BLACKSBURG -- It was a memorable night at the Moss Arts Center as Virginia Tech wrestling defeated the Duke Blue Devils 46-3 on Senior Night.After Duke forfeited at 125 pounds, Collin Gerardi got the sold-out Moss Arts Center crowd up in a hurry with his pin of Harrison Campbell. The redshirt freshman picked up his second pin of the season and third bonus point victory. Gerardi improves to 13-7 and 9-3 in duals.
With the win, No. 7 Tech improves to 11-1 on the season and 2-1 in ACC play. The Hokies have now won three straight duals, rebounding well after their loss to North Carolina on Jan. 24.
Six Hokies picked up bonus points Saturday night. Tech had two pins, three technical falls and one major decision.
Saturday wrapped up the home dual schedule for the season. Virginia Tech will travel to NC State and Pitt to finish the regular season before the ACC Championships on March 8.
Like Gerardi, Bryce Andonian was tasked with getting the crowd back on their feet after a Duke forfeit. He delivered with an 18-3 technical fall over Wade Unger. The true freshman had five takedowns and a four-point near-fall to grab five team points for the Hokies. Andonian has 15 wins on the year and 11 of them are bonus point victories.
After he was recognized on Senior Night, B.C. LaPrade pinned Eric Carter for his second career fall. The New Kent, Va. native beat the buzzer as he completed the fall with just one second remaining in the first period. LaPrade is now 12-5 on the season and 9-3 in dual matches.
Redshirt senior Cody Hughes wrestled his last match in Blacksburg Saturday night and came out on top of an 8-4 decision. Hughes did not allow an offensive point to Duke's Mason Eaglin and had three takedowns of his own. The South Berwick, Maine resident is now 12-8 and 8-4 in duals.
Making his dual debut, Cody Howard brought the energy, winning a 23-6 technical fall in 4:36. The redshirt freshman had four takedowns in the first period alone, and ended the match in the second with three more takedowns and two four-point near-falls. Howard picks up bonus points in his first career dual win and improves to 14-8 this year.
Stanley Smeltzer is a major decision machine, adding another Saturday night with a 14-4 win over Vincent Baker. The Smithfield, Va. native has 12 wins on the season, nine of which are by major decision. Smeltzer leads the team in major decisions by a wide margin, four clear of the next closest Hokie.
To bring our sixth annual dual on the stage to a close, John Borst won a 17-2 technical fall in 5:10. Borst had four takedowns and two four-point near-falls to earn his first tech fall of the season. The redshirt sophomore improves to 18-6 on the season and is outscoring his dual opponents 33-9.
125: #16 Joey Prata (VT) wins by forfeit
133: Collin Gerardi (VT) WBF Harrison Campbell (DU), 6:03
141: #19 Mitch Moore (VT) wins by forfeit
149: Bryce Andonian (VT) TF Wade Unger (DU), 18-3 (7:00)
157: #16 B.C. LaPrade (VT) WBF Eric Carter (DU), 2:59
165: Ben Anderson (DU) dec. Caden Darber (VT), 3-1
174: Cody Hughes (VT) dec. Mason Eaglin (DU), 8-4
184: Cody Howard (VT) TF Kai Blake (DU), 23-6 (4:36)
197: Stanley Smeltzer (VT) MD Vincent Baker (DU), 14-4
285: #19 John Borst (VT) TF Jonah Niesenbaum (DU), 17-2 (5:10)
No. 7 Virginia Tech will now prepare for a top-10 showdown with No. 3 NC State on Friday in Raleigh, N.C. The dual will be broadcast on the ACC Network as part of its Friday Night Duals package starting at 7 p.m.