The Duke wrestling team ultimately held off Virginia in a battle of two teams vying for their first ACC victory Saturday in Durham, N.C.
In a tense, evenly-matched dual, bonus points proved to be the difference for Duke (5-5, 1-2 ACC), with the Cavaliers (4-8, 0-3 ACC) and Blue Devils each winning five of the 10 bouts.
To start off the dual, Virginia sophomore Fred Green struggled heavily against Duke junior Mitch Finesilver, ranked No. 11 nationally. From that point on, the Cavaliers never held a lead in the match, despite picking up a number of key victories. Freshman Louie Hayes and sophomore Jack Mueller both came up with dominant wins in their bouts, but could not come up with the bonus points Virginia desperately needed.
Also victorious for the Cavaliers were freshman Drew Peck, consistent senior Andrew Atkinson and sophomore Sam Krivus, who picked up a bonus-point victory to end the match.
Unfortunately, Duke’s ranked stars proved to be too much for Virginia. Technical falls by Duke’s Mitch Finesilver and senior Jacob Kasper, ranked No. 4 nationally, ultimately propelled the Blue Devils to victory, forcing the Cavaliers to come up with bonus-point victories or an upset to have a chance at winning.
A positive takeaway from this disappointing loss has to be Krivus’ performance in the final bout of the match, in which he posted a commanding 17-5 major decision, with nothing on the line but pride.
The Cavaliers, still in search of its first ACC victory, returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. against rivals Virginia Tech at Memorial Gymnasium.