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Hokies hold on to early lead

The Virginia wrestling team could not recover from an early deficit Saturday, dropping a 20-12 decision to No. 7 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Cavaliers spotted the Hokies a 13-0 lead, losing the first four weight classes of the day.

The night opened with the heavyweight matchup, during which Virginia Tech's redshirt junior David Marone rallied late for a narrow 4-3 decision against redshirt senior Jack Danilkowicz. Next, in the 125-pound bout, Virginia's redshirt sophomore Matt Snyder held a seemingly commanding 8-0 lead against No. 15 Jarrod Garnett during the first period, scoring early on a take down and a pair of near-falls. Garnett, however, stormed back to force overtime and then picked up a takedown during the first sudden-victory period to earn the 14-12 win.

Virginia (15-6, 2-1 ACC) had to wait until the fifth match, the 149 pounders, to get its first win, as junior Derek Valenti scored a huge upset against Virginia Tech's ninth-ranked sophomore Brian Stephens. The two were locked at two's midway through the third period when Valenti shot in to score a takedown and followed it up with three more points on a near fall to earn the 7-2 decision.\nVirginia won the final three matches of the day as No. 4 senior Chris Henrich, No. 18 redshirt freshman Jon Fausey and No. 18 redshirt sophomore Mike Salopek each earned decisions, but those nine points only served to narrow the margin of defeat.

The Cavaliers will return to action this weekend with three dual matches, traveling Friday to College Park to take on Maryland, and then returning home Saturday for a pair of duals against Duke and Appalachian State.

-compiled by Ben Baskin


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