Home UVa. wrestling wins its first Virginia Duals championship

UVa. wrestling wins its first Virginia Duals championship



UVa. claimed its first-ever Virginia Duals team championship with a 20-19 victory over No. 14 Edinboro Saturday evening at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. The 13th-ranked Cavaliers rallied from a 13-3 deficit after four weight classes, winning five of the final six classes to secure the title.

The championship is Virginia’s first in the 34-year history of the event. The top-seeded Cavaliers (11-2) topped fifth-seeded Kent State (7-5), 22-12, in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon to advance and face the second-seeded Fighting Scots (4-3).

Nick Herrmann (So., Amarillo, Texas), Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio), Jon Fausey (R-Sr., Dalmatia, Pa.) and Zach Nye (R-So., Enola, Pa.) each scored a pair of wins Saturday.

“This whole week was a gritty one for our guys,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “We lost one of our starters (Gus Sako) and hopefully we get him back soon, but it was a big hit to our lineup. Chris Yankowich stepped in and did a good job as always, but it didn’t affect the rest of the guys. They did their jobs and went out there and grinded out wins.

“We took a lot of tough losses over the course of this tournament, but guys kept rebounding and coming back. That’s the thing you want to see as a coach. It’s only January, but this feels good. We’re starting to see some special qualities from this group and hopefully that will continue.”


Championship Match

After dropping three of the first four weight classes, Virginia bounced back to win five of the final six classes to earn the championship.

UVa jumped to an early lead when Herrmann scored late to top No. 17 Kory Mines, 3-2. With the match tied at one in the third period, Herrmann took Mines down with 42 seconds left, then held the advantage until the final second.

Edinboro won the next three classes to jump ahead 13-3. Fourth-ranked A.J. Schopp pinned UVa’s Joseph Martinez (R-So., Platteville, Colo.) in the second period and reigning national runner-up Mitchell Port, currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally, rolled to a 7-2 decision over No. 13 Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) at 141 before 14th-ranked David Habat scored with a 13-4 major decision over UVa’s Chris Yankowich (So., Norristown, Pa.).

UVa cut the lead to 13-6 when No. 13 Blaise Butler (R-So., Belvidere, Ill.) registered a 14-8 win over No. 18 Johnny Greisheimer at 157. Butler pounced quickly for three first-period takedowns and just missed recording a major decision when Greisheimer wiggled free in the waning seconds to avoid a final takedown.

Ranked third nationally, Sulzer dominated Zach Towers at 165, winning in a 17-4 major decision. Sulzer is now 22-1 on the year, with 17 of his wins resulting in bonus points.

Stephen Doty (R-Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) knotted the team score at 13-13 with a 9-3 decision over Nick Mitchell. Doty recorded a late takedown in the second period to take a 6-2 lead, then controlled the third period to claim the riding time point.

After a scoreless first period, Fausey reversed Patrick Jennings midway through the second and later tilted him to pick up three back points for a 5-0 lead. Fausey took Jennings down near the edge of the mat in the third period, then rode out the period to claim the 8-0 major decision.

Nye clinched the championship with a 6-4 win over Vince Pickett at 197. Nye surrendered a takedown 30 seconds into the first period, but battled back and scored a takedown with 45 seconds remaining in the bout to take a 6-3 lead. He maintained control the rest of the way to erase the riding-time advantage and seal the team win.

Edinboro heavyweight Ernest James, ranked 17th nationally, finished the match by pinning No. 20 Ethan Hayes 15 seconds into the second period.



Virginia and Kent State engaged in an exciting back-and-forth battle in the semifinals, with UVa winning the final three classes to come back and pull out a 22-12 dual win. The dual featured a pair of ties as well as three lead changes.

Herrmann opened the dual by outlasting the Golden Flashes’ Alfredo Gray, 10-8, at 125. The first two periods were full of offense, with Herrmann taking a 9-7 lead into the third. He then held the advantage for most of the third period while building the riding time over a minute before allowing Gray to escape late.

Kent State’s Mac McGuire, ranked 18th nationally, avenged an earlier loss to Martinez with a 5-2 victory at 133. Spisak then scored his third win of the year over Tyler Small, 7-4, at 141. The Golden Flashes knotted the team score at 6-6 when Michael DePalma rolled to a 7-2 win over Yankowich at 149.

The Golden Flashes took their first lead when fifth-ranked Ian Miller held on to top Butler, 4-3 at 157. The deciding point came at the end when Miller picked up the bonus point on riding time.

The Cavaliers moved ahead, 10-9, as Sulzer racked up five takedowns and 3:15 in riding time in a 13-4 major decision over Tyler Buckwalter at 165. Kent State came back to grab its final lead when Caleb Marsh upset Doty 3-2 at 174; Doty pinned Marsh in their meeting earlier this year at the Hokie Duals.

The match’s turning point came at 184 pounds as Fausey scored a takedown with 25 seconds left in the third period to snap a 4-4 deadlock and claim a 6-5 win over ninth-ranked Sam Wheeler.

Nye continued the late heroics in a 2-1 win over Cole Baxter at 197. Nye recorded a takedown with 30 seconds left in the third period, then rode him out to secure the win and give the Cavaliers a 16-12 advantage.

Hayes put an exclamation point on the dual, pinning Mimmo Lytle in the heavyweight bout. After a scoreless first period, Hayes reversed Lytle near the edge of the mat and quickly finished off the pin to give the Cavaliers the 22-12 dual win.

Virginia is back in action Friday with a 7 p.m. ACC dual at Duke. The Cavaliers then travel to Old Dominion next Sunday (Jan. 19) for a 3 p.m. match.


No. 13 Virginia 22, Kent State 12

125: Nick Herrmann (UVa) dec. Alfredo Gray (KSU), 10-8; UVa 3-0

133: No. 18 Mac McGuire (KSU) dec. Joseph Martinez (UVa), 5-2; tied 3-3

141: No. 13 Joe Spisak (UVa) dec. Tyler Small (KSU), 7-4; UVa 6-3

149: Michael DePalma (KSU) dec. Chris Yankowich (UVa), 7-2; tied 6-6

157: No. 5 Ian Miller (KSU) dec. No. 13 Blaise Butler (UVa), 4-3; KSU 9-6

165: No. 3 Nick Sulzer (UVa) major dec. Tyler Buckwalter (KSU), 13-4; UVa 10-9

174: Caleb Marsh (KSU) dec. No. 10 Stephen Doty (UVa), 3-2; KSU 12-10

184: Jon Fausey (UVa) dec. No. 9 Sam Wheeler (KSU), 6-5; UVa 13-12

197: Zach Nye (UVa) dec. Cole Baxter (KSU), 2-1, UVa 16-12

285: No. 20 Ethan Hayes (UVa) pinned Mimmo Lytle (KSU), 4:02; UVa 22-12


No. 13 Virginia 20, No. 14 Edinboro 19

125: Nick Herrmann (UVa) dec. No. 17 Kory Mines (EU), 3-2; UVa 3-2

133: No. 4 A.J. Schopp (EU) pinned Joseph Martinez (UVa), 3:45; EU 6-3

141: No. 1 Mitchell Port (EU) dec. No. 13 Joe Spisak (UVa), 7-2; EU 9-3

149: No. 14 David Habat (EU) major dec. Chris Yankowich (UVa), 13-4; EU 13-3

157: No. 13 Blaise Butler (UVa) dec. No. 18 John Greisheimer (EU), 14-8; EU 13-6

165: No. 3 Nick Sulzer (UVa) major dec. Zach Towers (EU), 17-4; EU 13-10

174: No. 10 Stephen Doty (UVa) dec. Nick Mitchell (EU), 9-3; tied 13-13

184: Jon Fausey (UVa) major dec. Patrick Jennings (EU), 8-0; UVa 17-13

197: Zach Nye (UVa) dec. Vince Pickett (EU), 6-4; UVa 20-13

285: No. 17 Ernest James (EU) pinned No. 20 Ethan Hayes (UVa), 3:18; UVa 20-19

Rankings according to AWN



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