CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team picked up two conference victories Sunday in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers opened the day with a 30-12 win over North Carolina State at Durham’s Riverside High School, then capped the day with a 19-15 triumph over Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Virginia (18-4, 3-1 ACC) received a monster performance out of 184-pounder Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio). Ranked 12th nationally, Caponi recorded two falls, needing just one minute, 48 seconds total to do so. Caponi improved to 34-2 this season and set the single-season wins record for a UVa junior, topping the previous mark of 32, set by Mike Krafchick in 1994.
Against NC State, the Cavaliers fell behind 9-0 to start, but rebounded to win seven of the final eight bouts. Trailing 9-0, UVa got consecutive decisions from Drew DiPasquale (Jr, Bloomsburg, Pa.) and freshmen Michael Chaires (Scotia, N.Y.) and No. 19 Chris Henrich (Lansdale, Pa.) at 157, 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, then received quick pins in succession from Caponi in one minute and 20th-ranked Brent Jones (Burke, Va.) in just 54 seconds to turn the match around as UVa took a 21-9 lead.
After NC State (8-9-1, 1-3) earned a decision from Bobby Isola at heavyweight, UVa’s Ross Gitomer (So., Flemington, N.J.) earned a 4-1 decision over Taylor Cummings at 125. Eric Albright (Jr., York, Pa.) put a cap on the match with a pin of Darius Little in 2:59 at 133.
The match against Duke (9-8, 0-4) was considerably tighter, with the final outcome hinging on the last bout between Albright and Chris Thumen at 133. Once again, Albright dominated in a 13-1 major decision to propel UVa to a 19-15 team win.
UVa had to come from behind against the Blue Devils as well after falling into a 9-3 hole through four bouts. Again, the upperweights came up big. Henrich started things with a 7-5 decision over Ben Wales at 174, as he ran his winning streak to 14-consecutive matches. Caponi followed with a fall in 48 seconds over John Barone, and Jones added a 5-2 decision over Dan Tulley to give UVa a 15-9 lead. The win pushed Jones’ record to 30-9 this year.
Duke knotted the match at 15, as Mike Tunick earned a 6-5 decision over Jack Danilkowicz (So., Green Oaks, Ill.) in the heavyweight class and Kellon McKeon nabbed a 3-1 sudden victory over Gitomer at 125, setting up Albright’s clinching win.
Chaires, with his win in the NC State bout, notched his 29th victory of the season, tying the freshman record previously set by Jody Jackson (1989) and Albright (2006).
The Cavaliers will take next weekend off before returning home for the regular-season finale Feb. 24 against No. 23 Maryland. With a win, Virginia can earn a share of the ACC regular-season title with the Terrapins.Virginia 30, NC State 12
Match started at 141
No. 6 Joe Caramanica (NCS) dec. Nick Nelson (UVa), 7-0; UVa 0, NCS 3149:
No. 9 Darrion Caldwell (NCS) pinned Shawn Harris (UVa), 1:33; UVa 0, NCS 9157:
Drew DiPasquale (UVa) dec. Colton Palmer (NCS), 9-7; UVa 3, NCS 9165:
Michael Chaires (UVa) dec. Jalil Dozier (NCS), 10-5; UVa 6, NCS 9174:
No. 19 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Ray Ward (NCS), 11-5; UVa 9, NCS 9184:
No. 12 Rocco Caponi (UVa) pinned Dane Coffee (NCS), 1:00; UVa 15, NCS 9197:
No. 20 Brent Jones (UVa) pinned Mark Jahad (NCS), 0:54; UVa 21, NCS 9HWT:
Bobby Isola (NCS) dec. Jack Danilkowicz (NCS), 5-3; UVa 21, NCS 12125:
Ross Gitomer (UVa) dec. Taylor Cummings (NCS), 4-1, UVa 24, NCS 12133:
No. 20 Eric Albright (UVa) pinned Darius Little (NCS), 2:59; UVa 30, NCS 12Virginia 19, Duke 15
Match started at 141
Nick Nelson (UVa) dec. Bryan Gibson (Duke), 8-2; UVa 3, Duke 0149:
Michael Degli Obizzi (Duke) dec. Shawn Harris (UVa), 13-10; UVa 3, Duke 3157:
Voris Tejada (Duke) dec. Drew DiPasquale (UVa), 3-2; UVa 3, Duke 6165:
Addison Nuding (Duke) dec. Michael Chaires (UVa), 6-3; UVa 3, Duke 9174:
No. 19 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Ben Wales (Duke), 7-5, UVa 6, Duke 9184:
No. 12 Rocco Caponi (UVa) fall John Barone (Duke), :48; UVa 12, Duke 9197:
No. 20 Brent Jones (UVa) dec. Dan Tulley (Duke), 5-2; UVa 15, Duke 9HWT:
Mike Tunick (Duke) dec. Jack Danilkowicz (UVa), 6-5; UVa 15, Duke 12125:
Kellan McKeon (Duke) SV Ross Gitomer, 3-1; UVa 15, Duke 15133:
No. 20 Eric Albright (UVa) major dec. Chris Thumen (Duke), 13-1; UVa 19, Duke 15