2019 NCAA champion Mekhi Lewis (Photo/Mark Lundy; LutteLens.com)
Duke: The Blue Devils had a double-double this weekend in Maryland and DC. They traveled to College Park on Saturday to face Drexel and Maryland. They beat the Dragons 25-20, led by #7 Matt Finesilver maintaining his undefeated start against #14 Mickey O'Malley at 174. Wade Unger had a big win at 157, knocking off #32 Parker Kropman. Against Drexel, Logan Agin picked up a pin at 125, while Jonah Niesenbaum did the same at 285. Duke rounded out with a major decision by #11 Josh Finesilver at 149 and a decision win by Kaden Russell at 197. The second match on the day was against former ACC foe Maryland. Logan Agin picked up his second pin of the day to start the action. Wade Unger picked up another decision and the Blue Devils got bonus points from both Finesilver brothers, who picked up major decisions. The dual went into heavyweight with Maryland holding a 3 point lead. Jonah Niesenbaum wrestled a tight match with #33 Zach Schrader, but fell in sudden victory and the Terps picked up a 23-17 win. This brought the Blue Devils to 3-2 in duals on the year.
Duke stayed in the Capitol district overnight and traveled to American on Sunday to face Hofstra and AU. Sunday did not go as well for the Blue Devils. Duke fell to Hofstra 25-19. Logan Agin picked up his third pin on the weekend at 125, while Drake Doolittle earned a decision at 133. The Finesilver brothers paired up on bonus points again this dual, with #11 Josh earning a tech fall at 149 and #7 Matt doing the same at 174. In the final dual of the weekend, Duke fell to American 22-18. Kaden Russell got his second win of the weekend with a pin at 197 and Wade Unger picked up his third win with a major decision at 157. For the third dual in a row, the Finesilver brothers matched each other's results, with both picking up major decisions. Duke had a forfeit at 165 in both duals on Sunday and that 6 point deficit loomed large in both duals. The Blue Devils are off this week and will host home duals against The Citadel and Bloomsburg next week.
North Carolina: The #20 Tar Heels were off this week after a very busy early season. They are off again this week and will travel to Appalachian State on 12/17.
NC State: The #5 Wolfpack hosted in-state competition from Gardner-Webb on Thursday night. Dominant is an understatement for the performance they put on inside Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolf Pack went 10-0 and won 7 matches by bonus points to beat Gardner-Webb 45-(-1). Gardner-Webb lost a team point for "not shaking hands at 197," which is absurd on many levels--but can we all agree that docking team points is ridiculous?
#5 Jakob Camacho led off the dual with a pin at 125, followed by decision wins from #17 Kai Orine and #18 Ryan Jack. #3 Tariq Wilson got a pin in 1:24 and looked very fast and very strong at 149; I think the move up will be great for him. #28 Ed Scott dominated his way to a tech fall at 157 and Donald Cates received a forfeit at 165 when Roderick Mosely didn't make weight. Alex Faison made the most of his time filling in for Hayden Hidlay at 174, earning a major decision. #3 Trent Hidlay looked phenomenal at 184. He was aggressive the entire match; blowing through double legs and hitting quick attacks-it was impressive. He worked his way to a 21-5 tech fall over NCAA qualifier Jha'Quan Anderson. #15 Isaac Trumble controlled his match against Anthony Perrine and took the 9-0 major and Deonte Wilson rounded out the dual with an 11-4 decision win. This Wolf Pack team is dangerous and I can't wait to see them at the Collegiate Duals in a few weeks taking on Binghamton and Mizzou.
Pittsburgh: The #22 Panthers were off this week. They will travel to Columbus for a dual against #8 Ohio State next Sunday.
Virginia: The Hoos were off this week and will be off until they travel to The Midlands at the end of December.
Virginia Tech: The #10 Hokies traveled to hostile territory to face a scrappy #23 Northern Iowa and a very tough #4 Mizzou. The dual against UNI started with a tough loss for #12 Sam Latona, falling 7-4 to #11 Brody Teske. After that loss, it was all Hokies--they won the next 9 matches. #4 Korbin Myers won in sudden victory at 133, followed by Colin Gerardi upsetting #29 Cael Happel 3-2. At 149, #7 Bryce Andonian hit a ridiculous feet-to-back throw/trip and got the pin in 39 seconds-he had a phenomenal weekend; more on that later. #24 Connor Brady continues his impressive start to the year with a 3-2 decision. Clayton Ulrey showed his grit and fight against the Panthers and earned the sudden victory over Derek Holschlag at 165. #4 Mekhi Lewis saw the Andonian pin and decided he wanted to play too--Lewis got the pin in 1:21 and started a run of pins for the Hokies. #9 Hunter Bolen also got a pin in under two minutes at 184, then Dakota Howard put on a takedown clinic before joining the pin party with :04 left on the clock. #14 Nathan Traxler closed out the dual with a 4-3 decision and left the Hokies with a lot of momentum moving into their evening dual against Mizzou.
The Tigers also handled the Panthers earlier in the day, but took a couple of upset losses. The atmosphere in the Hearnes Center was impressive as the #3 Tigers and #10 Hokies took the mat. #12 Sam Latona took his second loss on the weekend against #18 Noah Surtin--the match started high paced and had a long scramble where Surtin was able to stop Latona's movement in the worst possible position for the Hokie and pick up the fall. #4 Korbin Myers was more aggressive and dictated the match more against #27 Trey Crawford and won a lopsided decision 8-2. Colin Gerardi put up a great fight against #12 Allan Hart, controlling positions and showing incredible defense throughout. Hart was able to finish a takedown from a scramble in sudden victory to get the decision. #7 Bryce Andonian met a similar style wrestler in #19 Josh Edmond; the Tiger was able to get an early lead on a couple crisp shots. Andonian turned the tide when he backrolled through a double leg into his own takedown and back points. He didn't look back from there and put on an offensive display to win 10-4. #24 Connor Brady picked up his first ranked win on the season beating #11 Jarrett Jacques 3-2 to tie the team score 9-9 at the halfway point.
Clayton Ulrey fought for the team to save points against a highly ranked wrestler at 165. #3 Keegan O'Toole was held to his lowest team points of the year in taking the major decision over Ulrey. #4 Mekhi Lewis took the early lead, then #10 Peyton Mocco was able to claw himself back into the match and force overtime. They were scoreless in the sudden victory period; in TB1 Lewis was able to get a reversal into back points to take a four-point lead before allowing the escape to win 9-6. Lewis moves to 8-0 on the year with two top-10 wins. #9 Hunter Bolen was able to control the pace and positioning in a top-10 match against #10 Jeremiah Kent to win a 6-3 decision. Dakota Howard again showed his heart and refusal to quit against #5 Rocky Elam at 197. Howard held Elam to his lowest point total on the year and was down 8-0 before rallying to get a last-second takedown to erase the bonus point for the Tigers. As predicted, the dual came down to heavyweight, with the Tigers holding a 16-15 lead going into the final match. #14 Nathan Traxler was able to get in on several shots against #13 Zach Elam but wasn't able to finish cleanly. They traded escapes in the second and third and went into sudden victory with the dual on the line. The pair got into a scramble and Traxler was able to hold Elam in danger to get the three-count and the takedown points for the win. This was an incredible showing for the Hokies this weekend, and they take a ton of momentum into a two-week break before facing Hofstra and Arizona State to kick off the Journeymen Collegiate Duals.