Hokie Wrestlers Finish Second at the ACC Championships

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David McFadden Virginia Tech Wrestling
David McFadden was one of three individual champions for the Hokies, but as a team, Virginia Tech finished second to NC State at the ACC Wrestling Championships. (Photo by Ivan Morovoz)

Virginia Tech Wrestling’s quest to win its third-straight ACC Championship came up short Saturday, as the Hokies finished second to NC State. 3,742 fans attended the event at Cassell Coliseum.

Here’s the team scoring:

  • 93.5 – NC State
  • 86 – Virginia Tech
  • 47.5 – UNC
  • 41 – Pittsburgh
  • 39 – Duke
  • 27.5 – Virginia

Going strictly by seeding, Virginia Tech was favored to win the championship, but a few NC State wrestlers pulled upsets along the way, and in the matchups where the two teams faced each other, NC State went 4-2 against the Hokies.

Eight of the Hokies’ ten wrestlers “wrestled to their seed” and finished where they were seeded, including three champions: Mekhi Lewis at 165, David McFadden at 174, and Zack Zavatsky at 184. At 133 pounds, fourth-seeded Korbin Myers finished third, but at 197 pounds, second-seeded Tom Sleigh finished third.

2019 ACC Championship Wrestling Results for Hokies Wrestlers
125Joey Prata3rd3rd
133Korbin Myers4th3rd
141Mitch Moore2nd2nd
149Ryan Blees4th4th
157B.C. LaPrade3rd3rd
165Mekhi Lewis1st1st
174David McFadden1st1st
184Zack Zavatsky1st1st
197Tom Sleigh2nd3rd
285/HwtBilly Miller3rd3rd

The title for Zavatasky, a redshirt senior, was his third, making him the sixth Hokie with three or more ACC titles, joining Joey Dance, Jesse Dong, Nick Brascetta, Jarrod Garnett and Devin Carter. McFadden’s championship was his second; a redshirt junior, he’ll be back for a try at a third title next year. Lewis is a redshirt freshman, so his title was his first.

Sleigh’s situation was pivotal. Wrestling in the semi-finals against third-seeded Malik McDonald of NC State, Sleigh was locked in a 2-2 battle as time ran down in the third period and overtime loomed. But Sleigh was called for stalling with 14 seconds left to go, awarding a point to McDonald and effectively ending the match, as there wasn’t enough time for Sleigh to get a takedown (Go to the 3:15:45 mark of this linked video). Boos rained down from the Cassell Crowd when the match ended.

Not only did that loss knock Sleigh down to an eventual third-place finish, but McDonald went on to win the weight class, finishing two spots above his seed. Third-seeded Thomas Bullard came in second at 165 for the Wolfpack, and fifth-seeded Deonte Wilson came in fourth at 285, as all ten Wolfpack wrestlers wrestled to their seed or above it. In the end, that was all it took for the Wolfpack to eke out the win and end Virginia Tech’s run of championships at two straight.

Nine of the Hokies’ ten wrestlers automatically qualified for the NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 21-23 in Pittsburgh. The only exception was Joey Prata at 125 pounds, and he’ll wait to see if he gets an at-large bid.

For full results, click here for a PDF bracket, and click here to read the hokiesports.com writeup.

Enjoy these photos, taken by Ivan Morozov and Brian Wells.

Joey Prata
Joey Prata, 125 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
Korbin Myers, 133 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
Mitch Moore
Mitch Moore, 141 pounds (Photo by Brian Wells)
Ryan Blees
Ryan Blees, 149 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
BC LaPrade
BC LaPrade, 157 pounds (Photo by Brian Wells)
Mekhi Lewis
Mekhi Lewis, 165 pounds (Photo by Brian Wells)
David McFadden
David McFadden, 174 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
Zack Zavatasky
Zack Zavatasky, 184 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
Tom Sleigh
Tom Sleigh, 197 pounds (Photo by Ivan Morozov)
Billy Miller
Billy Miller, heavyweight (Photo by Brian Wells)



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4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. That Sleigh stalling call was BS. NO one makes that call at that point in a match that pivotal. It ended up being the deciding factor in the entire match. It could have been as much as a 16 point swing and was at least an 8 point swing.

    1. Not only that, I didn’t see grounds for stalling to begin with. And most certainly, anything Sleigh was doing was no more egregious than his opponent. The call was a total surprise and disappointment.

      1. You have to work to the center of the mat. One thing that hurt Sleigh is that he was backing out of the circle on the restarts and his “attempts” really didn’t have any punch behind them. I hate it for the guys (and Sleigh) but you don’t take a chance with 1 stall call in a tight match by continuing to back up and not stay in the center of the mat.

  2. I see a 10-9 and a 2-1 decision in there also, frustrating. Sleigh was, of course, injured a month ago and I’m sure there’s no crying in wrestling, just one of those years VT couldn’t ease into the top spot. Oh well, the ACC’s a real wrestling league now with five of the six ACC teams ranked.

    Good luck in the NCAA’s still time to make some noise.

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