CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team took the mat in January to compete in a shortened 2021 season and made an impact on the national level while collecting honors and awards along the way, including All-America honors, a trio of All-ACC performers and a top-20 national ranking.
HAYES CLAIMS ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Senior Louie Hayes capped the season of competition for the Cavaliers with All-America honors as he finished eighth at the NCAA Championships. Hayes is the 17th Virginia wrestler to earn All-America status and those 17 wrestlers have combined for 23 All-America honors through the program’s history. It’s the fourth All-America honor for the Hoos in the last three seasons and sixth over the last five years.
VIRGINIA SENDS EIGHT TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Cavaliers had eight wrestlers receive bids to the NCAA Championships – tying for the second most wrestlers to compete at the event in program history. Virginia also sent eight wrestlers in 2010 and 2014. The program record was nine wrestlers sent in the 2013 season.
THREE CAVALIERS CLAIM ALL-ACC HONORS WHILE SIX PLACE AT ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Three Virginia wrestlers claimed All-ACC honors in the 2021 season with Jake Keating (Naperville, Ill.), Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) all finishing as runner-up at their respective weight classes. In addition to the trio of runner-up finishes, three wrestlers took third place at their weight classes as Patrick McCormick (Poquoson, Va.), Hayes and Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.) all earned a spot on the podium.
HOOS KNOCK OFF TOP-12 TEAM
Virginia also put together a thrilling performance when the Cavaliers knocked off No. 12 Pittsburgh at home with a 17-16 victory. The Hoos and Panthers split weight classes, but Virginia got crucial bonus-point wins at two weight classes to gut out the victory. McCoy at 157 pounds and Miller at heavyweight both posted major decisions to help lock up the victory. The Hoos combined those major decisions with wins at 141 pounds and 184 pounds as Brian Courtney (Athens, Pa.) knocked off No. 14 Cole Matthews and Michael Battista (Ashburn, Va.) knocked off No. 16 Gregg Harvey.
CAVALIERS JUMP BACK INTO THE TOP 20 NATIONALLY
Following the win over Pittsburgh, the Cavaliers vaulted back into the top 20 nationally when the National Wrestling Coaches Association released its weekly poll. The Cavaliers remained ranked throughout the rest of the season, ending the year in the No. 20 position.