RALEIGH, N.C. – Six Virginia wrestlers turned in podium finishes, including three runner-up finishes, to lead the Cavaliers to a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championship on Sunday (Feb. 28) at NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum. The six place-winners all secured bids to the NCAA Championships.
Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) at 197 pounds, Jake Keating (Naperville, Ill.) at 165 pounds and Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) at 157 pounds all finished second in their weight classes. The trio of wrestlers all earned All-ACC honors by finishing in the top two at the event.
Three Cavaliers locked up third-place finishes from 133-pounder Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.), 125-pounder Patrick McCormick (Poquoson, Va.) and heavyweight Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.) as the three wrestlers all rallied after losses in the semifinals to come back through the consolation bracket. McCormick and Hayes, both seeded fourth in their weight classes, met the top-seeded wrestler in the semifinals.
Virginia will now await the announcement of the full field of individuals selected for the NCAA Championships on Wednesday (March 10) when at-large selections and brackets are released by the NCAA at 6 p.m. ET in a selection show on NCAA.com.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. NC State – 89.5 points
2. Virginia Tech – 65.5 points
3. North Carolina – 63.0 points
4. Virginia – 55.0 points
5. Pittsburgh – 45.0 points
6. Duke – 7.5 points
NOTES ON THE DAY
• All six place-winners locked up berths to the upcoming NCAA Championships by virtue of their finishes.
• Aiello earns his third consecutive NCAA bid, while Hayes also earns a third career bid – though not consecutive.
• Hayes earns his second consecutive berth at 133 pounds after making his first appearance at 125 pounds in 2018.
• Justin McCoy and Quinn Miller earned their second straight NCAA Championship berths after each claiming their first bids a year ago before the event was canceled.
• Jake Keating and Patrick McCormick both earned their first NCAA bids.
• Brian Courtney (141 pounds) and Vic Marcelli (174 pounds) both advanced to the third-place match at their weight classes but did not place.
• Virginia had eight wrestlers through to the semifinals with five wrestlers winning their first-round match to join the three wrestlers who received first-round byes.
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND
“We had a lot of good things happen today. We are excited for the six guys who punched through to the NCAA Championships and we are hopeful we can get more through the at-large bid process. But, overall we had way more positive things happen today than negative. Our team continues to improve collectively. Our guys are heartbroken because they really believed they could win and whenever you walk out of a situation like this where you don’t reach your goals, it hurts.”
No. 4 seed Patrick McCormick – 3rd Place Finish
R1: McCormick dec. No. 5 seed Will Guida (UNC), 6-3
SF: No. 1 seed Sam Latona (VT) dec. McCormick, 12-7
Conso. SF: McCormick dec. No. 3 seed Colton Camacho (Pitt), 2-1
THIRD PLACE MATCH: McCormick dec. No. 5 seed Will Guida (UNC), 6-1
No. 4 seed Louie Hayes – 3rd Place Finish
R1: Hayes dec. No. 5 seed Jarrett Trombley (NCSU), 4-1
SF: No. 1 seed Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. Hayes, 10-3
Conso. SF: Hayes pinned No. 6 seed Drake Doolittle (Duke), 1:07
THIRD PLACE MATCH: Hayes dec. No. 5 seed Jarrett Trombley (NCSU), 3-2
No. 3 seed Brian Courtney
R1: Courtney major dec. No. 6 seed Patrick Rowland (Duke), 16-4
SF: No. 2 seed Zach Sherman (UNC) dec. Courtney, 7-2
Conso. SF: Courtney dec. No. 5 seed Sam Hillegas (VT), 7-2
THIRD PLACE MATCH: No. 4 seed Cole Matthews major dec. Courtney, 14-5
No. 5 seed Denton Spencer
R1: No. 4 seed Josh Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Spencer, 20-6
Conso. SF: No. 3 seed Ed Scott (NCSU) dec. Spencer, 10-4
No. 2 seed Justin McCoy – Runner-Up Finish
SF: McCoy dec. No. 3 seed Connor Brady (VT), 8-6
FINAL: No. 1 seed Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) major dec. McCoy, 12-3
No. 3 seed Jake Keating – Runner-Up Finish
R1: Keating tech fall No. 6 seed Eric Carter (Duke), 18-2 (4:36)
SF: Keating advances by medical forfeit of No. 2 seed Mekhi Lewis (VT)
FINAL: No. 1 seed Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Keating, 4-0
No. 3 seed Vic Marcelli
R1: Marcelli major dec. No. 6 seed Conor Becker (Duke), 12-4
SF: No. 2 seed Clay Lautt (UNC) dec. Marcelli, 8-3
Conso. SF: Marcelli dec. No. 5 seed Jared McGill (Pitt), 3-1
THIRD PLACE MATCH: No. 4 seed Cody Howard (VT) dec. Marcelli, 11-9 (sv-1)
No. 4 seed Michael Battista
R1: No. 5 seed Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. Battista, 3-2
Conso. SF: No. 3 seed Devin Kane (UNC) dec. Battista, 8-3
No. 2 seed Jay Aiello – Runner-Up Finish
SF: Aiello dec. No. 3 seed Max Shaw (UNC), 5-4
FINAL: No. 1 seed Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. Aiello, 10-4
No. 2 seed Quinn Miller – 3rd Place Finish
SF: No. 3 seed Hunter Catka (VT) dec. Miller, 4-3
Conso. SF: Miller dec. No. 5 seed Austin Cooley (Pitt), 8-6 (sv-1)
THIRD PLACE MATCH: Miller dec. No. 4 seed Andrew Gunning (UNC), 4-2