No. 8 Virginia Tech Wrestling Falls To No. 12 Cornell At Moss Arts Center

Sam Latona won the match of the night for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

A sold-out crowd at the Moss Arts Center rose to its feet as No. 8 Sam Latona (133) accomplished something he had never done at Virginia Tech, taking down Cornell’s No. 3 Vito Arujau in a narrow 3-2 victory. 

The Alabama native had two previous losses to Arujau before the upset win, most recently losing to the two-time All-American a month ago at the Cliff Keen Invitational, 6-1.

The win cut the lead for No. 12 Cornell (4-2) to only three points with two matches left to wrestle, but No. 8 Virginia Tech (3-2) couldn’t pull off the come from behind victory Friday night, falling 22-12.

Latona’s accomplishment was the only ranked win for the Hokies against the Big Red — a rather disappointing outcome given that Cornell had seven wrestlers ranked in the top 22.Tech’s talented pair of true freshmen suffered losses at the hands of wily ranked opponents.

Caleb Henson couldn’t hang with Yianni Diakomihalis on Friday. (Ivan Morozov)

In the most anticipated bout of the night, No. 11 Caleb Henson (149) fell to No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis, 6-2.

The top-ranked 149-pounder scored on a takedown to snag the first points of the match. Henson nearly responded with an escape point, but couldn’t leave Diakomihalis’ grip before the buzzer sounded at the end of the first period.

Trailing 5-1 after two, Henson quickly scored on an escape, but he was unable to rally after that.

No. 14 Tom Crook (141) suffered his largest loss of the year to No. 22 Vince Cornella.

Tom Crook’s loss to Vince Cornella was his largest of the year. (Ivan Morozov)

Cornella exploded for 11 points over the first two periods while Crook only collected three. The true freshman couldn’t close the gap, only nabbing a single escape point in the third, falling 12-4.

No. 18 Eddie Ventresca (125) also fell on the wrong end of ranked upsets Friday night. The redshirt freshman, who made his first appearance in over a month against Cornell, allowed a rideout in the first half of tiebreakers from No. 21 Brett Ungar. In the second half, Ungar quickly escaped to grab the match-winning point.

The only other ranked loss for VT came from No. 23 Andy Smith (197) against No. 17 Jacob Cardenas, 10-3. The Christiansburg native was handed a loss for the fourth time in five matches after allowing Cardenas to build a 6-0 lead in the first period. He now sits at 7-5 overall on the year.

Injuries to the Hokies regular starting lineup didn’t end up playing a huge role in the dual. Clayton Ulrey (157) filled in admirably for No. 6 Bryce Andonian and grinded out a last-second victory against Gage McClenahan, 4-2.

In Bryce Andonian’s stead, Clayton Ulrey was excellent for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

Facing a 2-1 deficit at the end of the second period, Ulrey exploded to his feet for an escape point, tying the match at two. With 22 seconds left on the clock, Ulrey took down McClenahan on a high crotch shot to secure the match-winning points.

No. 3 Mekhi Lewis’ understudy at 174 pounds Jordan Florence didn’t have as much success, however. Halfway through the second period against No. 5 Chris Foca, Florence fell via pin. 

No. 7 Hunter Bolen (184) and No. 23 Hunter Catka (HWT) both picked up victories against unranked opponents against Cornell. Bolen blanked Ethan Hatcher 4-0 to move to 14-2 on the year while Catka took down Ben Furman, improving his season record to 10-3.

No. 22 Connor Brady (165) fell to 7-5 on the year after getting shut out by No. 7 Julian Ramirez, 3-0.

Hunter Bolen was victorious on Friday for Virginia Tech, winning 4-0. (Ivan Morozov)

The Hokies have two more matches on the docket this weekend as they’ll travel to George Mason (1 p.m.)  and American (6 p.m.) on Sunday.


125: No. 21 Brett Ungar (CORN) dec. No. 18 Eddie Ventresca (VT), 2-1 TB2
133: No. 8 Sam Latona (VT) dec. No. 3 Vito Arujau (CORN), 3-2
141: No. 22 Vince Cornella (CORN) maj dec. No. 14 Tom Crook (VT), 12-4
149: No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis (CORN) dec. No. 11 Caleb Henson (VT), 6-2
157: Clayton Ulrey (VT) dec. Gage McClenahan (CORN), 4-2
165: No. 7 Julian Ramirez (CORN) dec. No. 22 Connor Brady (VT), 3-0
174: No. 5 Chris Foca (CORN) wins by fall Jordan Florence (VT), 4:30
184: No. 7 Hunter Bolen (VT) dec. Ethan Hatcher (CORN), 4-0
197: No. 17 Jacob Cardenas (CORN) dec. No. 23 Andy Smith (VT), 10-3
HWT: No. 23 Hunter Catka (VT) dec. Ben Furman (CORN), 6-1