After a pair of tough matches against seventh ranked Missouri and 25th-ranked Northwestern, the Hokies took care of business against Princeton Friday night at Cassell Coliseum, 24-16.
After losing the first match, the Hokies picked up steam in the 157-pound match, as BC LaPrade's 5-4 comeback win over Quincy Monday tied the team score at three apiece.
Tech's Mekhi Lewis won the next match at 165, earning a major decision against Dale Tiongson, 17-4.
David McFadden headlined the night with his first start of the season. Ranked fifth in the country in his 174-pound weight class, McFadden suffered a concussion scare midway through the match. However, he overcame that to defeat Travis Stefanik 5-0.
Regarding the return of McFadden, head coach Tony Robie said, “It’s important. In our sport when you have guys out, it makes a difference, there’s just no two ways around that. McFadden’s always the guy that people get excited to watch, he gets his teammates excited, he’s a very likable guy. We fed off that tonight.”
Zach Zavatsky followed up McFadden’s victory with a major decision against Kevin Parker, 14-6. Zavatsky overcame a 6-2 deficit in the first period to steal the match. The win put Virginia Tech up 14-3.
In the only ranked matchup of the night, at 197 pounds, fifth-ranked Patrick Brucki of Princeton topped 17th-ranked Tom Sleigh in a hard-fought match, 8-3.
Virginia Tech's Billy Miller dominated his heavyweight match against Kendall Elfstrum, 9-2. Miller had over four minutes of riding time, which helped expand the Hokies' lead to 18-6.
“He kept the pressure on and he kept trying to score points, and that’s what we’re looking for," said Robie.
However, after 14th-ranked Patrick Glory of Princeton defeated Joey Prata in the 125-pound match, the Hokies' lead fell to 18-11. The Tigers were in striking distance with two matches left.
But 16th-ranked Korbin Meyers earned his pin for the Hokies at 133 pounds against Jake Adkins to seal the deal for Virginia Tech, as the Hokies held on to win, 24-16.
This was a significant win for Virginia Tech, as Princeton just came off one of the biggest wins in program history when they defeated eighth-ranked Lehigh.
“Princeton’s got a good team, and we knew that our margin for error was minimal," Robie said.
Virginia Tech will travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers at 7 P.M. on Wednesday, Dec. 19th.
“Morgantown's going to be another test for us. Coach Flynn’s got his guys wrestling really well, I know they’re gonna scrap so we better be ready to go,” said Robie.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics