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Wrestling suffers close defeat by No. 8 Virginia Tech

Both teams won five matches, but bonus points proved critical for the Hokies

<p>Despite winning the same number of matches, bonus points put Virginia behind.</p>

Despite winning the same number of matches, bonus points put Virginia behind.

The Virginia wrestling team dropped a close match to in-state rival No. 8 Virginia Tech Friday night at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. The Hokies (5-0, 1-0 ACC) earned bonus points in three of their five victories, and those proved to be the difference in the match.

Virginia Tech opened up a 9-0 lead early after victories from freshman Sam Latona and graduate student Korbin Myers. Latona picked up a technical fall victory, and Myers recorded a major decision victory, which gave the Hokies three bonus points.

Junior Brian Courtney won his match in the 141-pound division to put the Cavaliers (1-2, 0-2 ACC) on the board, but sophomore Bryce Andonian picked up another major decision win for the Hokies at 149 pounds. After four matches, Virginia Tech held a lead of 13-3.

The teams proceeded to trade match victories as sophomore Justin McCoy and sophomore Victor Marcelli notched close victories for Virginia, while sophomore Mekhi Lewis and junior Hunter Bolen answered for Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers still trailed by 10 points after eight matches, and the score read 19-9 in favor of the Hokies.

Senior Jay Aiello and sophomore Quinn Miller won the final two matches of the night for Virginia, but it wasn’t enough to secure the victory. In the end, both teams won five matches each, but the bonus points from Virginia Tech’s early victories proved to be decisive as Virginia Tech won 19-15.

“Losing hurts and we aren’t happy, but we had a five and five split with a really good team tonight,” Coach Steve Garland said. “You have to give credit to Virginia Tech for getting the bonus and that was the difference in the match. They are well coached and are always a tough out. We are progressing, though. I trust what we are doing, and I love our team.”

Virginia returns to action next Friday with a home match against No. 12 Pittsburgh. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville.