#9 Virginia Tech Beats #17 Central Michigan 26-6

Virginia Tech wrestling started this season with a pair of big wins over teams outside the top 20 teams in Stanford and Chattanooga. With fifth-ranked Missouri looming, Virginia Tech faced their toughest test yet and had their best performance so far this season.

Ninth-ranked Virginia Tech beat 17th-ranked Central Michigan 26-6 in their best dual meet performance of the season. This match showed that the Hokies’ star talent is ready for their big showdown while some of VT’s young wrestlers are showing lots of promise.

Virginia Tech started with another strong performance from redshirt freshman Kyle Norstrem on his way to a 6-1 victory over Drew Hildebrandt. Norstrem has wrestled well over the past two weekends and is pushing to become ranked at 125 as his confidence continues to grow.

Dennis Gustafson followed that up with an 8-4 victory over CMU’s Dresden Simon to give the Hokies a 6-0 lead. Gustafson has been impressive so far this season and could rise a spot or two in the 133 rankings from his current ranking of 18th.

Brent Moore has a bright future, but Moore suffered a tough 5-0 loss to CMU’s Mason Smith. Right now, 141 is the biggest weakness in the Hokies’ lineup, but that should change as Moore continues to gain more experience and develop.

Solomon Chishko faced off in the biggest showdown of the day as the 7th-ranked wrestler at 149 against Central Michigan’s fifth-ranked Justin Oliver. Chishko entered this match looking for a big win while Oliver was looking for revenge after Chishko beat him in last year’s NCAA Championships.

Solomon Chishko won the rematch 3-1 over Oliver with a takedown in the final 10 seconds. Chishko hasn’t had the best start to the season, but Chishko made a statement that he is back to being one of the top wrestlers at 149 and will be a contender for a national title.

Redshirt freshman BC LaPrade recently moved into the starting lineup at 157 over Ryan Blees and isn’t showing any signs of giving up that spot. Against CMU, LaPrade had the best match of his young career.

LaPrade had his most impressive performance yet with a 3-1 sudden victory upset over CMU’s 13th-ranked Collin Heffernan. The redshirt freshman from New Kent, VA had a breakout weekend that may lead to him being ranked at 157 pounds.

David McFadden has come back better than ever this year and cruised to a 12-4 major decision victory over Logan Parks. McFadden continues to dominate at 165 and is clearly one of the top contenders to win the national title at his weight class this season.

Hunter Bolen put up a valiant effort at 174, but came up just short with a 6-4 loss to CMU’s CJ Brucki. The freshman from Christiansburg seems close to a breakthrough moment and shows plenty of signs that he has a bright future as the Hokies’ newest starting wrestler out of nearby Christiansburg.

After beating 12th-ranked Bryce Carr Friday night in Chattanooga, seventh-ranked Zack Zavatsky faced another tough challenge from Central Michigan’s Jordan Ellingwood. Like he did on Friday, Zavatsky stepped up and gained another big win.

Zavatsky beat Ellingwood with an impressive 7-4 victory that solidified his ranking and may push him up a spot or two in next week’s rankings. There may not have been a Hokie who had a better weekend than Zavatsky with his back-to-back impressive wins over Carr and Ellingwood.

Jared Haught had the largest margin of victory with a 13-2 major decision win over Central Michigan’s Jordan Atienza. Haught’s win sets up a huge showdown next Saturday between the 2nd-ranked Haught and Missouri’s 3rd-ranked Willie Miklus.

Andrew Dunn picked up a big win at Chattanooga and against CMU, he won a thriller with a 6-4 sudden victory over Matt Stencil. Dunn still has room to grow and develop, but the redshirt freshman has shown plenty of upside and toughness especially with his sudden victory.

Tony Robie has VT wrestling at an extremely high level after a dominant weekend of victories over Central Michigan and Chattanooga. Virginia Tech’s stars are wrestling as well as you would expect while the Hokies’ younger wrestlers are stepping up and picking up big, tough victories.

Next Saturday will be the biggest dual meet in Blacksburg since Penn State came to town two years ago with fifth-ranked Missouri coming to town. The stage is set for plenty of drama on a Moss Arts Center stage used to drama of a different nature.

Editor’s Note: If you’re a fan of Virginia Tech wrestling and in the Blacksburg area next Saturday, you should absolutely try to go to this match. The Moss Arts Center is a fantastic venue for a wrestling match that fans will enjoy no matter the final result. VT’s decision to host at least one match a year at the Moss Arts Center has been one of the best moves the VT Athletic Department has made over the past few years.

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