For the first time this season in the ACC, Virginia Tech found out what it’s like to be the guy on the other side.
Opening up the match with four-straight losses, including No. 3 Mekhi Lewis’ first of the year, the Hokies were down 12-0 and needed a spark.
No. 14 Nathan Traxler was up next to wrestle against NC State freshman Owen Trephan, and despite the drastic gap of experience and talent between the two, Trephan kept it close until the final seconds.
Tied at one with twenty seconds to go, Traxler scored the Hokies’ first takedown of the night to earn VT’s first bout win in the dual, 3-2.
No. 20 Sam Latona carried that momentum to a 9-3 win over NC State’s No. 14 Jakob Camacho and No. 5 Korbin Myers followed it up with a major decision victory over NC State’s No. 14 Kai Orine, 14-6.
Unfortunately for No. 7 Virginia Tech (9-4, 4-1), the three wins weren’t enough as it fell to No. 4 NC State (13-1, 5-0) Sunday night, 21-10. The Hokies lost all seven matches outside of Traxler, Latona and Myers’ victories, with NC State outscoring Tech 32-11 in all of the defeats.
Despite both schools being from the ACC, the match did not count towards the conference standings as a result of the league’s COVID policy. The dual was originally supposed to take place on January 21, but Tech was forced to forfeit due to having multiple athletes unable to compete. The loss will count towards VT’s overall record, but not its ACC record.
The night kicked off at 165 pounds where Clayton Ulrey was shut out by NC State’s No. 21 Thomas Bullard, 4-0.
Next up was No. 3 Mekhi Lewis against NC State’s No. 4 Hayden Hidlay. There wasn’t much action in regulation in one of the night’s most anticipated matchups, but Hidlay got a nice shot off on Lewis with forty seconds to go in the extra period and sealed it.
The loss is Lewis’s first of the season and puts him at 17-1 on the year.
Virginia Tech’s other top ten wrestler to finish the night on the wrong side of the scoreboard was No. 5 Bryce Andonian.
Andonian was taken to work by NC State’s No. 3 Tariq Wilson, falling behind 6-0 going into the final period. Unable to comeback from the large deficit, Andonian eventually lost, 9-3.
No. 14 Hunter Bolen followed that up a few matches later, suffering his second career loss to NC State’s No. 3 Trent Hidlay, 2-1.
Hidlay carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and Bolen got an escape point to cut the lead to one, but he couldn’t get a takedown in the final minute to snag the win.
No. 28 Connor Brady nearly righted the ship against NC State’s No. 11 Ed Scott, narrowly losing 4-3 for his fifth consecutive loss. Brady started the year 11-2 for the Hokies but is 0-5 since.
No. 22 Collin Gerardi suffered a nail-biting loss of his own, falling 4-3 to NC State’s No. 24 Ryan Jack. A potential takedown from Gerardi at the buzzer was reviewed, but the officials ruled no takedown, sealing the one-point win for Jack.
NC State’s No. 15 Isaac Trumble made easy work of No. 30 Dakota Howard, stonewalling him 6-0 through seven minutes of action.
Of the Hokies’ wins, No. 5 Korbin Myers had the most impressive, beating down NC State’s No. 14 Kai Orine, 14-6. The win was the final one of the night for VT, but cut Tech’s deficit to only two at the time.
No. 20 Sam Latona took down NC State’s No. 14 Jakob Camacho, 9-3. Although it wasn’t the biggest ranked battle of the night, it drew many eyes after Latona’s dual-winning takedown at the buzzer against Camacho last year.
Tech’s defeat closes out the regular season as Tony Robie & Co. look towards the ACC tournament on March 6 in Charlottesville.
125: No. 20 Sam Latona (VT) dec. No. 14 Jakob Camacho (NCSU), 9-3
133: No. 5 Korbin Myers (VT) maj dec. No. 14 Kai Orine (NCSU), 14-6
141: No. 24 Ryan Jack (NCSU) dec. No. 22 Collin Gerardi (VT), 4-3
149: No. 3 Tariq Wilson (NCSU) dec. No. 5 Bryce Andonian (VT), 9-3
157: No. 11 Ed Scott (NCSU) dec. No. 28 Connor Brady (VT), 4-3
165: No. 21 Thomas Bullard (NCSU) dec. Clayton Ulrey (VT), 4-0
174: No. 4 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) dec. No. 3 Mekhi Lewis (VT), 3-1 SV
184: No. 3 Trent Hidlay (NCSU) dec. No. 14 Hunter Bolen (VT), 2-1
197: No. 15 Isaac Trumble (NCSU) dec. No. 30 Dakota Howard (VT), 6-0
285 (HWT): No. 14 Nathan Traxler (VT) dec. Owen Trephan (NCSU), 3-