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Wrestling gets first win of the season against American and impresses in the Southeast Open

Virginia had 10 wrestlers place in the top five at the Southeast Open

<p>Graduate student Michael Battista was outstanding against the Eagles, winning his match in the 184-pound weight class</p>

Graduate student Michael Battista was outstanding against the Eagles, winning his match in the 184-pound weight class

Saturday at American

The Virginia Wrestling team opened up their season with a win against American on Saturday night at Bender Arena in Washington D.C. The Cavaliers (1-0, 0-0 ACC) won eight weight classes to propel the team to a dominating 33-6 win over the Eagles (0-2, 0-1 EIWA). The next day, Virginia would compete in the Southeast Open at Roanoke College’s Cregger Center. The Cavaliers had 10 wrestlers placewinners which included seven freshmen. 

To begin the night, American sophomore Andy Fallon defeated Virginia sophomore Patrick McCormick in the 125-pound weight class. Fallon downed McCormick by sudden victory after they were tied at the end of the third period, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. The Cavaliers would then go on to win the next seven matches. 

133-pound graduate student Brian Courtney would begin the comeback for Virginia, winning his match 7-3 by decision to tie the dual meet 3-3. Next up, sophomore Dylan Cedeno, who wrestled at 141 pounds, would get the first pin of the night in 1:24. Cedeno pinned sophomore Ethan Szerencsits to give the Cavaliers a 9-3 lead. 

Graduate student Jarod Verkeleen added  to the lead, defeating junior Patrick Ryan, 6-1. Graduate student Jon Errico then won against junior Cole Painter. The score was 17-2 before technical fall was called by the official, giving the 157-pound Errico his first win of the season. The two graduate students propelled Virginia’s lead to 17-3. 

Senior Justin McCoy then made his debut at the 165-pound weight class after wrestling at 157-pounds last year. McCoy won by a score of 12-4 which is a major decision giving the Cavaliers an additional four points.

“I liked what I saw out of Justin McCoy,” Assoc. Head Coach Travis Paulson said. “He moved up a weight class this season and won via major decision against a returning NCAA qualifier.” 

Junior Justin Phillips and graduate student Michael Battista would then both pick up decision victories at 174 pounds and 184 pounds, respectively. American would then find their second win of the night in the 197-pound class with junior William Jarrell defeating junior Ethan Weatherspoon making the score 27-6. 

Graduate student Quinn Miller would finish the night by pinning his opponent in 2:12 to bring Virginia’s final score to 33. 

“Quinn Miller led by example, capping the night off with a first period pin,” Paulson said. “Today was a good first test and a step in the right direction.”

Sunday at Southeast Open

Senior Alex Cruz was the first to earn placement on Sunday at the Southeast Open, finishing 5th in the open bracket at 157-pounds. Cruz achieved three pins out of his five matches including one in the 5th place match after 5:26. Junior Trey Lane, sophomore Dominic Isola, junior Nic Sansone, junior Ray Costa, and sophomore Jessie Knight also competed in the Open Bracket at their respective weight classes, gaining valuable minutes that will go a long way in a strenuous season. 

The freshman/sophomore bracket saw nine Cavaliers place in the top five. Starting with freshman Erik Roggie who placed first at 133 pounds. Roggie had a pin in the first round, a win by major decision in the quarterfinal and won the final by a score of 7-6. Two of his five wins were bonus-point victories as well. 

Freshmen Marlon Yarbrough II and Patrick Noonan also wrestled at 133 pounds, placing fourth  and fifth respectively. Noonan won his last three matches, including the last two, by major decision while Yarbrough II came up short in the third-place match. 

Freshmen Kyren Butler and Gavin Cagle both placed third in their respective weight classes. At 141 pounds, Butler achieved a major decision win and a fall on the way to the third place match. At 165 pounds, Cagle finished his day with a major decision win during the third-place match winning by a score of 16-3. 

Freshmen Rocco Contino, Hadyn Danals, and Colden Dorfman all placed second at 174, 184 and 197 pounds, respectively. Contino was joined in the 174-pound class by sophomore Hudson Stewart who placed fifth. Danals went 3-1 with his three wins coming from a technical fall, pin and major decision. 

“We left some points on the board, but we’ll break down the film and tighten some things up,” Paulson said after the dual match. 

Virginia wrestling is back in action Friday against Maryland. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Xfinity Center Pavilion in College Park, Md.a