Virginia Tech Wrestling started off its season with a bang, upsetting #9 Missouri 29-10 in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday.
“Overall, I’m pleased with how we competed and how our guys went out there and were aggressive,” said Tony Robie, head coach. “Not only did we win, but I felt like we were more aggressive in a lot of situations.”
The Hokies had lost in three consecutive seasons to the Tigers before finally breaking through last weekend.
Both squads landed large blows early on Saturday. The dual meet was even through the first six matches. Missouri received solid performances from their top wrestlers. In the 149-pound class, No. 2 Brock Mauller defeated No. 23 Brent Moore 6-0 to start off the meet. Then, Conner Flynn earned a major decision over Cody Hughes in the 174-pound match. The Tigers’ last win came at 197 pounds where No. 20 Wyatt Koelling defeated Stan Smeltzer.
However, the Hokies secured points with their most talented wrestlers as well. At 157 pounds, one of the more highly anticipated matchups of the day, No. 17 BC LaPrade upset No. 10 Jarrett Jacques with a takedown in the first overtime period. No. 4 David McFadden made his return to 165 pounds with a major decision over Peyton Mocco. Then, in a top-15 matchup at 184, No. 9 Hunter Bolen earned a 10-9 decision over No. 14 Dylan Wisman.
That’s when the Hokies were able to pull away, winning the final 19 points of the match. John Borst earned a major decision in the heavyweight class, followed by a 2-0 win for Joey Prata at 125 pounds.
No. 14 Collin Gerardi didn’t get a chance to compete at 133 pounds due to a forfeit by Missouri at that class. The match was punctuated by No. 17 Mitch Moore’s pin of Missouri’s Alex Butler at 141 pounds. Moore had 10 falls last season and was able to kick off 2019 with another. This one occurred just 26 seconds into the match.
“As much as I’m pleased about getting the ‘W’ against a really solid program, I’m pleased about our guys implementing the stuff that we’ve been working on in the wrestling room,” Robie said. “We got some majors at the end of matches, and we had some guys fight off majors at the end of matches, so I felt like our fight was good.”
The Hokies, now ranked No. 13 by InterMat, proved on Saturday that they are a formidable team this season despite some key losses. However, there are still some big tests coming down the pipe for Tech, starting with No. 17 Northwestern on Sunday in the first-ever “Mat on the Mound” event.
— Virginia Tech Wrestling (@HokiesWrestling) November 4, 2019
The Wildcats went just 5-10 in 2018, but wrestled a tough schedule with nine dual meets against ranked opponents. One of those matches was in Evanston against the Hokies, where Northwestern earned their first win of the season, 20-16. This season, the Wildcats will start off their season in Blacksburg.
The match won’t be taking place in Cassell Coliseum like usual, but instead at English Field. This will be the first “Mat on the Mound” match that Tech has hosted. It will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“There have been several schools that have done some outside dual meets, so for us, English Field is really an ideal environment and setting for us to have an outdoor wrestling match,” Robie said. “From a capacity standpoint, it’s something that we can put a lot of people in and we can fill it up.”
For more information on the “Mat on the Mound” event, click the banner below.