Dec. 7, 2013
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Led by a championship at 165 pounds from Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio), the 13th-ranked Virginia wrestling team took seventh place at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Cavaliers finished the two-day tournament with 73 points.
The loaded field featured wrestlers from 12 of the top 25 teams in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches Poll.
"It was a heck of a way to end a grueling tournament," Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. "Nick and Stephen finishing like they did gives us a big lift heading into next semester. This semester was a grind. Our kids got some great competition and we hope it will pay big dividends in the the end."
Ranked third nationally, Sulzer crushed the competition throughout the weekend, going 4-0 to up his record to 13-0 on the year. After rolling past ninth-ranked Daniel Yates of Michigan, 10-3, in the semifinals, Sulzer knocked off seventh-ranked Michael Moreno of Iowa State, 5-2, in the championship bout. Sulzer avenged a loss to Moreno from the All-America round in the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Ranked 19th nationally, Doty (14-2) pinned The Citadel's Turtogtokh Luvsandroj in the third period of the third-place bout to finish off a strong tournament. His lone loss came to fourth-ranked Robert Kokesh of Nebraska, 6-0, in the semifinals. Doty picked up a 3-2 win over 15th-ranked Bryce Hammond of CSU Bakersfield in the consolation semifinals.
(R-So., Belvidere, Ill.) and Ethan Hayes
(R-So., New Lebanon, Ohio) earned sixth-place finishes at 157 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. Both bowed out because of injuries and took medical forfeits in their final bouts after losing in their respective semifinals during the morning session.
Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) was knocked out of the 141-pound field on Saturday morning with a 5-3 setback to 10th-ranked Joey Lazor of Northern Iowa. Zach Nye (R-So., Enola, Pa.) was eliminated in his first match Saturday at 197 pounds by Virginia Tech's Chris Penny in a 4-2 decision.
Virginia returns to action Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - Top 10 Teams
1. Oklahoma, 154.5
2. Nebraska, 130.5
3. Ohio State, 119.5
4. Cornell, 115.5
5. Michigan, 108.5
6. Northern Iowa, 75.5
7. Virginia, 73.0
8. Iowa State, 62.5
9. NC State, 59.5
10. Virginia Tech, 56.5