BLACKSBURG -- Over 10 months from its last dual meet, Virginia Tech wrestling started 2021 the right way with a 28-6 win over Campbell in Cassell Coliseum Saturday afternoon. The eighth-ranked Hokies won eight matches over the Fighting Camels, including two bonus-point victories.Making his dual debut, freshman Sam Hillegas won in convincing fashion, pinning his opponent Shannon Hanna in 4:17. The Pittsburgh product was a two-time Pennsylvania state champion before signing with the Hokies in November 2019.
After taking an Olympic redshirt for the 2019-20 season, 2019 NCAA Champion Mekhi Lewis returned to Cassell Coliseum and won a 13-4 major decision over Austin Kraisser. Lewis used a four-point near fall to separate himself and lead 10-2 after the first period. A reversal in the third and riding time gave Lewis the bonus-point victory.
In the only ranked matchup of the day, No. 20 Bryce Andonian upset No. 9 Josh Heil via 12-9 decision. The two combined for six takedowns in what was a back-and-forth match, but Andonian was able to hold off Heil's late comeback attempt and start the season with a top-10 victory.
Sam Latona and Andy Smith won by decision in their dual debuts. Latona, a redshirt freshman, took a 5-3 decision while the freshman Smith won 12-7.
After missing all last season due to injury, Korbin Myers got back on the mat Saturday and earned a 4-1 decision win over Gabe Hixenbaugh. Myers had a takedown and an escape and held the riding time advantage to open the season with a victory.
HWT: No. 17 John Borst (VT) dec. Taye Ghadiali (CAM), 6-3
125: No. 18 Sam Latona (VT) dec. Zurich Storm (CAM), 5-3
133: No. 10 Korbin Myers (VT) dec. Gabe Hixenbaugh (CAM), 4-1
141: Sam Hillegas (VT) WBF Shannon Hanna (CAM), 4:17
149: No. 20 Bryce Andonian (VT) dec. No. 9 Joshua Heil (CAM), 12-9
157: Ben Barton (CAM) dec. Connor Brady, 7-4
165: No. 1 Mekhi Lewis (VT) MD Austin Kraisser (CAM), 13-4
174: Austin Murphy (CAM) dec. Kolton Clark (VT), 6-4
184: No. 2 Hunter Bolen (VT) dec. Caleb Hopkins (CAM), 4-3
197: Andy Smith (VT) dec. Levi Hopkins (CAM), 12-7
The Hokies will travel to Morgantown, W.Va., next week for a quad-meet with West Virginia, Ohio and Kent State. More information on the meet to be announced.