HAMPTON — Virginia and Virginia Tech appear headed on a collision course toward a rematch of last year's National College Division championship, while Old Dominion found itself on the cusp of making the semifinals. The Monarchs fought for their collective life against Edinboro (Pa.) before dropping a 17-16 heartbreaker.
For the Monarchs, the loss could not have been more painful. After a convincing 26-10 opening-round victory over Lock Haven, ODU was poised to upset the second-seeded Scots, who are ranked 15th nationally.
After losing the first three bouts and working from an 11-0 deficit, the Monarchs clawed back into the match. At 149 pounds, Alexander Richardson scored a 5-3 decision to give ODU its first points. After Johnny Greisheimer of Edinboro scored an 8-3 decision over ODU's Tristan Warner, the Monarchs reeled off four straight wins, and Kevin Beasley's 2-0 decision over Edinboro's Vincent Pickett at 197 gave ODU a 16-14 edge heading into the crucial heavyweight match.
ODU's Matt Tourdot and Edinboro's Ernest James exchanged one-point escapes through three periods, forcing overtime. In the extra stanza, neither grappler scored until the final three seconds, when James scored two points on a takedown, giving the Scots the match.
"We competed hard. It was a scrap," Monarchs coach Steve Martin said. "We had our opportunity to win, but hit a lapse at the end of the overtime. But both (heavyweights) were going at it. Not your typical heavyweight match. We're a little disappointed, but we'll fight back."
The top-seeded Cavaliers drew a first-round bye. But their first opponent, Chattanooga, proved to be formidable, and Virginia escaped with an 18-13 win.
Virginia Tech rolled to an early 26-9 win over Nebraska-Kearney and followed with a 25-9 decision over Rider. Five Hokies won bouts in both matches, including Sal Mastriani (157), who scored a 24-7 technical fall and a 17-6 major win.
In its opening match of the American College Division, the Apprentice School lost 32-13 to Limestone (S.C.). In a wrestleback, the Builders topped Anderson 28-24. They will face the loser of the UNC Pembroke-Ferrum semifinal, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Poquoson advances to Black & Blue semis
In high school competition, Poquoson became the only Bay Rivers District or Peninsula District school to advance to the semifinals.
The Islanders, seeded second in the Black & Blue Division, beat Lafayette 67-9 in their first match, then registered pins in the final two bouts to overcome Centreville of Northern Virginia 38-24 in a quarterfinal.
Poquoson will return to competition at 2 p.m. Saturday against Grassfield.
In the Black & Blue Division, six teams from the Bay Rivers competed. Smithfield had the most impressive first-round outing, spotting Brookville a 29-0 lead before storming back for a 49-29 victory. The Packers then challenged top-seeded Fauquier before falling 42-34.
Among the other schools (Grafton, Tabb and York), only the Falcons managed more than 20 points in the first round, losing to Nansemond River 56-21. Along with Lafayette, those three teams will be back at 8 a.m. Saturday for their first wrestleback matches.
In the prestigious National Division, both New Kent and Gloucester dropped a pair of matches, although the Trojans were ahead of Roanoke's Cave Spring 32-20 before dropping the final three bouts in a 34-32 defeat.
Gloucester lost its first match 65-3 to Nazareth (Pa.), but showed more grit in the next round, losing 46-26 to Timber Creek (N.J.). In that match, Anthony Monahan, Ethan Newell and Jerry Woodlief won by fall for the Dukes.
No Peninsula area teams were entered in the American Division.
Odds and ends
•With his team's wrestleback victory over Anderson, Apprentice coach Bruce Shumaker is two wins short of 100. He could top the plateau Saturday.
•In the most highly anticipated bout of the ODU-Edinboro match, at 141 pounds, top-ranked Mitchell Port of the Scots defeated No. 4 Chris Mecate 5-1.