EVANSTON, Ill. – The Virginia wrestling team (3-2) split a pair of duals on Wednesday (Dec. 29), defeating SIU-Edwardsville in the first match of the day before falling to No. 24 Northwestern in a tight dual in the finale.
Virginia defeated SIUE by a score of 34-3, while falling to the nationally-ranked Wildcats 18-16.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia got off to a strong start in the first match of the day, winning nine of 10 weight classes on the way to the 34-3 victory over SIUE.
In the day’s second dual, a Virginia rallied from a strong start by the Wildcats. Northwestern won the first three weight classes – including a victory by fall at 149 pounds – before the Cavaliers would rally with wins at the next three weight classes – including a major decision from Michael Battista at 184 pounds. Virginia took the lead for the second time with a victory by Patrick McCormick at 125 pounds before Northwestern would claim the dual with a last-second 8-7 decision in a battle of ranked opponents at 133 pounds. Each team won five weight classes in the dual.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• With the win in the first dual of the day, Virginia improved to 2-0 all-time against SIU-Edwardsville.
• Virginia is now 0-2 all-time against Northwestern following the dual with the 24th-ranked Wildcats.
• Wednesday’s dual against Northwestern was the first since a 2007 meeting for the Cavaliers.
• Jay Aiello went 3-0 on the day after seeing action for the first time in the collegiate season on Wednesday.
• Justin McCoy improved to 5-0 in duals this season and is 9-0 on the season.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS VS. SIUE
141: Saul Ervin (SIUE) dec. Dylan Cedeno, 5-1 – SIUE 3, UVA 0
149: Jarod Verkleeren dec. Caleb Tyus (SIUE), 8-5 – UVA 3, SIUE 3
157: Denton Spencer dec. Max Kristoff (SIUE), 5-0 – UVA 6, SIUE 3
165: No. 16 Justin McCoy by forfeit – UVA 12, SIUE 3
174: Justin Phillips dec. Kevin Gschwendtner (SIUE), 4-2 – UVA 15, SIUE 3
184: Michael Battista dec. Sergio Villalobos (SIUE), 6-1 – UVA 18, SIUE 3
197: No. 16 Jay Aiello dec. Ryan Yarnell (SIUE), 11-5 – UVA 21, SIUE 3
285: No. 27 Quinn Miller dec Colton McKiernan (SIUE), 7-2– UVA 24, SIUE 3
125: Patrick McCormick major dec. Austin Macias (SIUE), 10-0 – UVA 28, SIUE 3
133: No. 14 Brian Courtney by forfeit – UVA 34, SIUE 3
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS VS. NO. 24 NORTHWESTERN
141: Frankie Tal Shahar (NU) dec. Dylan Cedeno, 7-2 – NW 3, UVA 0
149: No. 4 Yahya Thomas (NU) pinned Jarod Verkleeren, 4:42 – NW 9, UVA 0
157: Trevor Chumbley (NW) dec. Denton Spencer, 4-0 – NW 12, UVA 0
165: No. 16 Justin McCoy vs. No. 33 David Ferrante (NW), 10-5 – NW 12, UVA 3
174: Justin Phillips dec. No. 20 Troy Fisher (NW), 3-2 – NW 12, UVA 6
184: Michael Battista major dec. Jon Halvorsen (NW), 12-4 – NW 12, UVA 10
197: No. 16 Jay Aiello dec. No. 30 Andrew Davison (NW), 5-3 – UVA 13, NW 12
285: No. 14 Lucas Davison (NW) dec. No. 27 Quinn Miller, 9-4 – NW 15, UVA 13
125: Patrick McCormick dec. Matt Vinci (NW), 4-0 – UVA 16, NW 15
133: No. 14 Brian Courtney vs. No. 9 Chris Cannon (NW),
174: Ankhaa Enkhmandakha (NW) dec. Krystian Kinsey, 7-6
197: Jay Aiello pinned Brendan Devine (NW), 3:22
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND
“We were right in there to win today’s dual with Northwestern. We can credit the second half of the lineup today. That put us in a position to win, but ultimately Brian (Courtney) lost a heartbreaker in the last seconds to a great wrestler. He competed his heart out. Our bench was going crazy. If Brian continues to compete like that, which I believe he will, he will not only do great things but he will be a lot of fun to watch.”
“A big shoutout to Justin McCoy and Justin Phillips for flipping that match on its head, though. The way they wrestled completely changed the rest of the dual. We’re proud of them too. I’m glad we made this trip. We need to grow as a team and dual meets are the best way to do that. Credit to Northwestern and their staff and, of course, their athletes.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will return to action in the new year when the Cavaliers travel to compete at the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va. The two-day dual tournament is set to begin on January 14 with opponents and schedule to be announced.