What a night in Colombia, Mo. for Virginia Tech. Two top-twenty victories and 15 individual match wins made the 760 mile trip worthwhile.
No. 10 Virginia Tech added two victories to its record (3-1) Saturday night, walloping No. 17 Northern Iowa 39-3 and then snagging a last-second upset over No. 3 Missouri, 18-16.
The win over the Tigers couldn’t have been possible without the late-match heroics from No. 14 Nathan Traxler.
Traxler went head-to-head with No. 13 Zach Elam with Virginia Tech trailing Missouri by one, 16-15.
The match began with an escape from Elam in the second period. Traxler countered that escape with one of his own in the third to tie things up. With riding time not a factor, the match moved into a sudden victory situation.
The Stanford transfer then got in good position over Elam in the extra period and got the takedown call, securing the dual victory for the Hokies over the Tigers.
No. 4 Mekhi Lewis also had a rather impressive outing in the midwest, pinning his first opponent in a little over ninety seconds and picking up a decision victory against No. 10 Peyton Mocco later on.
Lewis held on to a 5-2 advantage in the second period but allowed the match to be tied after Mocco picked up a takedown and an escape before the end of regulation.
After a scoreless initial overtime period, Lewis racked up a reversal and a takedown in the second overtime session, giving him a 9-5 lead. Mocco was only able to get an escape point in his half of the period, giving Lewis the 9-6 victory.
The win was pivotal for the Hokies, bringing them within one point of Missouri. Had Mocco pulled out the win in the extra period, Tech would’ve been behind by five points.
Another wrestler who had an impressive outing was No. 7 Bryce Andonian, who went 2-0 on the night. He notched a pin in under a minute and had a near major decision victory.
Andonian’s pin came in less than forty seconds against Northern Iowa’s Colin Realbuto to push his 2021 record to 1-1, following a close defeat, 10-7, to Ohio State’s then No. 2 Sammy Sasso a couple weeks ago in Blacksburg.
The 2021 Junior World Team Member followed up the fall victory with an impressive ranked decision win over Missouri’s No. 19 Josh Edmond, 10-4.
Andonian nearly got pinned by Edmond in the first period, but he was able to wiggle his way out without Edmond earning any back points. A savvy roll through gave him a 7-2 advantage going into the second period.
Leading 9-4 going into the final frame, Andonian wrestled conservatively, only giving up a single point via an Edmond escape in the third period. The victory cut the Virginia Tech deficit to three and brought the Hokies within a decision victory of tying the score, which would happen after a decision win from No. 24 Connor Brady.
Other wrestlers who went 2-0 on the night for the Hokies were No. 4 Korbin Myers, Connor Brady, and No. 9 Hunter Bolen.
Collin Gerardi, Clayton Ulrey, and Dakota Howard all finished the day with a 1-1 record.
In a shocking development, No. 12 Sam Latona lost twice on Saturday, losing by decision to UNI’s No. 11 Brody Teske and falling via pin to Missouri’s No. 18 Noah Surtin in the first period. The losses drop Latona to 1-3 on the season in duals, with his only win being a fall against Gardner-Webb.
Virginia Tech will look to carry the momentum from its two ranked wins to the Journeyman Collegiate Wrestling Duals coming up in a little over two weeks on December 20.
The Hokies will then travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Southern Scuffle on January 1, before their next dual meet against West Virginia at home on January 9.
Results against No. 17 Northern Iowa (39-3, W)
125: No. 11 Brody Teske (UNI) dec. No. 12 Sam Latona (VT), 7-4
133: No. 4 Korbin Myers (VT) dec. Kyle Biscoglia (UNI), 6-4 (SV)
141: Collin Gerardi (VT) dec. No. 29 Cael Happel (UNI), 3-2
149: No. 7 Bryce Andonian (VT) WBF Colin Realbuto (UNI), 0:39
157: No. 24 Connor Brady (VT) dec. Cayd Lara (UNI), 3-2
165: Clayton Ulrey (VT) dec. Derek Holschlag (UNI), 9-7 (SV)
174: No. 4 Mekhi Lewis (VT) WBF Pat Schoenfelder (UNI), 1:31
184: No. 9 Hunter Bolen (VT) WBF Dajun Johnson (UNI), 1:50
197: Dakota Howard (VT) WBF Noah Glaser (UNI), 6:56
285 (HWT): No. 14 Nathan Traxler (VT) dec. Tyrell Gordon (UNI), 4-3
Results against No. 3 Missouri (18-16, W)
125: No. 18 Noah Surtin (MIZ) WBF No. 12 Sam Latona (VT), 2:38
133: No. 4 Korbin Myers (VT) dec. No. 27 Trey Crawford (MIZ), 8-2
141: No. 12 Allan Hart (MIZ) dec. Collin Gerardi (VT), 3-1 (SV1)
149: No. 7 Bryce Andonian (VT) dec. No. 19 Josh Edmond (MIZ), 10-4
157: No. 24 Connor Brady (VT) dec. No. 11 Jarrett Jacques (MIZ), 3-2
165: No. 3 Keegan O’Toole (MIZ) MD Clayton Ulrey (VT), 12-4
174: No. 4 Mekhi Lewis (VT) dec. No. 10 Peyton Mocco (MIZ), 9-6 (TB1)
184: No. 9 Hunter Bolen (VT) dec. No. 10 Jeremiah Kent (MIZ), 6-3
197: No. 5 Rocky Elam (MIZ) dec. Dakota Howard (VT), 8-2
285 (HWT): No. 14 Nathan Traxler (VT) dec. No. 13 Zach Elam (MIZ), 3-1 (SV)