This past weekend, the Virginia Tech Hokies made a trip down to North Carolina to face #3 N.C. State and Duke with the 2016 ACC Dual-Meet title on the line in the matchup in Raleigh. The Hokies returned to Blacksburg with their goals accomplished while making a statement that they are one of the nation’s best and ready to push for a national title.
On Friday night, the #8 Virginia Tech Hokies went to Raleigh and upset the #3 N.C. State Wolfpack 19-14 to win the ACC Dual-Meet title for the second-straight year. The Hokies then went to Durham and took care of business with a 31-9 victory that gave the Hokies their second-straight undefeated regular season in conference play.
Over the course of the weekend, there were only two upsets that both went against the Hokies with #4 Nick Brascetta losing to #5 Tommy Gantt of N.C. State along with #10 David McFadden losing to unranked David Faust of Duke. McFadden was the only Hokie to have a disappointing and will drop a few spots after losing by a tech fall on Friday night before getting upset on Sunday.
A big reason for Friday’s victory was the performance of Dennis Gustafson and Sal Mastriani who both got wins over other unranked opponents with Gustafson getting a major decision. Gustafson has been wrestling better and better as the season has gone along, and definitely seems like someone that should jump into the top 20 at the 133 weight class.
Zack Zavatsky and Joey Dance once again had strong performances with victories over ranked opponents on Friday night and major decisions against unranked Duke wrestlers on Saturday. Zavatsky’s breakout this season is another reason why Virginia Tech has some serious hopes of winning a national title while Dance is a favorite to win the individual national title at 125.
Solomon Chishko came close to a big upset win against #3 Kevin Jack on Friday before bouncing back Saturday with a major decision while Ty Walz nearly took down the #1 heavyweight Friday night before getting a major decision victory on Saturday.
#3 Zach Epperly had a comfortable 5-0 win on Friday night before getting a pinfall on Saturday after 6 minutes of wrestling. Jared Haught nearly beat #5 Connor Hartmann of Duke in what could definitely be a rematch in the ACC Championship after getting a win over #15 Michel Boykin of N.C. State.
Kevin Dresser has done a tremendous job with the Hokies this season, and absolutely should win another ACC Coach of the Year. For the Hokies, their eyes will be set on getting one more win against Michigan before competing in the ACC Championships to get themselves ready to make a run at a national title.