March 17, 2017
ST. LOUIS – Redshirt senior George DiCamillo capped a historic day for the Virginia wrestling program on Friday (March 17), advancing to the finals of the NCAA Championships with a win over No. 10 Bryce Meredith of Wyoming.
DiCamillo is only the third NCAA finalist in the program’s history. Henry Jordan advanced to the finals as a heavyweight in 1957, while current head coach Steve Garland advanced to the finals at 125 pounds in 2000. Both Garland and Jordan finished as NCAA runners-up.
DiCamillo was one of two Cavalier wrestlers in the semifinals, joining true freshman Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) in the Friday night session. It marked the first time in program history that Virginia had a pair of semifinalists in the same season.
Both DiCamillo and Mueller earned All-America honors during the morning session when the two wrestlers won their quarterfinal matches. It is the first All-America honor for DiCamillo and Mueller became the first freshman to earn All-America honors in Virginia wrestling history.
Mueller, who lost his semifinal match to the No. 6 seed, will wrestle in Saturday morning’s wrestlebacks at 11 a.m. ET as he fights for a third-place finish. DiCamillo will return to action Saturday night in the finals at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the morning session on ESPNU, while the evening’s championships will be broadcast on ESPN. Links will also be available to stream the WatchESPN broadcast online at VirginiaSports.com.
DiCamillo, the No. 6 seed at 141 pounds, will face the top-seed and defending NCAA Champion in Dean Heil of Oklahoma State. Mueller, the No. 10 seed at 125 pounds, will also face an Oklahoma State wrestler, taking on No. 8 seed Nick Piccininni in the consolation semifinals.
“What a day it was; we made history for our program today,” Garland said. “To say we are happy is a dramatic understatement. We are thankful, grateful and excited. We are pumped for everyone involved and it’s just awesome. It’s a great time to be a Cavalier.”
In quarterfinal action, Mueller posted one of the biggest upsets of the morning session as the Cavalier true freshman defeated senior Joey Dance, the No. 2 seeded wrestler at 125 pounds from Virginia Tech. The victory advanced Mueller in the championship bracket and locked up All-America honors.
After battling through the first two periods without scoring, Mueller took the lead late on Dance with a caution point and an escape, only to have the senior Hokie tie things up with a late takedown. In the first overtime, a sudden-victory period, Mueller got the takedown of Dance to secure the 4-2 decision and a spot in the semifinals.
In the evening session’s semifinals, Mueller faced-off against Lizak for the second time this season. The two met in the finals of the Southern Scuffle with Lizak taking that meeting. This time saw the same result as Lizak took the 7-0 decision over Mueller. The Virginia freshman will return to action in the wrestlebacks on Saturday morning to try to claim third place.
In action at 141 pounds, DiCamillo also locked up his first All-America honors and punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 5-2 decision over No. 14 seeded Thomas Thorn of Minnesota in the morning’s quarterfinals. DiCamillo jumped out to the early lead with a takedown of Thorn in the first few seconds of the match and never looked back on the way to the victory.
In the semifinals, DiCamillo fell behind the 10th-seeded Meredith, trailing 5-4. The Cavalier senior fought back to tie the match after two periods at 6-6 before pushing through to the win with an escape and a takedown in the final period. The advantage time point gave him the final 10-7 margin of victory over Meredith.
125 – No. 10 seed Jack Mueller
1st round: Mueller tech fall Travis Piotrowski (Illinois), 16-1
2nd round: Mueller dec. No. 7 Sean Russell (Edinboro), 5-2
Quarterfinals: Mueller dec. No. 2 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech), 4-2 (sv-1)
Semifinals: No. 6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) dec. Mueller, 7-0
Conso. Semis: Mueller vs. No. 8 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State)
141 – No. 6 seed George DiCamillo
1st Round: DiCamillo major dec. Christopher Carton (Iowa), 13-4
2nd Round: DiCamillo fall No. 11 Randy Cruz (Lehigh), 4:36
Quarterfinals: DiCamillo dec. No. 14 Thomas Thorn (Minnesota), 5-2
Semifinals: DiCamillo vs. No. 10 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming)
Finals: DiCamillo vs. No. 1 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State)
Saturday’s upcoming matches in italics