The Virginia wrestling team went down to the wire with No. 18 Old Dominion before succumbing late in a 21-18 loss to the Monarchs Sunday at the Ted Konstant Convocation Center in Norfolk. The match was tied at 18 heading into the final bout, where No. 11 Chris Brown of ODU scored a takedown in sudden victory time to defeat the Cavaliers’ Mike Sewell (Sr., Bothell, Wash.), 6-4, at 165 pounds.
“I’m so proud of my guys they wrestled so hard,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “It was probably the most intense dual meet in which I have ever been associated. We’re wrestling as hard as we can, but we’re just not getting the end result. We definitely are a lot better than our record shows. But when we step in the gym, people know they have a battle on their hands.”
Virginia (9-10) started strong by winning each of the first three weight classes. Chris Henrich (So., Lansdale, Pa.) improved to 31-1 this year with a 5-4 decision over ODU’s Eric Decker at 174 pounds. Rocco Caponi (Sr., Uniontown, Ohio) then pinned the Monarchs’ Joe Budi 55 seconds into the second period to push the UVa lead to 9-0. The fall was the 23rd in Caponi’s career as he moved into a sixth-place tie with Tim Foley (1999-2004) on the all-time Virginia falls ledger.
In a battle of ranked wrestlers at 197 pounds, No. 19 Brent Jones (Jr., Burke, Va.) scored the winning takedown with just under 20 seconds remaining in the final period to nab a 6-5 decision over No. 15 Jesse Strawn. Jones, who also upset No. 8 Cayle Byers of George Mason last week, improved to 24-5 this year as he won for the 11th time in his last 12 matches.
The Monarchs (14-6) rallied to score 18 straight points, starting with a 3-2 Roy Dragon III decision over UVa’s Calvin Cardillo (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) at heavyweight. No. 6 James Nicholson followed with a tech fall over UVa’s Wyatt Anderson (So., Richmond, Va.) at 125 to cut the UVa lead to 12-8.
ODU took the lead at 133, as Kyle Hutter won by forfeit after UVa’s starting 133-pounder, Matt Bonson (Fr., Lewistown, Pa.), suffered an injury during practice earlier this week. The Monarchs pushed the lead to 18-12 when No. 7 Ryan Williams notched a 13-5 major decision over UVa’s Derek Valenti (Fr., Newton, N.J.) at 141.
The Cavaliers rallied to tie the score with wins at 149 and 157. Pete Ferrara (Sr., Doylestown, Pa.) avenged a loss to Joey Metzler from earlier this season with an 8-6 decision. Jedd Moore (Fr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) then broke a 1-all tie with a takedown in sudden victory time to earn a 3-1 win over Kaylen Baxter.
The match came down to 165. Brown took the lead with a takedown with 34 seconds remaining in the third period but couldn't ride out and Sewell tied the match off a restart with 10 seconds remaining. Brown scored on a shot in sudden victory though to give ODU the win in the class and overall in the match.
Virginia returns to ACC action this weekend with two home conference matches. The Cavaliers play host to NC State at 5 p.m. Saturday and close the 2008-09 home schedule with a 1 p.m. Sunday bout with Duke.No. 18 Old Dominion 21, Virginia 18
174: No. 9 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Eric Decker (ODU), 5-4; UVa leads 3-0
184: Rocco Caponi (UVa) pinned Joe Budi (ODU), 3:55; UVa leads 9-0
197: No. 19 Brent Jones (UVa) dec. No. 15 Jesse Strawn (ODU), 6-5; UVa leads 12-0
285: Roy Dragon III (ODU) dec. Calvin Cardillo (UVa), 3-2; UVa leads 12-3
125: No. 6 James Nicholson (ODU) tech fall Wyatt Anderson (UVa), 18-0, 4:17; UVa leads 12-8
133: Kyle Hutter (ODU) wins by forfeit; ODU leads 14-12
141: No. 7 Ryan Williams (ODU) major dec. Derek Valenti (UVa), 13-5; ODU leads 18-12
149: Peter Ferrarra (UVa) dec. Joey Metzler (ODU), 8-6; ODU leads 18-15
157: Jedd Moore (UVa) dec. Kaylen Baxter (ODU), 3-1 (SV); Tied 18-18
165: No. 11 Chris Brown (ODU) dec. Mike Sewell (UVa), 6-4 (SV); ODU wins 21-18