LAS VEGAS –Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) finished with a strong performance on Saturday, taking third place as one of three place-winners for the Cavaliers at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Sam Krivus (Greensburg, Pa.) posted a seventh-place finish, while Will Schany (Blair, Neb.) took eighth-place in the event.
Virginia finished 16th out of 42 teams in the standings with 51.5 points for the weekend.
“We had some really good stuff happen this weekend,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “Will (Schany) had some big wins over some nationally-ranked guys. Sam (Krivus) went 6-2 and wrestled really well for the most part. But, the story of the weekend was Jay (Aiello). Wow did he step up his game. He just looked so locked in and confident the whole tournament. He beat several styles and was seconds away from being in the finals. We’re really proud of him.
“Young guys like Cam Coy, Brian Courtney, Quinn Miller and Robby Patrick had some solid wins as well. Of course, we had some disappointments, but we’re going to build on that and get better as a team. We’ll continue to improve our attack areas. This tournament was a major part of our process for the season.”
Aiello stormed through Saturday’s competition, defeating three nationally-ranked wrestlers on the way to the third-place finish. As part of his undefeated day, he knocked off sixth-seeded Tom Sleigh of Virginia Tech, fifth-seeded Christian Brunner of Purdue and second-seeded Nathan Traxler of Stanford. It was his second win over Traxler in as many days. Aiello finished the Cliff Keen Invitational with a 6-1 record at the event with his only loss coming to 10th-seeded Eric Schultz of Nebraska.
Krivus went 2-1 on the day, starting strong by pinning fifth-seeded Nicholas Gil of Navy in his opening bout of the day. He then dropped a rematch with eight-seeded Dom Demas of Oklahoma before defeating Sam Turner of Wyoming to take seventh place. Demas was the only wrestler to defeat Krivus on the weekend as he went 6-2 at the event.
Schany also upset a nationally-ranked wrestler to start the day, taking a 7-5 decision over fourth-seeded Chip Ness of North Carolina. He then dropped back-to-back bouts with ninth-seeded Lou DePrez of Binghamton and seventh-seeded Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt for the eighth-place finish.
Cam Coy (Jeanette, Pa.) was the fourth wrestler competing on day two for the Cavaliers. The redshirt freshman dropped a hard-fought contest with fifth-seeded Joey Gunther of Illinois. Gunther claimed the victory with a takedown in the waning seconds of overtime for the 3-1 decision in sudden victory.
Virginia will return to action next weekend, hosting Central Michigan on Friday night before facing Princeton on Saturday afternoon. Both matches will be held at Mem Gym on Grounds and admission is free to the public.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – seeding listed, national ranking listed in parentheses
Sam Krivus – Seventh-Place Finish
Consolation R8-2: Krivus pinned No. 5 seed (No. 9) Nicholas Gil (Navy) – 3:34
Consolation R4: No. 8 seed (No. 18) Dom Demas (Oklahoma) dec. Krivus – 10-3
Seventh-Place Match: Krivus dec. Sam Turner (Wyoming) – 5-3
No. 11 seed (No. 18) Cam Coy
Consolation R8-2: No. 5 seed (No. 12) Joey Gunther (Illinois) dec. Coy – 3-1 (sv-1)
Will Schany – Eighth-Place Finish
Consolation R8-2: Schany dec. No. 4 seed (No. 8) Chip Ness (UNC) – 7-5
Consolation R4: No. 9 seed (No. 18) Lou DePrez (Binghamton) dec. Schany – 8-2
Seventh-Place Match: No. 7 seed (No. 13) Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) major dec. Schany – 14-3
Jay Aiello – Third-Place Finish
Consolation R8-2: Aiello dec. Sawyer Root (Citadel) – 9-6
Consolation R4: Aiello major dec. No. 6 seed (No. 14) Tom Sleigh (Va. Tech) – 9-1
Consolation Semifinals: Aiello dec. No. 5 seed (No. 13) Christian Brunner (Purdue) – 9-5
Third-Place Match: Aiello dec. No. 2 seed (No. 8) Nathan Traxler (Stanford) – 4-2