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Virginia falls at Ohio State, rebounds against Old Dominion

Freshman Baldwin clinches 21-16 victory against No. 15 Monarchs

<p>Freshman Fox Baldwin won at 174 pounds to preserve a Cavalier win in the team's home opener.&nbsp;</p>

Freshman Fox Baldwin won at 174 pounds to preserve a Cavalier win in the team's home opener. 

The Virginia wrestling team faced a daunting weekend, traveling to Ohio State Friday before hosting Old Dominion for its first home dual meet of the season Sunday.

The No. 23 Cavaliers (4-2) dropped a tough match against the defending NCAA champion and No. 5 Buckeyes (1-0) Friday evening, 34-6. Redshirt freshman Garrett Peppelman claimed a victory in the 165 pound weight class, and senior Zach Nye, ranked No. 10 nationally in his weight class, picked up a win at 197 pounds.

Virginia looked forward to the chance to compete against another ranked opponent as it hosted the No. 15 Monarchs (0-1) at home Sunday afternoon.

“Coming off a tough loss on Friday, we were so thankful for the opportunity to compete again,” coach Steve Garland said. “We've been growing together as a group and our kids are as close as they have ever been.”

The Cavaliers certainly came up big in the match, beating Old Dominion 21-16 overall. A collection of seniors propelled Virginia to the win early, as Nye claimed the first win of the match, picking up a decision at 197 lbs. Senior Patrick Gillen followed, earning a win at 285 lbs., and senior Nick Herrmann picked up a win in the 125 pound weight class. No. 10 junior George DiCamillo claimed a victory at 133 lbs. before the Monarchs began to tighten up the score.

Although Virginia did not trail after the third bout, the match was fought closely.

“Every bout today was gritty, and all of our guys were fighting for every point,” freshman Fox Baldwin said.

Sophomore Andrew Atkinson, ranked No. 19 at 149 lbs., earned a hard-fought win to add to the Virginia score before Old Dominion began to threaten the lead once again.

Going into the last bout, the Cavaliers held onto a close lead of 18-16, and Baldwin was up to wrestle in the 174 pound weight class. Baldwin ended up claiming a sound victory, winning 6-1 with cheers from the large crowd at Memorial Gymnasium.

“I knew that I had to get it done because of how hard everyone fought today,” Baldwin said. “The other guys really fueled me, and it was a relief to get that win.”

Virginia hits the mat again Sunday as it travels to Lock Haven, Penn. to compete in the Mat Town Open.

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