197 lb Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational champion Isaac Trumble (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
It was a wild, wild week in the ACC. We had an amazing dual performance from Pittsburgh and a comeback for the ages from Virginia. NC State and VT both had outstanding performances out in Vegas and brought back some hardware. Lots of fantastic individual results to look at this week as well. Let's get to it.
The Blue Devils were led by 2-0 performances from #21 Jonah Neisenbaum and Jared Papscy and split duals against VMI and F&M. Duke lost to VMI 28-9 with wins from Neisenbaum, Papscy and Patrick Rowland (149). In a back-and-forth dual, they topped Franklin & Marshall 19-18. They were led by a fall from Gaetano Console (165) and a major from Neisenbaum. Papscy, Logan Ferrero (149), and Luke Chakonis (184) also picked up decision wins.
Duke is off next week and will be back in action on December 21st in duals against Presbyterian and George Mason.
Duke 19, Franklin & Marshall 18
125: Mason Leiphart (F&M) dec. Ethan Grimminger, forfeit
133: Giovanni Diaz (F&M) dec. Drake Doolittle, 6-3
141: Jarred Papcsy dec. Pat Phillips (F&M), 3-1 SV
149: Logan Ferrero dec. Avery Clarke (F&M), 4-0
157: Nick Alvarez (F&M) dec. Nick Tattini, 7-6
165: Gaetano Console dec. RJ Moore (F&M), fall 1:17
174: Noah Fox (F&M) dec. Conor Becker, 3-1
184: Luke Chakonis dec. James Conway (F&M), 4-1
197: John Crawford (F&M) dec. Jack Wimmer, 4-3
285: Jonah Niesenbaum major dec. Chase Thompson (F&M), 13-2
149: Patrick Rowland major dec. Hunter Hockensmith (F&M), 10-2
VMI 28, Duke 9
125: Anthony Burke (VMI) dec. Ethan Grimminger, forfeit
133: Dyson Dunham (VMI) major dec. Drake Doolittle, 10-0
141: Jarred Papcsy dec. Frederick Junko (VMI), 10-4
149: Patrick Rowland dec. Ryan Vigil (VMI), 6-4 SV
157: Job Chishko (VMI) dec. Preston Decker, 5-0
165: Braxton Lewis (VMI) dec. Gaetano Console, fall 2:43
174: Jon Hoover (VMI) dec. Conor Becker, 3-1
184: Zach Brown (VMI) dec. Luke Chakonis, 3-1
197: Tyler Mousaw (VMI) dec. Jack Wimmer, 6-3
285: Jonah Niesenbaum dec. Josh Evans (VMI), 3-2
285: Solomon Harris (VMI) dec. Connor Barket, fall 4:18
#17 North Carolina
The Tar Heels were off this week and will return to action December 15th with a dual against Appalachian State.
#11 North Carolina State
The Wolfpack had a fantastic tournament at the CKLV and left Las Vegas with two champs, a runner-up team finish, and five other placers. They were led by championship performances from #3 Trent Hidlay and #14 Isaac Trumble.
Hidlay was 5-0 on the weekend, including ranked wins over #10 Matt Finesilver, #4 Kaleb Romero and #2 Parker Keckeisen; avenging a loss at last year's NCAA tournament. Hidlay was locked-in all weekend and was relentless on offense. He moves his record to 10-0 on the year.
Trumble also looked solid all weekend and was a monster on top, picking up two pins en route to his title. He picked up ranked wins over #24 Jacob Koser, #23 Silas Allred and #21 Tanner Harvey to take the title.
#9 Ed Scott and #14 Ryan Jack both finished in third. Scott picked up two pins and two ranked wins on the weekend; he lost a tight bout to #4 Peyton Robb--closing the gap from their earlier match this year--in the semifinals, before beating #3 Will Lewan for 3rd. Jack continues to impress with his growth this season and he put together a great tournament. He had ranked wins over #26 Matt Kazimir, #15 Cleveland Belton and #13 Tom Crook; he dropped a heartbreaker to #17 Brock Hardy in the semifinals before beating #29 Josh Koderhandt in the 3rd place bout.
To wrap up the placers for the Wolfpack, #22 Jackson Arrington placed 5th, Alex Faison placed 6th and #19 Owen Trephan placed 7th.
The Panthers went into Illinois and put on a show. They were dominating in a 30-6 win over the Illini, marking the largest winning score differential from an ACC program over a B1G team. #11 Micky Phillippi picked up a big ranked win over #6 Lucas Byrd--he had been winless in their previous two matches. #8 Nino Bonaccorsi also picked up a ranked win in sudden victory over #15 Zac Braunagel. They were led by pins from Colton Camacho and #21 Dazjon Casto as the only bonus points on the day. Just as the upperweights swept bouts in the dual against Lehigh, the lower weights took that honor against Illinois. The only losses for the Panthers on the day were both in sudden victory, and to ranked opponents. #14 Holden Heller dropped to #19 Danny Braunagel and #33 Luca Augustine fell to #10 Edmond Ruth.
The Panthers have responded well to their dual loss to Maryland and have been on a roll since then. This dual performance was very impressive and shows that Pittsburgh is in a good spot moving into the midpoint of the season.
Pitt 30, Illinois 6
125 | Colton Camacho (Pitt) pins Maximo Renteria (Pitt), 5:15
133 | #11 Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. #6 Lucas Byrd (Illinois), 4-3
141 | #1 Cole Matthews (Pitt) dec. Danny Pucino (Illinois), 4-2
149 | Tyler Badgett (Pitt) dec. Kevon Davenport (Illinois), 4-2
157 | #21 Dazjon Casto (Pitt) pins Luke Odom (Illinois), 4:58
165 | #19 Danny Braunagel (Illinois) dec. #14 Holden Heller (Pitt), 9-7 SV
174 | #10 Edmond Ruth (Illinois) dec. #33 Luca Augustine (Pitt), 3-1 SV
184 | #21 Reece Heller (Pitt) dec. Dylan Connell (Illinois), 8-1
197 | #8 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. #15 Zac Braunagel (Illinois), 3-1 SV
HWT | Jake Slinger (Pitt) dec. Matt Wroblewski (Illinois), 2-0
The Hoos had one of the wildest duals of the weekend in Buies Creek, NC. Campbell swept the opening bouts, taking a 16-0 lead, before UVA stormed back to win the dual 18-16. The dual opened at 197, with Michael Battista falling by major decision to Levi Hopkins. Jessie Knight, manning the heavyweight spot after the injury of Gabe Christensen, wrestled well, but dropped a decision to #13 Taye Ghadiali. The next two bouts featured true freshmen for the Hoos, with Kyle Montaperto and Garrett Grice both on the losing side of one-point decisions. Dylan Cedeno then dropped a decision to Shannon Hanna. UVA was looking at a very large hole to climb out of; down 16 with five matches to go. #29 Jarod Verkleeren was the first to pick up a win for the Hoos, picking up a 3-1 decision in a match that he was dominant on top, despite a questionable stalling point given. Denton Spencer, bumping up a weight class and filling in for an injured Jake Keating, answered the call in a big way. Spencer was dominant from the first whistle, opening a quick 6-0 lead before getting the pin in 1:10 over Troy Nation. This was a big spark for the Hoos as they followed with a 9-3 decision in a controlling win for #9 Justin McCoy, and a 2-1 decision for Justin Phillips at 174 to bring the team score to 16-15 going into the final bout. In the final match of the evening, #30 Neil Antrassian put on a top work display, racking up over three minutes of riding time in a very dominant 9-3 decision over Caleb Hopkins to give UVA the win.
I was incredibly impressed with the fight of the Cavaliers in this dual. The performances by Denton Spencer and Neil Antrassian were outstanding. The dual between these teams has been fun to watch the last two years, I really hope they keep this scheduled in the years to come, as both programs continue to improve.
#15 Virginia Tech
The Hokies took a partial lineup to the CKLV and finished with 5 of those 7 wrestlers on the podium, highlighted by a second trip to the finals by Mekhi Lewis.
Lewis looked great in the early rounds, with a tech fall and a pin of #19 Cade Devos. He met #9 Chris Foca in the semis, where he worked his way to a 3-1 decision to set up a finals match with #3 Mikey Labriola. The finals was a tight match, with Lewis able to get to legs a few times but unable to finish. It went to sudden victory where Labriola was able to find his way to control in a scramble to get the winning takedown.
Hunter Bolen wrestled an incredible tournament, bringing home third-place honors. After beating #27 Cade King, he dropped a 3-2 decision to #4 Kaleb Romero in the quarterfinals. He went on a run on the backside, including wins over #10 Matt Finesilver and a pin over a very scrappy Lenny Pinto to set up a rematch with Romero for third. This was the third meeting between the two on the season, with Romero holding a 2-0 advantage. Bolen wrestled a great match and was able to get the winning takedown in sudden victory to earn the third-place finish.
Andy Smith had a stellar weekend, knocking off ranked opponents and making the semifinals. He was able to finish out a close match to knock off #11 Tanner Sloan to make the semis to face #21 Tanner Harvey. Smith had a tight bout with Harvey but came out on the losing side of a 3-2 decision. He medically defaulted after this match and ended the weekend with a 6th place finish. Smith was very impressive in Vegas and announced his presence at 197.
Also placing for the Hokies were #13 Tom Crook and #9 Sam Latona. Crook placed fifth at 141 and had ranked wins over #18 Jesse Vasquez and #23 Parker Filius. Latona went 3-3 on the weekend with ranked wins over #7 Chris Cannon and #32 Jason Shaner on his way to a sixth place finish.
The Hokies will open their home slate with a huge dual at Cassell Coliseum this weekend against #6 Missouri on Sunday.