Now #7 Virginia Tech Wrestling won a 16-14 thriller over now #8 NC State this past Friday led by an impressive return from injury for Bryce Andonian and Andy Smith's huge upset at 197 that gave Tech the final team points they needed for the win.
However, there were some areas of disappointment after 4 of their 5 losses came in sudden victory including at 125 where Eddie Ventresca was beat by Jarrett Trombley despite entering the match as the higher-ranked wrestler. Head coach Tony Robie mentioned 125 as a spot of disappointment after discussing how he felt his guys in some spots needed to wrestle a little tougher and smarter.
"I was really disappointed at 125, to be honest with you," head cosch Tony Robie said.
Ventresca had been in a rough patch of sorts going in to the NC State dual meet having lost two of 3 matches since the start of 2023 with this being his third in four, all three of which did come against ranked wrestlers but at least two who were ranked below him prior to their match.
Prior to the NC State dual meet, the 125 matchup was listed as Ventresca or fellow redshirt freshman Cooper Flynn who has gotten a few starts in dual meets earlier this season. When asked whether there was consideration of making a change at 125, Robie made it clear that a change will be considered going forward.
"There will be (consideration of a change) going forward," Robie said.
Now Flynn has wrestled Ventresca twice in tournaments this season with Ventresca winning in extra periods beyond even sudden victory showing how close these two are. Flynn also has a victory over UNC 125 starter Jack Wagner who at #19 is the highest-ranked 125 wrestler in ACC.
That context also seems important when discussing this battle because part of Robie is likely looking for is someone who can win 3 in a day to win an ACC title at 125. Given how open that class is with Tech and NC State both having intriguing talents there, one of those 2 beating out Wagner for that title could be a critical boost for either in their pursuits of winning the ACC Tournament championship.
There's also something to be said about trying to light a fire under a guy who's struggling and using public competition as a way to help get him out of a rut before we get to the ACC Tournament in March in Raleigh.
So will we see a change at 125 to Flynn or will Ventresca get another chance to preserve his starting job? We'll find out Friday night against Pittsburgh.