Virginia Tech Wrestling Finishes Fourth at NCAA Championship

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Virginia Tech finished in fourth-place at the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championship over the weekend. That marks the best finish in school history, as well as the only top-four finish in the history of the ACC. The top four teams in the Championship get trophies, so the Hokies returned to Blacksburg from New York with some hardware.

A total of 72 teams were represented in New York City, so obviously Tech’s fourth-place finish is noteworthy. Overall, this was the school’s fourth consecutive appearance in the top 10. Iowa, led by former VT coach Tom Brands, finished just behind the Hokies in fifth-place. Penn State was first, Oklahoma State was second, while Ohio State placed third.

Virginia Tech head coach Kevin Dresser was voted National Coach of the Year by the other wrestling coaches at the conclusion of the event.

Six Hokies earned All-American status, which tied Penn State, Oklahoma State and Iowa for the most. Zach Epperly (174) and Nick Brascetta (157) both finished in third place at their weight class, while Ty Walz (285) came in fourth. Solomon Chishko (141), David McFadden (165) and Jared Haught (197) all finished in sixth place.

Of all the Tech wrestlers who took part in the NCAA Championships, only Brascetta is a senior.

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21 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Dresser, Robie and the other assistants have built a great program. The school should support them even more because this is where we will probably see the first VT national championship. Not to be a downer at this time, but the budget is so tight. Non-starters had to pay their own way to NY – hotels, transportation, tickets to MSG – even guys who were there to help warm up the VT qualifiers. That’s $1000-plus, so a whole bunch of wrestlers who work their a**es off all year mostly without scholarship money didn’t go. All of Penn State’s wrestlers were there and on the stage for their trophy. Imagine if VT’s AD said to football, “we’ll pay for 22 players to travel” or told basketball, “we’ll pay for five.” Would love to see the AD give more love to its best team.

      1. Jersey,

        Any chance you or one of the wrestling fans that frequent the Olympic/Other Sports board can do a bit more in-depth article about the wrestling program? There’s a lot of attention focused there right now, and this would be a good time for it.

        1. Doing a full season write up, hoping to bang it out on friday, but not sure it will appear as an “article”

  2. Definite props to TSL for posting this up. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’d be nice to see an occasional write-up on the time like preseason preview or update during the season, if you can pull an insider off the forum to write it.

    It’s been quite a ride watching this team progress into a real power over the years since Dresser arrived. Wrestling seems to be growing, relatively, in popularity of late. Maybe ESPN giving it more coverage is helping. Anyway, I encourage folks casually perusing this article to try following VT wrestling if you don’t already. Collegiate Wrestling is very exciting to watch.

    1. Hillcrest Hokie to the rescue?! He’s tied in to the wrestling program and a huge follower and supporter of the program as well.

  3. What an outstanding accomplishment!! Wouldn’t it be something if VT Wrestling becomes our first team sport to win an NC?! Hope Whit can see fit to giving Coach Dresser and staff a well-deserved raise! Go Hokies!

  4. This accomplishment is unbelievable to me. I wrestled for Tech in 1963 and never in my dreams did I think Tech would ever place higher than IOWA! Great job Coach Dresser and Tech Wrestling team! Coach Teske would be proud of you.

  5. Thanks to TSL for covering this watershed moment in VT athletics.

    Although the entire weekend performance by this team was stellar, the run Chishko, Epp, McFadden and Haught went on during single elimination wrestlebacks on Friday was one of the grittiest athletic performances I’ve ever watched, VT or otherwise.

    Coach Dresser took over a team on life support 10 years ago, using a grass roots approach to grow it into a national contender that every Hokie will be proud of for a long time to come. If you haven’t watched this team in person, give it a try especially a match in the Moss Center. Every bit as entertaining and worth the time and money as basketball and football (both of which I love as well).

    As a guy who has never wrestled a day in his life but had the good fortune of getting de-tripled out of Pritchard into Cochrane to room with several wrestlers back in the early 90’s (who were all absolutely stellar guys and piqued my interest in the sport), I couldn’t be happier to see the success this team and sport is enjoying.

  6. Great team, great coach, great season! Congratulations to all. And finishing ahead of Brands, with Dresser being named coach of the year, makes it all the sweeter.

  7. Since I was born in Iowa with a cousin who wrestled at the University of Iowa for Dan Gable, I really get a kick out of the fact that we placed ahead of them. Some good natured trash talking is about to go down!!! I’m glad TSL covers this.

    Go Hokies!!!

  8. Thank you CC…well done on your first foray into wrestling!! The Grapplers will be even better next year with a whole lot of youth and experience.

    Aside from some bad luck for Dance…the Grapplers could have challenged for 2nd this year.

    And it was great edging out Iowa!!

  9. VT wrestling is huge! And clearly our best team out of all of the sports programs at VT. We finished 4th w/ 6 All-Americans and that was with our highest seeded wrestler, Joey Dance, the #2 seed at 125, unfortunately tearing ligaments in I believe his ankle (maybe knee) and not scoring any points. He’ll be back next year and hungrier than ever. Congrats to all of our guys: in particular the kids that had to wrestle 2 or 3 matches in a day, for two straight days in wrestlebacks in order to finish 3, 3, 4, 6, 6 and 6. Great to see this article! Thanks!

  10. VT Wrestling has gone Big Time under Dresser. And he has improved his staff as he goes along. I go to all the events that are at VT, including the paid events. I see more people at Wrestling than I do WBB , which I’m season ticket holder. I hope the RTs gives Dresser and his Team some major print.. Thank You Chris

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