CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team (7-4, 0-2 ACC) won four weight classes in a tight battle on Friday night (Jan. 31) in the Commonwealth Clash, but dropped its ACC home opener as the Cavaliers fell to No. 7 Virginia Tech (9-1, 1-1 ACC) by a score of 20-16 at John Paul Jones Arena.
Senior Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas), the No. 2 wrestler nationally at 125 pounds, turned in one of two bonus-point victories for the Cavaliers as he pinned No. 13 Joey Prata in the opening match of the night. Redshirt junior Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.), the No. 9 wrestler at 197 pounds, also won with bonus points as he turned in a 13-4 major decision over Stanley Smeltzer.
The Cavaliers also got victories from redshirt junior Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.) at 133 pounds and redshirt sophomore Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.) on the way to the final 20-16 margin of victory.
COACH GARLAND ON THE DUAL
“After last week we told our guys they had an opportunity to respond and decide how they wanted to compete. They were competitors tonight. It was exciting the way Jack (Mueller) ignited our bench and the crowd. Louie (Hayes) gutted out a close win against a tough opponent. Jay (Aiello) was wrestling for bonus points and not just the win, which is what we want to see from our guys. Quinn (Miller) gutted out a win over a nationally-ranked guy. We lost some close matches in the middle there. We had a different approach and mentality tonight, and I am proud of them for that.”
- Jack Mueller improved to 10-0 on the year and recorded his fourth pin. He is 2-0 in ACC duals this season.
- Jay Aiello is now 22-4 on the season and 11-0 in dual matches. He is also 2-0 in ACC duals. He has won 11 of his last 12 matches.
- Quinn Miller improved to 17-4 on the season and has now won 10 of his last 11 matches with the win over No. 18 John Borst on Friday night.
- With his win, Louie Hayes improved to 17-8 on the season.
- The crowd of 1,798 was the largest home attendance for the Cavaliers this season.
THE COMMONWEALTH CLASH
- The Virginia-Virginia Tech game is part of the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529, which is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams of the Cavaliers and Hokies
- 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
- The school that accumulates 11 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy.
- Virginia Tech earned a point in the Clash and the Cavaliers lead this year’s Clash 4.5-3.5
- UVA captured the Clash in 2015, 2016 and 2019, while Virginia Tech won the Clash in 2017 and 2018
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will return to action next weekend, continuing ACC competition on the road at No. 10 Pittsburgh. The dual is set for a 7 p.m. start on ACC Network from the Fitzgerald Field House.
NO. 7 VIRGINIA TECH 20, VIRGINIA 16
125: No. 2 Jack Mueller pinned No. 13 Joey Prata (VT), 4:10 – UVA 6, VT 0
133: Louie Hayes dec. Collin Gerardi (VT), 5-3 – UVA 9, VT 0
141: No. 18 Mitch Moore (VT) dec. Brian Courtney, 10-4 – UVA 9, VT 3
149: Bryce Andonian (VT) major dec. Denton Spencer ,13-4 – UVA 9, VT 7
157: No. 18 B.C. LaPrade (VT) dec. Justin McCoy, 8-5 – VT 10, UVA 9
165: No. 5 David McFadden (VT) dec. Cam Coy, 5-1 – VT 13, UVA 9
174: Cody Hughes (VT) dec. Victor Marcelli, 2-0 – VT 16, UVA 9
184: No. 2 Hunter Bolen (VT) major dec. Michael Battista, 12-4 – VT 20, UVA 9
197: No. 9 Jay Aiello major dec. Stanley Smeltzer (VT), 13-4 – VT 20, UVA 13
HWT: Quinn Miller dec. No. 18 John Borst (VT), 6-4 – VT 20, UVA 16