Virginia Tech Wrestling closed out their non-conference part of their schedule with the biggest win of the season, defeating #9 Lehigh 20-17 on Friday night. The Hokies were 2-2 against Top-25 opponents this season but 0-2 against teams ranked in the Top-10.
Tonight, they found a signature win knocking off the Mountain Hawks, ranked 9th, in front of a rocking atmosphere at Cassell Coliseum. It is the team’s first win against a Top-10 opponent all season.
The match started off immediately in favor of Lehigh, picking up a forfeit from Virginia Tech at the 125 pound weight class. Dennis Gustafson of Virginia Tech, ranked 17th in the nation, faced a fierce opponent in freshman Nick Farro. The match was tied 2-2 going into the final period when Gustafson, using his experience edged Farro to win 3-2. VT’s Brent Moore then lost in the next weight, 141, 4-0 to Mountain Hawks freshman, Luke Karam. Lehigh held a 9-3 lead through three individual matches.
At 149, Ryan Blees of Virginia Tech pulled away from Jonathan Mele in the third period, using a takedown, to help secure a major decision victory, 14-6. Just before the break, BC LaPrade secured another 3-2, narrow victory for the Hokies in the 157 weight class.
Virginia Tech led 10-9 at intermission and kept their foot on the gas pedal, with fourth-ranked David McFadden claiming a 9-2 win over Lehigh’s 20th-ranked Gordon Wolf in the 165 weight class. McFadden added another win to his record, staying undefeated at 25-0 this season. He has been one of the best stories in the NCAA this season after coming back from the injury he suffered a season ago.
Following a Cody Hughes’s defeat, Zach Zavatsky followed it up with a huge 10-1 major decision win over Lehigh’s Dylan Ammerman to give Virginia Tech a 17-14 overall lead.
Then the match of the night came at 197 as Jared Haught took on Chris Weiler of Lehigh. The winner of this match would likely claim the overall match. Haught beat Weiler in November at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic by a score of 5-2. Tonight, Haught won in a thriller, by a score of 7-6. The win put Virginia Tech up 20-14. 12th-ranked Jordan Wood of Lehigh defeated 18th-ranked Andrew Dunn at heavyweight, but it didn’t affect the outcome of the dual meet as Virginia Tech won by a score of 20-17.
This was a big win for a Virginia Tech team that looks to once again contend for the ACC Champonship in March. They host Duke at 1:00 on Saturday at Cassell Coliseum.
Follow @TechLunchPailD on Twitter for live tweet updates as the Hokies look to build on their Top-10 victory against Lehigh.