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Feb. 1, 2015

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 12 Virginia wrestling team split its 10 bouts Sunday with No. 9 Virginia Tech, but the Hokies earned bonus points at three weight classes to claim an 18-16 victory at the sold-out Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg.

Virginia (10-4, 2-1 ACC) picked up wins from Blaise Butler (R-Jr., Belvidere, Ill.), George DiCamillo (R-So., Highland Heights, Ohio), Zach Nye (R-Jr., Enola, Pa.), Nick Sulzer (R-Sr., Cleveland, Ohio) and Justin Van Hoose (Jr., Kirksville, Mo.). Sulzer picked up a major decision at 165 pounds, but the difference in the dual proved to be bonus points at 125, 149 and 184 for the Hokies (10-2, 1-0).

“Their stars shined brighter today than ours,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “Their bonus points won the duals. We both won the same number of matches, but overall they outwrestled us. There really is no way to candy coat it. Hopefully our guys will learn from this and use it as motivation going to Chapel Hill next week.”

The match started at 174 pounds – the featured match of the day – with Butler, ranked seventh nationally, pulling out a 3-2 win over No. 12 Zach Epperly; it marked his second one-point win over Epperly this year. Butler (15-2) scored with 1:15 left in the first period on a takedown and never trailed. He added an escape point to start the second, while Epperly scored on escapes in the first and third.

The Hokies took a 4-3 lead at 184 when Austin Gabel dominated in an 11-2 major decision over James Suvak (R-So., Parma Heights, Ohio), but the Cavaliers grabbed the lead right back, 7-6, when Nye recorded a 3-2 decision over Jared Haught at 197. Nye scored on a takedown with 37 seconds left to take a 3-1 lead and then held off a last-second reversal attempt to secure the win.

Virginia Tech countered with a 3-2 win from No. 9 Ty Walz over Patrick Gillen (R-Jr., Shelton, Conn.) at heavyweight and then stretched its lead to 11-6 when fourth-ranked Joey Dance rolled to a 14-4 major decision at 125 over Will Mason (R-So., Virginia Beach, Va.).

Ranked 13th nationally, DiCamillo (22-6) was in control most of the way in a 4-0 decision over No. 19 Kevin Norstrem. DiCamillo scored a takedown with 1:05 left in the first period and maintained control the rest of the stanza. He escaped quickly in the second period, and then rode Norstrem for the entire third period, building up nearly three minutes of riding time to earn the extra point.

With starters Joe Spisak (R-Sr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) and Devin Carter out Sunday for UVa and Virginia Tech, respectively, the 141 matchup featured the reserves, with Van Hoose picking up an 8-3 decision over Gerald Ronnau to give UVa a 12-11 lead. Van Hoose scored a takedown with 30 seconds left in second period to take a 3-0 lead, but Ronnau quickly escaped. Van Hoose then recorded a pair of takedowns in the third period, including one with 43 seconds remaining that silenced the Hokies’ crowd and effectively put the match away.

Virginia Tech scored wins at 149 and 157 to take the lead back and push it to an 18-12 advantage. At 149 pounds, 12th-ranked Sal Mastriani cruised to a 19-6 major decision over Virginia’s Chris Yankowich (Jr., Norristown, Pa.). At 157, fifth-ranked Nick Brascetta scored a pair of first-period takedowns in downing Andrew Atkinson (R-Fr., Lynchburg, Va.), 8-3.

Ranked second nationally, Sulzer (22-1) ended the bout with a 12-3 major decision over Chad Strube at 165. Sulzer held a 9-3 lead entering the third period, but Strube was tough on top, riding Sulzer for nearly 90 seconds before Sulzer finally escaped. Sulzer took Strube down again and built the riding time back over a minute to secure his 13th major decision of the season. Sulzer recorded his 112th career win, matching Tim Foley (1999-2004) for third in program history.

The Sunday dual was part of the Commonwealth Clash between Virginia and Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech earned a point in the competition in its win today, but UVa still holds a 5.5-2.5 lead overall.

The Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line. Fans are also encouraged to support their team through a fan-based point. The school that accumulates 11.5 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy. Visit for more information and updated standings.

Virginia continues ACC dual action next Saturday (Feb. 7) with a 7 p.m. match at North Carolina.

No. 9 Virginia Tech 18, No. 12 Virginia 16
174: No. 7 Blaise Butler (UVa) dec. No. 12 Zach Epperly (VT), 3-2; UVa 3-0
184: Austin Gabel (VT) major dec. James Suvak (UVa), 11-2; VT 4-3
197: No. 18 Zach Nye (UVa) dec. Jared Haught (VT), 3-1; UVa 6-4
285: No. 9 Ty Walz (VT) dec. Patrick Gillen (UVa), 3-2; VT 7-6
125: No. 4 Joey Dance (VT) major dec. Will Mason (UVa), 14-4; VT 11-6
133: No. 13 George DiCamillo (UVa) dec. No. 19 Kevin Norstrem (VT), 4-0; VT 11-9
141: Justin Van Hoose (UVa) dec. Gerald Ronnau (VT), 8-4; UVa 12-11
149: No. 12 Sal Mastriani major dec. Chris Yankowich (UVa), 19-6; VT 15-12
157: No. 5 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. Andrew Atkinson (UVa), 8-3; VT 18-12
165: No. 2 Nick Sulzer (UVa) major dec. Chad Strube (VT), 12-3; VT 18-16

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