Virginia wrestling (4-7, 0-2 ACC) started a three-match road stretch Friday at No. 6 N.C. State (12-1, 2-0 ACC), looking for its first victory in ACC play. The Cavaliers struggled early and often in Raleigh, losing by the thumping score of 32-7.
Virginia was overmatched in most weight classes by an opponent that will certainly challenge for a national title come March. The Wolfpack boast a lineup of five nationally-ranked wrestlers, four of whom rank in the top five nationally. Senior Kevin Jack, ranked No. 2 nationally, had a particularly commanding performance Friday, pinning Virginia redshirt freshman Sam Martino.
The Cavaliers took consolation in strong performances from nationally-ranked redshirt freshman Louie Hayes and senior Andrew Atkinson, who delivered the only decisions for Virginia in the match.
Virginia bounced back Sunday as the team traveled to Norfolk to take on Old Dominion, delivering an authoritative 25-10 victory over the Monarchs. Hayes and Atkinson won their bouts, in addition to five other Cavaliers.
After sophomore Fred Green’s early loss at 157 pounds, it was all Virginia, as decisions by Atkinson and junior Will Schany put the Cavaliers permanently in front. Sophomore Sam Krivus had an especially impressive showing on Sunday, dispatching his opponent in a major decision to end the match.
The strong across-the-board performance from Virginia was in stark contrast to their effort on Friday, giving them much-needed momentum as they focus solely on conference play.
After losing twice in the ACC, the Cavaliers look to pick up their first ACC victory against Duke at Durham, N.C. Saturday.
Zach Zamoff is an associate editor for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com.