No. 8 Virginia Tech wrestling continued to benefit from a lineup change in its 19-13 win over No. 13 Rutgers in Piscataway Friday night.
After opting to roll with Clayton Ulrey at 165 pounds against American following a disappointing performance from No. 19 Connor Brady versus OSU, Tech tabbed true freshman Rafael Hipolito as the starter on Friday against Rutgers.
The Manaus, Brazil, native looked smooth against Rutgers No. 22 Anthony White, utilizing his length and unorthodox stance to nab three takedowns in the first two periods of the match.
Leading 9-7 going into the third period, Hipolito added another takedown and escape to clinch the 13-7 victory in his first collegiate dual match. His upset win will go a long way as he battles Ulrey and Brady for the permanent starter at 165.
No. 21 Sam Fisher’s (184) upset win over Rutgers’ No. 9 Brian Soldano also was key in the Hokies’ win over the Scarlet Knights.
The redshirt junior exploded with two takedowns in the first period and added a reversal in the second to enter the third period tied at eight. Picking bottom to start the final two minutes, Fisher scored on a reversal to secure the bout, holding on for the 10-9 victory and cementing the dual for Tech.
The only bonus-point victory of the night came from No. 5 Bryce Andonian (157) over Rutgers’ No. 23 Andrew Clark, 13-5.
Andonian dominated from the first whistle, taking down Clark immediately and never looking back. Leading 8-1 going into the third, the former All-American nabbed a late takedown to snag the major decision.
No. 3 Mekhi Lewis (174) had a happy homecoming on Friday night, making easy work of Rutgers’ No. 26 Jackson Turley, 8-2. Following two close periods to open the bout, the Somerset, N.J., native scored on a late takedown to ice the victory.
No. 6 Sam Latona (133) and No. 4 Caleb Henson (149) continued their undefeated dual records against the Scarlet Knights.
Latona eked out a 4-1 win in overtime against Rutgers’ No. 15 Dylan Shawver, showing off elite flexibility and poise in the extra period. Henson took down Rutgers’ No. 23 Jacob Butler with ease, 4-1.
Tech’s No. 16 Andy Smith (197) and No. 20 Hunter Catka (285) fell on the wrong side of close one-score bouts on Friday night.
Smith gave up an early takedown to Rutgers’ No. 8 John Poznaski and couldn’t make up any ground, falling 4-2. Catka kept it close with Rutgers’ No. 6 Yaraslau Slavikouski for the first five minutes but gave up a late takedown to lose 4-1.
True freshman Mac Church (141) competed in his first collegiate dual against Rutgers, giving an admirable effort against No. 15 Mitch Moore in a 2-1 loss. He’ll get a few more starts as he and fellow true freshman Hunter Mason duke it out for the permanent starting spot at 141.
No. 15 Eddie Ventresca fell to 0-3 on the year in his 2-0 defeat to Rutgers’ No. 6 Dean Peterson. The redshirt sophomore kept it close for the first two periods, but fell victim to a rideout in the third.
Virginia Tech now shifts its attention to the Keystone Classic on Sunday in Philadelphia.
125: No. 6 Dean Peterson (RUG) dec. No. 15 Eddie Ventresca (VT), 2-0
133: No. 6 Sam Latona (VT) dec. No. 15 Dylan Shawver (RUT), 4-1 (SV)
141: No. 15 Mitch Moore (RUT) dec. Mac Church (VT), 2-1
149: No. 4 Caleb Henson (VT) dec. No. 23 Jacob Butler (RUT), 4-1
157: No. 5 Bryce Andonian (VT) maj dec. No. 23 Andrew Clark (RUT), 13-5
165: Rafael Hipolito (VT) dec. No. 22 Anthony White (RUT), 13-7
174: No. 3 Mekhi Lewis (VT) dec. No. 26 Jackson Turley (RUT), 8-2
184: No. 21 Sam Fisher (VT) dec. No. 9 Brian Soldano (RUT), 10-9
197: No. 8 John Poznaski (RUT) dec. No. 16 Andy Smith (VT), 4-2
285: No. 6 Yaraslau Slavikouski (RUT) dec. No. 20 Hunter Catka (VT), 4-1