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Jan. 1, 2014

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 13th-ranked Virginia wrestling team stands in seventh place with 33.5 points following the first day of competition at the Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. Five Virginia wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinal round, which will start at 9 a.m. Thursday. The two-day competition concludes at 7 p.m. Thursday with the championship matches.

Links to live stats and pay-per-view video on Thursday are available at

“Five in the quarters of the toughest tournament in the country is something to be proud of for sure,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “I am really happy about the way we closed that round, but we still have a long way to go. This tournament is a grind.”

The 34-team Southern Scuffle includes 10 of the top 25 teams in the current USA Today/NWCA/AWN team rankings.

Eleven Cavaliers remain alive in the field and will wrestle Thursday. Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.), Gus Sako (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio), Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio), Stephen Doty (R-Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) and Jon Fausey (R-Sr., Dalmatia, Pa.) each won three bouts Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals.

Collin Campbell (R-Jr., Roxboro, N.C.), Ethan Hayes (R-So., New Lebanon, Ohio), Joseph Martinez (R-So., Platteville, Colo.), Zach Nye (R-So., Enola, Pa.), James Suvak (R-Fr., Parma Heights, Ohio) and Justin Van Hoose (So., Kirksville, Mo.) all remain in contention in the consolation brackets following the first day of action.

Ranked third nationally and seeded third in the tournament at 165 pounds, Sulzer upped his record to 16-0 this year with three bonus-point wins. He will wrestle seventh-seeded Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of The Citadel in the quarterfinals.

The No. 12 seed at 141, Spisak scored an 8-5 upset over fifth-seeded Undrakhbayar Khishignyam of The Citadel in the third round to advance and take on 19th-ranked Tyler Small of Kent State in the quarterfinals.

Sako is seeded sixth at 149. He recorded a pair of pins in addition to a 4-2 decision over Pitt’s Mike Racciato as he improved to 11-0 on the season. Sako needed just 1:51 total for his two falls, including just 21 seconds to stick Navy’s Alex Johnson. He advances to face third-seeded and sixth-ranked Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State in the quarters.

The No. 5 seed at 174, Doty scored three wins by decision as he improved to 17-2 on the season. Doty moves on to wrestle fourth-seeded and seventh-ranked Tyler Wilps of Pitt in the quarters.

Seeded eighth at 184, Fausey comfortably won all three of his bouts as he advanced to take on second-seeded and fifth-ranked Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota in the quarterfinal round.

Southern Scuffle – Top 10 Teams Through 3 Rounds
1. No. 2 Minnesota, 53.5
2. No. 1 Penn State, 53
3. No. 5 Oklahoma State, 50.5
4. No. 6 Cornell, 40
5. No. 17 Iowa State, 39.5
6. No. 8 Missouri, 35.5
7. No. 13 Virginia, 33.5
8. Kent State, 31
9. No. 23 Oregon State, 28.5
10. Air Force, 28

Thursday Quarterfinal Matches
141 – Joe Spisak vs. No. 19 Tyler Small (Kent State)
149 – No. 13 Gus Sako vs. No. 6 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State)
165 – No. 3 Nick Sulzer vs. Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel)
174 – No. 10 Stephen Doty vs. No. 7 Tyler Wilps (Pitt)
184 – Jon Fausey vs. No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota)

Thursday Consolation Matches
133 – Joseph Martinez vs. Eric Wilson (Missouri)
141 – Justin Van Hoose vs. Nate Morgan (Penn State)
184 – James Suvak vs. Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan)
197 – No. 18 Zach Nye vs. William Cook (North Carolina)
285 – Ethan Hayes vs. PJ Tasser (Pitt)
285 – Collin Campbell vs. Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Cornell)
*Rankings according to AWN

Thursday Schedule
9 a.m. – Championship Quarterfinals
11:30 a.m. – Consolation Round 4
12:30 p.m. – Consolation Round 5
1:30 p.m. – Championship Semifinals and Consolation Quarterfinals
3:30 p.m. – Consolation Semifinals
7 p.m. – Championship Finals and Medal Matches

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