March 3, 2018

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Four Virginia wrestlers placed at the ACC Championships on Saturday, with second-place finishes from redshirt freshman Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.) and sophomore Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) leading the way for the Cavaliers.

Redshirt senior Andrew Atkinson (Lynchburg, Va.) and redshirt sophomore Sam Krivus (Greensburg, Pa.) took third-place finishes, joining Hayes and Mueller in podium finishes.

The Cavaliers also had four wrestlers secure automatic bids for the NCAA Championships. Hayes, Krivus, Love and Mueller all turned in finishes within the ACC’s allocated slots and will wrestle in the event at the Quicken Loans Arena Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The event starts on March 15. The ACC only received automatic qualifying bids for the top two finishers at 165 pounds.

Virginia now waits to see if any other wrestlers will receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. At-large bids will be announced in the coming week.

“I am really happy and excited for Louie, Jack, Sam and Tyler,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “We are still hoping a couple more guys can get at-large bids as well. Hopefully we can punch a couple more through. We have adjustments to make, though, and that will be the focus heading into Cleveland. We can still get better in that short window.”

After receiving a first-round bye, Hayes posted a 3-1 decision in overtime against fourth-seeded L.J. Bentley of Pitt to advance to the finals. In the finals bout, Hayes faced fifth-ranked, and second-seeded, Sean Fausz of NC State. Fausz took a 4-0 decision in the finals to take the title as Hayes took silver.

Mueller, who was seeded fourth at 133 pounds, posted a 5-1 decision over fifth-seeded Zach Sherman of North Carolina in his opening match. He then turned in a 6-0 decision over top-seeded, and ninth-ranked, Dom Forys of Pitt in the second round to advance to the finals.

In a wild final match that Mueller led 7-6 with time winding down, Virginia Tech’s Dennis Gustafson managed to get a takedown and back points at the edge of the mat at the buzzer for the 10-7 decision. Gustafson is the No. 17 wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds and was seeded second in the weight class.

At 149 pounds, Krivus opened the day with a 4-1 decision over Pittsburgh’s Robert Lee, the fifth-seeded wrestler. He then dropped a 3-0 decision to top-seeded, and eighth-ranked, Troy Heilmann of North Carolina in the semifinals. Krivus locked up his NCAA berth with an 11-3 major decision over Duke’s Brandon Leynaud before taking third with an 8-1 decision over second-seeded, and 13th-ranked, Beau Donahue of NC State.

Atkinson took third place at 165 pounds after wrestling through the consolation bracket. The redshirt senior dropped his opening match to sixth-seeded Zach Finesilver of Duke in an 8-3 decision. He then posted back-to-back wins to secure the third-place finish. He notched an 11-3 major decision over fifth-seeded Josh McClure of North Carolina in the consolation semifinals before taking an 11-6 decision over third-seeded Brian Hamann of NC State for third-place.

In the match against Hamann, Atkinson posted the come-from-behind win while fighting through injury on a takedown and escape earlier in the bout. With seconds remaining in the third period, Atkinson got a takedown and back points off the reset to take an 11-6 decision over Hamann.

Despite not placing, Love locked up an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships at heavyweight by advancing to the third-place match. The redshirt sophomore dropped a 9-7 decision to third-seeded, and 16th-ranked, Cory Daniel of North Carolina in his opening bout. He then advanced to the third-place match when Pittsburgh’s Ryan Solomon was forced to medically forfeit the match in the consolation semifinals.

Love faced second-seeded, and 18th-ranked, Michael Boykin of NC State in the third-place match. After battling to a 1-1 score through three periods, the match went into sudden victory overtime. With 10 seconds remaining in the period, Boykin got the takedown of Love and back points for a 5-1 decision.

1. Virginia Tech – 81.0
2. NC State – 73.0
3. North Carolina – 53.5
4. Duke – 47.5
5. VIRGINIA – 34.0
6. Pittsburgh – 33.5

No. 1 seed Louie Hayes – Second Place Finish
Hayes dec. No. 4 seed L.J. Bentley (Pitt), 3-1 (sv-1)
No. 2 seed Sean Fausz (NCSU) dec. Hayes, 4-0
*Hayes earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships

No. 4 seed Jack Mueller – Second Place Finish

Mueller dec. No. 5 seed Zach Sherman (UNC), 5-1
Mueller dec. No. 1 seed Dom Forys (Pitt), 6-0
No. 2 seed Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Mueller, 10-7
*Mueller earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships

No. 6 seed Sam Martino

No. 3 seed A.C. Headlee (UNC) dec. Martino, 5-2
No. 4 seed Nick Zanetta (Pitt) dec. Martino, 7-2

No. 4 seed Sam Krivus – Third Place Finish
Krivus dec. No. 5 seed Robert Lee (Pitt), 4-1
No. 1 seed Troy Heilmann (UNC) dec. Krivus, 3-0
Krivus major dec. No. 6 seed Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 16-4
Krivus dec. No. 2 seed Beau Donahue (NCSU), 8-1
*Krivus earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships

No. 6 seed Fred Green
No. 3 seed Kennedy Monday (UNC) pinned Green, 0:33
No. 4 seed Taleb Rahmani (Pitt) tech fall Green, 18-2

No. 2 seed Andrew Atkinson – Third Place Finish
No. 6 seed Zach Finesilver (Duke) dec. Atkinson, 8-3
Atkinson major dec. No. 5 seed Josh McClure (UNC), 11-3
Atkinson dec. No. 3 seed Brian Hamann (NCSU), 11-6

No. 5 seed Will Schany

No. 4 seed Daniel Bullard (NCSU) dec. Schany, 5-1
No. 3 seed Matt Finesilver (Duke) dec. Schany, 3-2

No. 5 seed Drew Peck

No. 4 seed Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. Peck, 9-4
No. 3 seed Chip Ness (UNC) major dec. Peck, 14-4

No. 6 seed Jay Aiello
No. 3 seed Daniel Chaid (UNC) dec. Jay Aiello, 6-5
No. 5 seed Alex Schenk (Duke) dec. Aiello, 5-4

No. 6 seed Tyler Love
No. 3 seed Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Love, 9-7
Love by medical forfeit over No. 4 seed Ryan Solomon (Pitt)
No. 2 seed Michael Boykin (NCSU) dec. Love, 5-1 (sv-1)
*Love earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships