After a humbling road trip last week, the No. 6 Virginia Tech wrestling team dominated No. 12 Lehigh Friday at Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies jumped out to a 24-0 lead after the first six matches and went on to win 23-15.
That's not a typo. The Hokies lost a point between the seventh and eighth matches for unsportsmanlike conduct. John Dickson, wrestling at 184 pounds for the Hokies, wasn't present for the start of his match and after a long delay finally ran into the arena and quickly changed into his singlet. Tech lost a point due to his tardiness.
That episode is more comical than it would have been had the dual been a tight one. Instead, it occurred with the Hokies ahead 24-6 because their best wrestlers were at their best.
After last week, when Tech was dominated at No. 16 Rutgers and escaped with a one-point win over Maryland it was important for the Hokies to start strong. That mission was accomplished thanks to a pair of pins from Pete Yates at 165 pounds and Zach Neibert at 141 pounds.
Neibert's 55-second fall was even more impressive considering he was wrestling in place of usual starter Chris Diaz. Jesse Dong and Devin Carter also rolled to easy wins to help the Hokies knock off a Lehigh team that featured five ranked wrestlers.
The Mountain Hawks nee Engineers are one of the perennial powers in college wrestling. Lehigh was 10-5 coming into Friday's dual and lost only four duals the previous two seasons combined. Its 26 all-time NCAA champions ranks fifth in college wrestling history.
The Hokies are now 15-4 this season and 4-4 against ranked teams. What has been an historic season for Virginia Tech wrestling will continue at 7 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 5 against Virginia at Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies are trying to pack the place for that dual so go support them against the Wahoos.
They've earned the respect of the wrestling world, now it's time for fans to show their appreciation.