After its clash with Princeton nearly two weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia wrestling (4-4) traveled to Kansas City, Mo. to face No. 6 Missouri (6-0) Thursday.
Missouri began the night with junior Dylan Wisman’s major decision at 184 pounds. However, Virginia responded with three-consecutive victories, giving the Cavaliers a 12-4 lead. Sophomore Jay Aiello — ranked No. 8 at 197 pounds — picked up an overtime decision, redshirt freshman Quinn Miller pulled off an upset at heavyweight and junior Jack Mueller pinned his opponent at 125 pounds.
The Tigers then grabbed the lead back with three-straight wins of their own thanks to No. 9 senior John Erneste, No. 3 junior Jaydin Eierman and freshman Brock Mauller at 133, 141 and 149 pounds, respectively.
The back-and-forth dual continued with Virginia sophomore Jake Keating securing a pin at 165 pounds to push the Cavaliers back into the lead and No. 18 redshirt freshman Cam Coy extending Virginia’s lead to 21-17 with just one weight class to go.
In the dual’s finale, Missouri senior Daniel Lewis — ranked No. 4 nationally at 174 pounds — pinned Virginia sophomore Drew Peck to steal a 23-21 victory for the Tigers.
Despite the loss, Virginia Coach Steve Garland praised the Cavaliers’ performance against one of the best wrestling teams in the country.
"Our guys fought their hearts out tonight," Garland said. “I lost count of how many Missouri fans told me how great our team looked and how hard they fought. I'm proud of them.”
Virginia will return to action at the South Beach Duals Competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 29-30.