#5 Virginia Tech Wrestling Wins ACC Dual Meet Title Over #8 NC State, Beats #16 South Dakota State

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Feb 14, 2017
[caption id="attachment_4416" align="aligncenter" width="700"] The #5 Hokies win the 2017 ACC Dual Meet title. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The fifth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies faced a huge challenge this weekend in Cassell Coliseum facing #8 NC State on Saturday to determine the 2017 ACC Dual Meet title followed by a Sunday dual meet against #16 South Dakota State. Despite the daunting challenge of facing two quality opponents on back-to-back days, the Hokies rose to the occasion and made a big statement. Virginia Tech won the 2017 ACC Dual Meet title Saturday night due to their 20-14 win over #8 NC State and followed that Sunday with a 29-15 victory over #16 South Dakota State. The Hokies continue to be one of the top teams in the country with an impressive 17-1 record with VT picking up two of its biggest wins of the season this past weekend. The star of the weekend was 6th-ranked Solomon Chishko who dominated at 149 this weekend with an 8-3 win over NC State's 8th-ranked Sam Speno followed by a 8-6 sudden victory over South Dakota State's 16th-ranked Alex Kocer. Chishko's weekend is quite impressive given how both of these mtches came within about 18 hours of each other and are a great sign of things to come for Chishko especially with the ACC and NCAA Championships looming with lots of matches in close proximity. Third-ranked Joey Dance had a strong weekend at 125 opening on Saturday night with a major decision victory over NC State's 12th-ranked Sean Fausz 11-3 and followed that up with a tech fall over South Dakota State's Ben Gillette. Meanwhile, VT's fifth-ranked 174 wrestler Zach Epperly also had a great weekend with a 5-3 win over NC State's Nick Reenan followed by a 3-1 sudden victory over South Dakota State's 16th-ranked David Kocer. #5 Ty Walz was unsurprisingly dominant picking up a major decision on Saturday and a tech fall win on Sunday while #15 Sal Mastriani is looking quite good at 157 and picked up two wins this weekend including a major decision on Sunday. #3 Jared Haught only wrestled on Saturday and took care of business with South Dakota State forfeiting at 197 on Sunday while #4 Zack Zavatsky was upset Saturday by 11th-ranked Michael Macchiavello and dropped to sixth in the 184 rankings despite a Sunday victory. Brendan Ryan had a brutal weekend losing twice by tech falls at 141 with that spot being the weakest spot for the Hokies while Dennis Gustafson went 0-2 with a tech fall loss on Sunday to South Dakota State's second-ranked Seth Gross. David Bergida was competitive in both of his matches at 165, but came up short in both. On Sunday, the Hokies learned that they would host #6 Nebraska this Sunday in the NWCA National Duals with this being one last chance for the Hokies to tune up and send a statement before the ACC and NCAA Championships. While a win would be nice Sunday, the Hokies are built for the postseason with 6 wrestlers ranked in the top 6 of their respective weight classes and 7 ranked in the top 15 with 133, 141, and 165 all being weak points. Kevin Dresser's squad is looking strong heading into the business end of the season with the Hokies having claimed one title and looking like one of the top threats to win a national championship.