The No. 22 Virginia wrestling team turned in a dominating performance Sunday as it scored a 39-3 victory at Drexel at the John A. Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia. The Cavaliers won at nine of the 10 weight classes, with six of the UVa wins resulting in bonus points.
“It was a great match for our team,” UVa head coach Steve Garland said. “For the last two weeks, they have been taking finals and have been battling in practice. When our kids are hard pressed, they always respond. We had a team meeting last night and I told them that this is a turning point in the season and they needed to respond to the challenge. The way the guys competed was awesome. They believed in themselves and really got after it.”
Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.) and Matt Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 9 and No. 20 nationally at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively, each recorded pins for the Cavaliers (3-1) to start the day, with Snyder needing 2:29 to pin Mike Gomez and Nelson taking 4:55 to finish off Josh Yurasits. With his team-leading fifth fall of the year, Snyder is now 10-1 this season. Nelson pushed his record to 11-3.
No. 12 Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.) and Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) each picked up technical falls at 184 and 165, respectively. Fausey rolled to an 18-2 tech fall over Bryon Sternlieb, while Sulzer won by an 18-3 count over Anson Worrell. Fausey improved to 11-1 this season, while Sulzer is now 11-2.
The Cavaliers also got major decisions from Jedd Moore (R-Jr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) and Vinny Waldhauser (Fr., El Dorado Hills, Calif.) at 157 and 174, respectively. Moore won 14-3 over Austin Sommer. Competing in his first college dual match, Waldhauser gave up just three escape points as he cruised to a 13-3 victory.
Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Shawn Harris (R-Sr., Cleveland, Ohio) each avenged losses from earlier this season. Nelson took out the lone wrestler to beat him this year, Frank Cimato, in a 4-2 decision to improve to 11-1 this year. Harris defeated Shane Fenningham, 4-1, at 149.
Ryan Malo (Sr., Georgetown, Mass.) went to sudden victory time before downing Brandon Palik, 3-1.
The Dragons (3-2) notched their lone win of the day at heavyweight, where Kyle Frey earned a 6-2 decision over Ethan Hayes (Fr., New Lebanon, Ohio).
After a brief break for the holidays, Virginia returns to competition Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle. The tournament shifts to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the first time this season after a long run in Greensboro, N.C.