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No. 5 Virginia Tech Defeats No. 10 Lehigh

NCAA Wrestling: Division I-Championship Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend the No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies picked up two conference wins, and improved to 13-1 on the season.

The first victory came last Friday when VT demolished the No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers, 38-9, in front of a home crowd at Cassell Coliseum. Pitt was forced to forfeit matches at 125 and 133 pounds. The Hokies did not have the skillset of No. 7, Solomon Chishko, at 141 due to illness. Mattheos Lozier, picked up the first dual meet victory of his career, and Epperly, (174), Zavatsky (184), Haught (197), and Walz (Heavy) all defeated their Panther competition, earning the Hokies a resounding victory against a ranked conference opponent.

The Fighting Gobblers did not have long to rest before the Virginia Cavaliers came calling the following Sunday. In a battle of top-ten talent Virginia Tech’s No. 2, Joey Dance, defeated the Hoos’ No. 7, Jack Mueller, at 125. The Hokies were forced to forfeit at 141, and UVA made it tight with victories at 149 and 165. There was another ranked bout the Hokies came out on top of when VT’s No. 16, Sal Mastriani, defeated UVA’s No. 14, Andrew Atkinson. The Hokies heavy half showed up, featuring four young men ranked fourth or higher. No. 2 Epperly, No. 4 Zavatsky, No. 3 Haught, and No. 3 Walz and defeated their competition to put the Cavaliers away, 29-14.

Last night the Hokies faced another ranked squad when they traveled to face the No. 10 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. At one point the Hokies were down 9-15. Virginia Tech’s No. 2 Joey Dance (125) lost to Lehigh’s No. 8 Darian Cruz, and No. 2 Epperly lost to No. 5, Ryan Preisch. But, VPI’s No. 4 Zavatsky, No. 3 Haught, and No. 3 Walz all walked away with victories. No. 7, Solomon Chishko, returned to the mat, after missing last week’s matches due to illness, and took down No. 11, Laike Gardner. The Hokies mounted an exciting comeback, including Ty Walz’s 100th career win, to defeat a top ten opponent, and win the dual, 21-15.

With the win over Lehigh the Hokies improve to 14-1 with three duals left before national duels in mid-February.

After a brief respite the Hokies will face the Duke Blue Devils this Sunday at 4PM EST.