The chance of this happening was not in question going into the championship match as the combatants were in-state rivals Virginia and Virginia Tech. In the end, it was the Hokies who gained the honor, defeating the Cavaliers 21-9.
Virginia Tech, ranked 10th nationally, was buoyed by consecutive victories in the lower weights. Zach Neibert (141 pounds), Nick Brascetta (149), Jesse Dong (157) and Peter Yates (165) earned 12 crucial points for the Hokies with decision wins. Brascetta’s match was especially exciting as the sophomore earned a 3-2 win by escaping with 5 seconds remaining.
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Hokies coach Kevin Dresser was happy with the win, but knows his team can do better.
“What we strive for is consistency. We didn’t bring our A game today – we probably brought our B game.” Speaking of Brascetta’s last-second victory, he noted, “That was a big win. He gutted it out.”
The Cavaliers earned their spot in the final by defeating Central Michigan 20-13. Matthew Snyder (125) and Jimmy Nehls (141) won early decisions as the teams split the first four matches.
Jedd Moore (157) started a rally with a 5-3 decision over Luke Smith, followed by a decision win for Nicholas Selzer (165) and a 9-1 major decision for Jonathan Fausey (174), giving Virginia a 16-6 cushion that it did not relinquish.
The Hokies were not as seriously challenged in their semifinal matchup, cruising to a 23-10 win over No. 16 Edinboro (Pa.).
Edinboro jumped to a 7-3 lead after three matches, but couldn't overcome an avalanche, as the Hokies swept the next six matches and accumulated their remaining points. Yates (165) and Derrick Borlie (197) earned major wins for Virginia Tech.
Also in the National Division, Old Dominion placed eighth, losing its last match to North Dakota State 27-15.
In the American Division, Liberty lost 35-18 to Central Florida in the consolation match Saturday night after a 29-15 loss to Division III Stevens Tech (Hoboken, N.J.), the eventual champion.
Builders lose in tiebreakerThe Apprentice School had a trying weekend, dropping all three of its matches. Perhaps the most disappointing was its second, a 25-24 loss to Central Florida.
Last year at the Duals, the Builders upset the Knights — one of their top U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association rivals — 27-21. In a toughly fought battle Friday, the teams exchanged the lead, but ended up in a 24-all tie at the end of the bouts.
There is a five-item criteria for college tiebreakers. Fortunately for the scorers, only the first was needed — the item stating that the team with the greatest number of victories (including falls, forfeits, defaults and disqualifications) will be declared the winner.
The Knights won six matches, while Apprentice had five, so Central Florida was awarded one bonus point and the victory.
The rest of the tie-breaker criteria include greater combined total of falls and technical falls, total match points, first takedown and the declaration of co-champs.
By comparison, at the high school level, the tie-breaker criteria is 16 items long, with the 16th being a coin flip.
You've come a long wayThe Duals distance award could have been awarded during Saturday’s 4 p.m. session.
Two of the college squads who traveled the farthest to Hampton Coliseum met in a National College Division consolation match, where Boise State grappled North Dakota State.
Boise won that match 22-20, then took fifth place by beating Kent State 27-12.
For NDSU’s Bison, it would have been the second day for winning the fictitious award. They opened the Duals on Friday by defeating Arizona State.