013
College Park, Md. – The 13th-ranked Virginia wrestling team finished second at the ACC Championships held at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. The Cavaliers had eight wrestlers advance to the tournament’s championship finals but managed to pick up just one individual title. UVa finished with 90.5 points, five points behind ACC Champion Virginia Tech.
Virginia had nine wrestlers earn automatic qualifying spots to the 2013 NCAA Championships, the most in the program’s history.
The tournament came down to the night’s final contest when the Hokies’ David Marone defeat UVa’s Derek Papagianopolis 8-0 at 285 pounds to clinch the victory for Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers entered the finals with a 10-point lead over their in-state rivals but dropped all four head-to-head matches. Each final match was worth three points. Virginia Tech benefited by picking up an extra two points thanks to a pin in their victory at 125 pounds.
“I am so blown away by what we were able to do at this tournament,” said Virginia coach Steve Garland. “The next closest team to us was Maryland with 48 points. We really broke some ground and cleared some barriers today. I’m very proud of our guys. At the same time I have that sting of not closing it out. We had our chances and just could not come up with that one key win. Give credit to Virginia Tech. They did a great job of coming back to win it. I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but it doesn’t take away from all the good things we did today.”
The Cavaliers’ lone ACC Champion was freshman George DiCamillo at 133 pounds. Trailing late in his championship match against Duke’s Brandon Gambucci, DiCamillo used a takedown and piled up enough riding time to give him an extra point in his 10-9 decision.
He is UVa’s first ACC champion in his weight class since Joe Alexander won the 133-pound title in 2002.
UVa’s other finalists were Derek Valenti (149), Jedd Moore (157), Nick Sulzer (165), Jon Fausey (174), Stephen Doty (184) and Mike Salopek (197). They will all join DiCamillo at the NCAAs along with third-place finishers Matt Snyder (125) and Joe Spisak (141).
Virginia’s finish marked the fourth time in the last six years the Cavaliers have been the runners-up at the ACC Championships. UVa won the title in 2010.
Maryland finished third with 48.5 points. North Carolina was fourth with 45 points, NC State was fifth with 30 points and Duke was sixth with 26 points.
UVa’s Snyder, Valenti and Fausey will each be making their third appearance at the NCAA Championships that will be held March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.