Jan. 22, 2017

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A back-and-forth dual match between nationally-ranked teams turned late down the stretch on Sunday (Jan. 22) as No. 25 Virginia (8-4, 0-1 ACC) fell at No. 6 Virginia Tech (13-1, 3-0 ACC) by a score of 29-14 in a match that counted for the Commonwealth Clash.

With four weight classes to go, the Cavaliers held a slim 14-11 lead on the Hokies, but a nationally-ranked quartet from Virginia Tech over the final four weight classes picked up bonus point wins to push the home team back into the lead and on to the victory.

Nine of the 10 weight classes were decided by bonus points in the dual, with the Cavaliers getting bonus-point victories from redshirt senior and seventh-ranked George DiCamillo (Highland Heights, Ohio), freshman Sam Krivus (Greensburg, Pa.) and senior Ray Bethea (Trenton, N.J.).

“We had some momentum going after Sam Krivus won at 149 and we felt like 157 was a huge bout and turning point in the dual,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “That match was a war and Andrew Atkinson fought hard, but made a mistake late and it cost him. He’s going to learn a lot from that match. Then Ray Bethea got us back on track and we felt good. But we hit the back end of their lineup, which is one of the best in the nation, and they put a stamp on the dual. We have lots of wrestling to improve on from our end and we have a great group, so I anticipate a lot of growth from this match.”

Virginia Tech jumped out to the early lead with victories at 125 pounds and 133 pounds, including an opening-match between nationally-ranked foes in No. 2 Joey Dance and No. 7 Jack Mueller. The Cavaliers then surged back in front as back-to-back wins at 141 pounds and 149 pounds gave Virginia the lead. DiCamillo picked up six points with a forfeit victory, while Krivus picked up a major decision over Mattheos Lozier.

In a dramatic match at the halfway point, No. 14 Atkinson (Lynchburg, Va.) and No. 16 Sal Mastriani battled through three rounds but the Hokies moved back in front as Mastriani slipped past Atkinson with a 9-8 decision, the only bout of the day not decided by bonus points.

Bethea vaulted the Cavaliers back into the lead with his major decision at 165 pounds, but the Hokies sent four wrestlers ranked in the top 5 at their weight classes to the mat through the last four bouts, claiming all of them to grab the win.

Today’s match was sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. With Virginia Tech’s victory, the Hokies have earned a point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now tied at 4.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at TheCommmonewalthClash.com.

Virginia will return to action on Sunday (Jan. 29) when the Cavaliers come home to face No. 7 NC State at 1 p.m. at Memorial Gym.

No. 6 Virginia Tech 29, No. 25 Virginia 14
No. 2 Joey Dance def. No. 7 Jack Mueller, Major Dec., 11-3; VT 4, UVA 0
133: Dennis Gustafson def. Will Mason, Major Dec., 8-0; VT 8, UVA 0
141: No. 7 George DiCamillo def. Brendan Ryan, forfeit; VT 8, UVA 6
149: Sam Krivus def. Mattheos Lozier, Major Dec., 11-3; UVA 10, VT 8
157: No. 16 Sal Mastriani def. No. 14 Andrew Atkinson, Dec., 9-8; VT 11, UVA 10
165: Ray Bethea def. David Bergida, Major Dec., 14-4; UVA 14, VT 11
174: No. 2 Zach Epperly def. Garrett Peppelman, Major Dec., 13-5; VT 15, UVA 14
184: No. 4 Zach Zavatsky def. Will Schany, Major Dec., 10-2; VT 19, UVA 14
197: No. 3 Jared Haught def. Chance McClure, Fall, 6:46; VT 25, UVA 14
285: No. 3 Ty Walz def. Tyler Love, Major Dec., 22-8; VT 29, UVA 14