EDINBORO, Pa. - The 11th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling squad rebounded from a tough loss Friday night to beat No. 20 Edinboro 21-16 Sunday afternoon inside McComb Fieldhouse. The Hokies got wins in two of the three matches featuring a pair of ranked wrestlers, plus a! pin at 157 pounds, to bolster them to the win.
Seventh-ranked Jarrod Garnett came close to picking up a bonus point for the Hokies, but had to settle for a 10-4 win over Kory Mines at 125 pounds. Edinboro's A.J. Schopp, ranked fourth in the country, controlled things from the beginning, picking up a 9-0 major decision over tech's Erik Spjut to give the Scots a 4-3 lead.
At 141 pounds, 10th-ranked Zach Neibert got a takedown in the first period and a reversal in the second period to take a 4-2 lead on No. 4 Mitchell Port. But Port got a takedown with 15 seconds left to force overtime, where he got another takedown to pick up the 7-5 win.
The 149-pound match was a barnburner as 10th-ranked Nick Brascetta got a takedown with a minute left and then withstood several flurries from 14th-ranked Dave Habat to earn a hard-fought 4-3 win. Habat got a takedown in the first period, but Brascetta didn't panic and got the takedown late, holding off a possible late reversal, to cap the comeback win. Jesse Dong, ranked seventh at 157 pounds, completely dominated Michael DePalma, picking up a takedown and several near-fall points before pinning him at the 2:27 mark to give tech the 12-7 lead at the halfway mark. For Dong, it was his 56th career dual win, moving him into a tie for third place all-time at Tech. Sean Gray and Eric Martin hold the record with 58, putting the record within Dong's sights.
At 165 pounds, fourth-ranked Pete Yates used a pair of takedowns early on to pull away from 13th-ranked Johnny Greisheimer, winning 8-1. Redshirt freshman Austin Gabel put together an impressive performance at 174 pounds, using two takedowns en route to a 6-4 win over Patrick Jennings. Nick Vetterlein used three takedowns to pick up a 6-4 win over Vince Pickett at 184 pounds.
Derrick Borlie got two first period takedowns, but gave up a takedown in the second period and was turned to his back as Warren Bosch picked up the pin at the 4:29 mark. At heavyweight, Tech's David Marone suffered another tough loss, dropping a 3-2 decision in the tiebreaker to 16th-ranked Ernest James after giving up a reversal late.
"Nick Brascetta is one tough dude," said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. "He got a champion's effort from Habat today and responded. We have other guys who are in the same boat with Brascetta, but on the other side of things, we have some very soft guys right now. We have to change that now if we want to do big things as a team this season."
Tech (4-2) will take a few weeks off from competition before sending the 10 starters, plus Devin Carter and Chris Penny as unattached wrestlers to the presitgious Midlands Open in Evanston, Ill., Dec. 29 and 30.
125: #6 Jarrod Garnett (VT) dec. Kory Mines, 10-4
133: #5 A.J. Schopp (E) maj. dec. Erik Spjut, 9-0
141: #5 Mitchell Port (E) vs. #7 Zach Neibert, 7-5 (SV)
149: #11 Nick Brascetta (VT) vs. #18 Dave Habat, 4-3
157: #7 Jesse Dong (VT) fall Michael DePalma, 2:27
165: #4 Pete Yates (VT) vs. #16 Johnny Greisheimer, 8-1
174: Austin Gabel (VT) vs. Patrick Jennings, 6-4
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Vince Pickett, 6-4
197: Warren Bosch (E) fall Derrick Borlie, 4:29
285: #20 Ernest James (E) dec. David Marone, 3-2 (TB-1)