- The 22nd-ranked Virginia wrestling team finished off an ACC weekend sweep with a 24-10 victory over North Carolina Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium. By winning seven of the 10 matches, UVa earned a league victory for the second straight day; the Cavaliers topped Duke, 39-3, on Friday.
Virginia (6-1, 3-1 ACC) won 16 of the 20 individual matches this weekend. UNC fell to 2-10 overall and 1-1 in ACC action.
"It was a big win today," UVa head coach Steve Garland said. "UNC, although their record may not reflect it, is a very good team and they have some extremely talented kids. They had a bunch of starters out earlier this year and lost a lot of duals, but we got a great win at 141 pounds over a ranked guy. I liked the way our guys kept scoring points and getting after them. They were constantly trying to score points, which was great to see once again."
UVa captured three of its matches by major decision. No. 11 Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.), No. 15 Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) and Derek Papagianopoulos (R-Fr., Burlington, Mass.) all scored majors at 125, 165 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Tenth-ranked Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) also scored a strong win with a 7-4 decision over No. 18 Evan Henderson at 141 pounds.
The match started at 165 pounds, where Sulzer methodically built a lead over Kyle Kiss through the first two periods. After scoring a takedown a minute into the first, Sulzer added a takedown a minute later. He built 3:22 of riding time in a 10-1 win for his team-leading 19th victory of the year.
UNC's Alex Utley downed Vinny Waldhauser (Fr., El Dorado Hills, Calif.), 5-0, at 174. Utley scored a takedown with just four seconds left in the first, then reversed Waldhauser early in the second and maintained control through the rest of the second period as well as the entire third period.
The 184-pound match was a battle throughout, with No. 14 Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.) gutting out a 4-2 win over Thomas Ferguson. Fausey scored a takedown 1:12 into the first period, then racked up 1:48 in riding time to close the period. He scored on an escape in the second period and maintained 1:06 of riding time before Ferguson shot in for a takedown with four seconds left in the period. Fausey defended well throughout the third and held off Ferguson, adding a riding time point to win, 4-2, and push the UVa lead to 7-3.
At 197 pounds, UNC's Zac Bennett snapped a 2-all tie in the third with a pair of 3-point near falls to win 9-2 over Ryan Malo (Sr., Georgetown, Mass.).
UVa added a bonus point at heavyweight, where Papagianopoulos was in control throughout in a 12-2 major decision over Frank Abbondanza. Leading 7-1 heading into the third, Papaganiopoulos took down Abbondanza and then put him on his back for a 2-point near fall to secure the bonus point and give UVa an 11-6 advantage.
After giving up a quick takedown and 2-point near fall, Snyder rebounded with a vengeance against Brian Bokoski before piling on the points and 6:04 of riding time in an 18-4 major. Down 4-0, Snyder came back with a flurry, reversing Bokoski and then putting him on his back for a five-count to snatch a 5-4 lead. He then worked for a 2-point and 3-point near fall to lead 10-4 after one. He added a pair of near falls in the second period, then scored on a pair of stalling penalties in the third before securing the riding time point.
Matt Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) outlasted Brock LiVorio, 6-2, at 133. The two wrestled through a scoreless first before Nelson escaped to start the second. He added a takedown later in the period, then added another takedown and escape in the third.
The featured match of the day came at 141, where Nick Nelson rolled past Henderson in a matchup of ranked wrestlers. Nelson scored an early takedown and after allowing Henderson to escape, he quickly took him down again. He racked up 3:30 of riding time and built a 6-2 lead before Henderson notched a takedown and rode Nelson for the final 1:18. Nelson picked up the riding time point to win, 7-4.
At 149 pounds, Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) started fast with a takedown and two-point near fall in the first period, then held off Jon Burns for a 5-3 decision to stretch the UVa lead to 24-6.
UNC claimed the final bout of the day as No. 18 Corey Mock jumped Jedd Moore (R-Jr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) with a takedown and 3-point near fall in the first period. Moore made a late charge in the third to try and avoid the major decision, but Mock held him off in picking up a 10-2 major.
Virginia continues its four-match homestand on Sunday, Jan. 29, against No. 13 Maryland. The first match is slated for 1 p.m.
No. 22 Virginia 24, North Carolina 10
165: No. 15 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) major dec. Kyle Kiss (North Carolina) 10-1; UVa 4-0
174: Alex Utley (North Carolina) dec. Vinny Waldhauser (Virginia) 5-0; UVa 4-3
184: No. 14 Jon Fausey (Virginia) dec. Thomas Ferguson (North Carolina) 4-2; UVa 7-3
197: Zac Bennett (North Carolina) dec. Ryan Malo (Virginia) 9-2; UVa 7-6
285: Derek Papagianopoulos (Virginia) major dec. Frank Abbondanza (North Carolina) 12-2; UVa 11-6
125: No. 11 Matt Snyder (Virginia) major dec. Brian Bokoski (North Carolina) 18-4; UVa 15-6
133: Matt Nelson (Virginia) dec. Brock Livorio (North Carolina) 6-2; UVa 18-6
141: No. 10 Nick Nelson (Virginia) dec. No. 18 Evan Henderson (North Carolina) 7-4; UVa 21-6
149: Gus Sako (Virginia) dec. Jon Burns (North Carolina) 5-3; UVa 24-6
157: No. 18 Corey Mock (North Carolina) major dec. Jedd Moore (Virginia) 10-2; UVa 24-10