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Matmen record resounding win


The Virginia wrestling team started strongly and did not look back Saturday afternoon as it won in eight of the 10 weight classes en route to a decisive 30-6 win against Princeton at Memorial Gymnasium.

Although Princeton (3-7) was not a nationally-ranked team, the Tigers boasted some very talented wrestlers in certain weight classes, and wins in those matches ultimately proved crucial to the Cavaliers' team success. Virginia redshirt sophomore Matt Snyder, ranked No. 18 in the country , took advantage of his opportunity as he earned an upset victory against No. 14-ranked Princeton sophomore Garrett Frey in the 125-pound match. The decision gave the Cavaliers (15-5, 2-0 ACC) the momentum and a 3-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

"We knew they weren't that strong the whole way through, they just had a couple of big spots that we needed wins at, and I was able to get one," Snyder said. "I feel like that's my role being the first guy. If I win, it gives us big momentum going into the next weight, which translated over today."

Snyder - who slaps himself in the arms and face before every match to the delight of the crowd - earned a quick takedown less than a minute into the first period. Snyder then remained in control, earning 1:46 in riding time before Frey finally escaped. That trend continued into the second period as Snyder racked up more riding time and then deftly pulled Frey into a cradle to earn three points for the near fall. Snyder earned the riding time point for the match and won a 6-3 decision that assuaged any fears Virginia might have had.

"On the mat, I could sense a feeling on the bench that maybe we might have a letdown match, but as soon as Snyder got the win, all of a sudden we were back on track," Virginia coach Steve Garland said. "I've said this before, we kind of live and die by Snyder, and that was arguably one of the biggest wins of the season for the entire program."

Freshman Joe Spisak continued the Cavaliers' winning ways in the 133-pound match, earning a 16-0 technical fall. Spisak completely controlled the match, earning 2:35 in riding time during the first period and then piling on points during the second with a trio of near falls. The Tigers then won their first match of the day at 141 pounds when sophomore Zachary Bintliff picked up a 5-2 decision against Virginia freshman Gus Sako.

After Princeton narrowed Virginia's lead to 11-6 with a win by decision in the 157-pound match, redshirt sophomore Jedd Moore responded strongly for the Cavaliers at 165 pounds. Moore earned a pin 58 seconds into the second period to stretch the Cavalier lead to a comfortable 17-6 margin and give the home fans a glimpse of his incredible potential.

"Jedd Moore looked phenomenal today," Garland said. "On the bench I kept hearing 'Jedd's back, Jedd's back,' and yeah, Jedd is back. I've been talking about him for two years now, and unfortunately he's been on the shelf with a foot injury, but people are starting to see how special he is."

With the overall victory already in hand for the Cavaliers, the most impressive individual result of the day occurred when Virginia sophomore Stephen Doty earned a 6-1 win at 197 pounds. Doty, normally a 184-pound wrestler, was bumped up two weight classes due to the injury of redshirt sophomore Mike Salopek. Incredibly, Doty appeared completely unfazed by the change in weight as he scored an early first-period takedown and ultimately earned the decision against his much bigger opponent.

"He's just such a special kid," Garland said. "He's given up so much weight to these guys, and he didn't look any smaller or any weaker. I think he wrestled one of the best matches of the day."

Virginia will return to action when it travels to Blacksburg to face ACC rival Virginia Tech Saturday.


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