Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
No. 3 Virginia Tech Wrestling's impressive dual meet season continued in New York this weekend as the Hokies picked up a 47-0 shutout victory at Binghamton followed by another ranked victory 23-9 at No. 19 Cornell.
The wins solidify the Hokies' position as the third best dual meet team in the country and while national titles aren't decided by dual meet competitions, this young Virginia Tech team continues to exceed expectations.
Much of the focus was on Hunter Bolen, the Hokies' star 184 wrestler who's ranked second in the country at his weight class. With a potential top 6 matchup at Binghamton and a ranked matchup at Cornell, Bolen had a big opportunity. Unfortunately, Bolen didn't get the feature matchup at Bignhamton with No.6 Lou DePrez, but Bolen did beat No. 19 Jonathan Loew 7-2 to pick up the victory in the lone ranked matchup for Tech and their opponents this weekend.
No. 18 Mitch Moore had an impressive weekend at 141 not giving up a single point to his opponents in his matches. Moore started the weekend with a pin of Kevin Kelly just 1:13 into the match followed by a 6-0 victory against Cornell's Noah Baughman.
No. 19 B.C. LaPrade was dominant both days with a pair of major decision victories at 157 which should have him climbing a spot or two in the rankings. Additionally, Stanley Smeltzer had arguably his best weekend of the season at 197 with a pair of major decision victories that should be a major confidence booster with ACC matches looming.
Meanwhile, No. 3 David McFadden followed his first pin victory of the season on Saturday with a comfortable Sunday victory at 165. No. 17 John Borst was dominant giving up only 1 point over the course of his two victories for the weekend while No. 12 Joey Prata won both of his matches at 125.
Bryce Andonian came out firing with a technical fall victory against Binghamton's Michael Zarif but didn't finish the weekend as well suffering a 8-7 loss to Cornell's Hunter Richard. Collin Gerardi didn't wrestle at Binghamton after Binghamton forfeited that match, but had his chance at No. 4 Chas Tucker of Cornell who held off Gerardi 6-2 at 133. Cody Hughes has shown improvement at 174 recently and went 1-1 on the weekend.
Virginia Tech took care of business as they were supposed to while some of their most talented wrestlers like Hunter Bolen, Mitch Moore, B.C. LaPrade showed why they are ranked or highly ranked. The most important thing though may be the fact that Stanley Smeltzer had his best weekend of the season and appears to be finding his form just in time for the start of ACC dual meet season.
Next up for No. 3 Virginia Tech is their ACC opener against No. 13 North Carolina at Cassell Coliseum in a home dual meet that will be extremely important in a conference with 4 out of 6 teams ranked in the top 13.