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Cavs drop final bout before postseason

Lead changes four times in closely-fought contest; Terrapins slowly pull away in final four matches

The No. 23 Virginia wrestling team fell to No. 10 Maryland 22-11 Saturday during Senior Night.

Despite Maryland's wide margin of victory, the match remained close for much of the afternoon. The Terrapins (19-4, 4-0 ACC) struck first with No. 14 Josh Asper defeating 165-pound senior Beau Fisher 12-5. Virginia (16-6, 3-2 ACC) quickly took the lead, however, as No. 3 junior Chris Henrich racked up 15 points in only a period and a half to earn a technical fall at 174 pounds, giving the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead. No. 20 Freshman Mike Salopek followed in the 184-pound class with a 2-0 decision to put Virginia ahead 8-3.

From this point, the lead swapped three times before Maryland ultimately moved ahead for good late in the meet. No. 18 Brent Jones fell by major decision to No. 3 Hudson Taylor at 197 pounds. Jones came close to pinning Taylor early in the first period and had an early lead in the bout that was a rematch of the 2009 ACC Championship.

In the heavyweight class, Maryland's Patrick Gilmore edged junior Jack Danilkowicz in overtime and two tiebreaker periods, to return the lead to Maryland.

Virginia's final victory of the afternoon came from senior Ross Gitomer in the 125-pound class, which briefly gave Virginia an 11-10 lead. From there, though, Maryland topped Virginia by four points or less until the Terrapins' Kyle John defeated Danny Gonsor 9-3 to seal the overall win.

"This match is always a good one," Virginia coach Steve Garland said. "For the past three years, Maryland has been ranked very high - they have done such a good job - and it's always a really good battle. It's tough to give it all you got and lose."

Though Virginia has not won a regular season match against Maryland since 2006, there were plenty of opportunities Saturday for the Cavaliers to bring down the reigning ACC champions.

"We just made some silly mistakes at the worst times," Garland said. "We had three matches where if we would have finished a single leg takedown, we probably would have won the match. They outhustled us, and we lost the dual meet because of it."

Junior Chris Henrich agreed that the team did not take full advantage of its opportunities during the match.

"We had a lot of momentum going into that match, and unfortunately we were not able to capitalize from it, which is something we are generally really good at," Henrich said. "We just have to keep that up and feed from each others' wins."

Virginia will have the next week off before heading to Raleigh for the ACC Championships March 6.


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