CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The Virginia wrestling team (6-2) kicked off the weekend with a strong performance on Friday night (Jan. 17), taking a 29-9 victory over Chattanooga (4-7) at Memorial Gym. It was the first of two duals on the weekend as the Cavaliers will host VMI at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 18).
Virginia won 7-of-10 weight classes, including bonus-point victories from redshirt sophomore Brian Courtney (Sayre, Pa.), redshirt freshman Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.), senior Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) and redshirt junior Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.) Courtney and Mueller both picked up major decisions, while Miller added a technical fall and Hayes pinned his opponent to close the night.
"We've been very blessed to have three amazing leaders in our captains Jack Mueller, Louie Hayes and Jay Aiello - and our leaders led tonight," said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. "When they took off, we took off. With Quinn (Miller) getting a technical fall, and the way our three captains led and scored points, it was phenomenal for us. It was the perfect way to end the dual meet. That's what we want Virginia wrestling to be known for and the way we want all of our guys to compete. It couldn't have ended any better for us."
Courtney started the night with the major decision at 141 pounds that helped keep the Cavaliers on top as the squads traded victories through the first six weight classes. Redshirt freshman Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) won by decision at 157 pounds and Victor Marcelli winning by decision at 174 pounds.
With Virginia holding to a 10-9 lead after the first six weight classes, the home team went to work and locked things down for the victory. The run started with the 12-3 major decision from eighth-ranked Aiello at 197 pounds before Miller would grab the technical fall by a score of 16-1 at heavyweight.
With the Cavaliers holding a 19-9 advantage in the overall dual score, second-ranked Mueller took the mat for the first time since the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and ground out an 11-0 major decision at 125 pounds. Hayes, the No. 19 wrestler at 133 pounds, then capped the evening with his first-period pin.
141: Brian Courtney major dec. Aidan Murphy (UTC), 14-6 - UVA 4, UTC 0
149: Tanner Smith (UTC) dec. Michael Murphy, 7-3 - UVA 4, UTC 3
157: Justin McCoy dec. Tyler Shilson (UTC), 7-3 - UVA 7, UTC 3
165: Andrew Nicholson (UTC) dec. Krystian Kinsey, 4-1 - UVA 7, UTC 6
174: Victor Marcelli dec. Hunter Fortner (UTC), 3-1 (sv-1) - UVA 10, UTC 6
184: Matthew Waddell (UTC) dec. Michael Battista, 7-2 - UVA 10, UTC 9
197: No. 8 Jay Aiello dec. Rodney Jones (UTC), 12-3 - UVA 14, UTC 9
HWT: Quinn Miller tech fall Grayson Walthall (UTC), 16-1 (7:00) - UVA 19, UTC 9
125: No. 2 Jack Mueller major dec. Fabian Gutierrez (UTC), 11-0 - UVA 23, UTC 9
133: No. 19 Louie Hayes pinned Colton Landers (UTC), 2:24 - UVA 29, UTC 9