NC State 157 lber Ed Scott (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Duke: The Blue Devils were off this week and will return to action on Thursday when they welcome the Appalachian State Mountaineers in Durham.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels sent eight wrestlers to the Franklin and Marshall Open last week. The day was highlighted by two wrestlers bringing home titles--#7 Kizhan Clarke at 141 and #27 Max Shaw at 197. Clarke remained undefeated on the year--9-0 against D1 competition--and wrapped up his championship with three decision wins and a major decision in the finals. Clarke has been a solid addition to the Tar Heel lineup since his transfer and provides another consistent leader in the lineup. Shaw improved his record to 6-2 against D1 competition while winning five matches on the day, including two tech falls to win the title at 197. Shaw picked up wins over three conference foes on the day from Pittsburgh, NC State and VT. Freshman Spencer Moore also found the podium on the day, finishing in 6th after going 3-2 on the day. The Tar Heels are off until 1/21 when they open ACC competition hosting Duke.
North Carolina State: The #5 Wolfpack invaded Jadwin Gym and took a decisive team win over the Princeton Tigers. They won eight of ten matches en route to a 38-9 win over the #19 Tigers.
Unfortunately, one of the more anticipated matches of the dual didn't happen; #10 Jakob Camacho received a forfeit and did not face #1 Patrick Glory. At 133, Jarrett Trombley won by major decision, as did #15 Ryan Jack at 141. #3 Tariq Wilson took a 6-4 decision over a very scrappy Marshall Keller at 149.
In the biggest match of the day, #11 Ed Scott continued his run of dominance to start the year and knocked off #5 Quincy Monday 6-4. Scott showed his offensive prowess with takedowns in both the second and third period to seal the ranked win. This is his second straight top-10 win and third straight ranked win. Ed Scott has definitely been one of the stories of the season for the Wolfpack. He has emerged as a dominant force at 157 and is earning his place, climbing up the national rankings.
At 165, AJ Kovacs bumped from 157 to fill the spot for the Wolfpack. He wrestled very well up a weight but lost on a riding time point 5-4. Into the teeth of the lineup, #5 Hayden Hidlay dominated with a 17-2 tech fall, followed by #3 Trent Hidlay controlling #22 Travis Stefanik to earn a 17-4 major decision. Mark this down as another dual where both brothers get BONUS. In an unexpected turn, #13 Isaac Trumble was pinned in the first period by Aidan Conner to give the Tigers their final points of the match. At 285, Owen Trephan got the nod and took a 6-3 decision over Matthew Cover. The Wolfpack will be off next week and are preparing to open ACC competition by hosting the #10 Virginia Tech Hokies to open conference duals on 1/21.
Pittsburgh: The #21 Panthers welcomed both Army and #3 Michigan to Fitzgerald Fieldhouse on Sunday and treated the crowd to some big matches. They opened the day with the Black Knights from Army and had a solid performance across the team to take the 29-10 win. The dual started at 165 with #13 Jake Wentzel snatching a 1-0 decision over #32 Dalton Harkins. Hunter Kernan was pinned by #29 Ben Pasiuk at 174 before the Panthers started a run of six wins in a row. #31 Gregg Harvey won by decision at 184, followed by #8 Nino Bonaccorsi getting a ranked win with a decision over #25 JT Brown 8-4. At 285, Jake Slinger won by decision before a streak of bonus-point wins at the lower weights.
#31 Gage Curry won by major at 125, followed by another from #7 Micky Phillippi at 133. #23 Cole Matthews got his first of two big wins on the day with a pin over Thomas Deck. #23 PJ Ogunsanya took a major decision win over Luke Kemerer for the final Army win of the day. The dual wrapped up with a ranked win for #21 Elijah Cleary taking a decision over #28 Markus Hartman.
The second dual of the day was a battle with #3 Michigan. The Wolverines have a formidable lineup and are putting themselves in position to be on the podium in March--the lineup is equally strong as a dual team and as a tournament team. The dual opened with back-to-back pins for Michigan--#6 Logan Massa at 174 over Hunter Kernan and #2 Myles Amine over Nicholas Meglino at 184. In one of the most anticipated matches of the dual, #9 Patrick Brucki gave #8 Nino Bonaccorsi his second loss of the season with a 6-3 decision. At 285, #2 Mason Parris picked up a major decision over Jake Slinger. The much-discussed Michigan debut for National Champion Nick Suriano ended with a major decision for the Wolverine over #31 Gage Curry.
The second half of the dual started better for the Panthers with #7 Micky Phillippi winning by decision at 133. In a seismic upset across the national landscape, #23 Cole Matthews put on a display of offense and scrambling to knock off #3 Stevan Micic. Matthews was dialed in from the whistle and wrestled arguably his best match of the year against his most formidable opponent. It was an impressive performance by Matthews and the win gives him tremendous momentum moving into ACC competition. The team momentum was short-lived as Dan Mancini lost by decision at 149, followed by #21 Elijah Cleary losing a tight 3-1 decision to #15 Will Lewan at 157. The dual ended with #13 Jake Wentzel getting his hand raised with a victory by forfeit. Michigan 29 Pittsburgh 12
Pittsburgh has another top-10 team making the trek to the Fitzgerald Field House on Friday as they welcome the #6 Arizona State Sun Devils. There will be some solid matchups in this dual that we will dive into later this week.
Virginia: The Cavaliers sent a squad to the F&M Open on Friday made up of starters, backups and redshirts. The Hoos brought four placewinners back to Charlottesville. Jarod Verkerleeren finished in second at 149 after a strong performance. Verk picked up three tech falls and a pin en route to the title match against #18 PJ Ogunsanya of Army. Ogunsanya won in the finals 4-3 in a tight match. Also making the finals was #29 Quinn Miller at 285. Miller won four bouts, including a decision over #27 Riley Smith of Navy, before getting pinned by a very dangerous #7 Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in the finals. Hendrickson is 11-0 on the season with a 100% bonus rate and nine pins--very impressive stats for the big guy.
Also placing for the Hoos was Patrick McCormick at 125. Patches won three matches, including two by major, before falling in the semis to Jacob Allen of Navy. He took third after a disqualification by Jared Van Vleet of Air Force in the bronze match. The final placer was Denton Spencer at 157; he won three matches, including a pin, before falling in the semis to #28 Markus Hartman of Army by pin. He won the third-place match by medical forfeit by #18 Andrew Cerniglia of Navy.
The other big note for the tournament was the return of Vic Marcelli at 174 and the debut of Gabe Christenson, a transfer from Iowa at 197. Both went 3-2 on the day and Coach Garland was very optimistic about their performance. The Hoos will travel east on I64 to the Virginia Duals this weekend.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies hosted a modified tri-meet with Binghamton and West Virginia on Sunday in Cassell Coliseum and picked up wins in 16 of 21 matches wrestled on the day. #16 Sam Latona looked great in his first match of the second half of the season. He racked up 8 takedowns and earned back points to win by tech fall 22-7. #5 Korbin Myers went 2-0 on the day, winning both by major decision and not allowing a takedown in either match. His first win was a 13-1 controlling victory over #32 Anthony Sobotker of Binghamton.
At 141, Sam Hillegas returned to the starting lineup for the Hokies and went 2-1 on the day. He lost 4-0 to Ryan Anderson of Binghamton, but then picked up a pin over Caleb Rea and a major decision over Lucas Seibert of West Virginia. Colin Gerardi has been manning 141 and has looked great this season; adding Hillegas gives them another weapon--with an impressive top game at 141, going into conference duals.
Kylan Montgomery went 1-1 on the day, filling in at 149 for Bryce Andonian. At 157, #23 Connor Brady improved to 11-2 on the year, going 2-0 on the day with a decision and a first-period pin. Clayton Ulrey won a decision over Brevin Casella of Binghamton and received a forfeit from West Virginia when Peyton Hall did not wrestle. #5 Mekhi Lewis continued to look dominant, going 2-0 with a 10-4 decision and a pin. Virginia native Simeon Holmes was in at 184 for the Hokies and went 1-2 on the day. At 197, Andy Smith saw his first dual action of the year in Cassell and split matches, winning by decision over Jackson Moomau of West Virginia and losing by decision to #12 Louie DePrez of Binghamton.
#13 Nathan Traxler had another big day for the Hokies, winning both matches over ranked opponents. He controlled the pace in the first match against Binghamton and finished a first-period pin over #20 Joe Doyle. He followed that up with a match that was closer on the scoreboard than on the mat, winning by decision 5-2 over Michael Wolfgram of West Virginia. The Hokies are off next week and will travel to Raleigh to face the Wolfpack to open ACC duals on 1/21.