By Bryan Johnston
Virginia Tech Sports Information
CORVALLIS, Ore. (hokiesports.com) – Despite being 2,700 miles from home and three time zones away, the seventh-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team posted a pair of impressive wins Sunday at the Regionals of the NWCA National Duals, crushing No. 25 Oklahoma before downing No. 9 Oregon State. With the wins, Tech advances to next weekend’s National Duals finals in Minneapolis, Minn.
In the first match, Tech won all eight matches wrestled in cruising past 25th-ranked Oklahoma 33-6. Jarrod Garnett got Tech off to a quick start with a major decision at 125 pounds. After a pair of forfeits (one by each team), No. 5 Nick Brascetta beat 16th-ranked Nick Lester for the third time this year, this time 8-2. Jesse Dong, ranked seventh in the country, picked up a major decision over Nick DeAngelis, setting up the big bout of the match.
Fifth-ranked Pete Yates overcame an early takedown by fourth-ranked Bubby Graham to get a takedown of his own, plus three nearfall points later in the match to pick up a huge 7-2 win to avenge his lone loss of the season. Austin Gabel picked up a major decision before Nick Vetterlein and Derrick Borlie both earned wins. David Marone beat Keldrick Hall – a guy who pinned him earlier this season – with a 3-1 sudden victory to end the match.
After a short break, the Hokies re-took the mat, this time against ninth-ranked Oregon State with a trip to Minneapolis on the line. Garnett opened with an 8-3 win before Erik Spjut held on for a 3-2 win at 133 pounds to give Tech a 6-0 lead. The Beavers tied it up with a pair of victories, but then Dong rallied from a 4-1 deficit against No. 10 R.J. Pena to pull out a 5-4 win to swing the momentum.
Yates picked up five more team points with a technical fall at 165 pounds before Gabel earned a big 6-2 win at 174 pounds. Vetterlein iced the match with a 15-8 win over Cody Wieshoff, but Borlie tweaked a hamstring and had to take an injury default at 197 pounds. The day ended on a controversial note as Marone lead fourth-ranked Chad Hanke by one with time running out, but Hanke got in and was award the takedown at the buzzer to win 7-6 despite the protests from the Tech coaching staff who thought it came after the clock hit 0:00.
“I thought we really wrestled well and redeemed ourselves today against Oklahoma, even though we beat them three weeks ago. We left too much on the table in that match and took it to them pretty good today,” head coach Kevin Dresser said. “In the OSU match, Jesse Dong got the gold star with his comeback win against a top-10 guy. He made the difference in the dual meet. Now, we have a quick turnaround with an arrival back to Blacksburg late Monday night and a flight to Minneapolis Thursday. He have some guys dinged up, so we have to lick our wounds and try to get ready.”
The pairings for Friday night will be announced early next week. Tech is likely to be the No. 6 seed and take on No. 3 seed Minnesota. The event takes place Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23. Friday night’s action starts at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. local). Cornell, Missouri, Tech and Oklahoma State all won Regionals Sunday and will meet the four teams with automatic bids into the finals: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State.
#7 Virginia Tech (15-2) 33, #25 Oklahoma (4-7) 6
125: #5 Jarrod Garnett (VT) maj. dec. Kyle Garcia, 17-4
133: #18 Erik Spjut (VT) wins by forfeit
141: #1 Kendrick Maple (OU) wins by forfeit
149: #5 Nick Brascetta (VT) dec. #16 Nick Lester, 8-2
157: #7 Jesse Dong (VT) maj. dec. Justin DeAngelis, 8-0
165: #5 Pete Yates (VT) dec. #4 Bubby Graham, 7-2
174: Austin Gabel (VT) maj. dec. Matt Reid, 11-2
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Nolan McBryde, 10-6
197: Derrick Borlie (VT) dec. Brad Johnson, 8-2
285: David Marone (VT) dec. Keldrick Hall, 3-1 (SV)
#7 Virginia Tech (16-2) 20, #9 Oregon State (10-4) 15
125: #5 Jarrod Garnett (VT) dec. Joey Palmer, 8-3
133: #18 Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Drew Van Anrooy, 3-2
141: #4 Mike Mangrum (OS) dec. #12 Zach Neibert, 7-3
149: #7 Scott Sakagucki (OS) dec. #5 Nick Brascetta, 3-1
157: #7 Jesse Dong (VT) dec. #10 R.J. Pena, 5-4
165: #5 Pete Yates (VT) tech fall Seth Thomas, 15-0 (4:33)
174: Austin Gabel (VT) dec. Cody Weishoff, 6-2
184: Nick Vetterlein (VT) dec. Austin Moorehead, 15-8
197: #6 Taylor Meeks (OS) inj. def. Derrick Borlie (4:38)
285: #4 Chad Hanke (OS) dec. David Marone, 7-6