The No. 4 Virginia Tech Hokies followed their ACC dual championship and victory over then No. 6 Nebraska, during the National Duals, with a resounding statement at the ACC Tournament.
VPI sent seven wrestlers to their respective weight class finals and walked away with six individual ACC titles. With such an unambiguous performance, the Fighting Gobblers definitively claimed their third ACC tournament championship with 93 points. The N.C. State Wolfpack came in second with 64 points. The last time the Hokies claimed the ACC title was in 2014. Including the ACC duals, Virginia Tech has earned six total ACC team championships since joining the conference.
The list of individuals that won their individual titles is filled by the usual suspects.
The 125-pound No. 1 seed, Joey Dance, kicked the match off with a championship win. No. 5 seed, Dennis Gustafson (133 lbs.), lost during the semifinals to No. 1 seed, Dom Forys, from Pitt. Gustafson recovered and ended up defeating No. 2 seed, Will Mason, from UVA (boooo!), during consolation finals. At 141 pounds Kevin Norstrem suffered back to back losses to UNC’s Joey Ward and Pitt’s Nick Zanetta.
Sal Mastriani (157 lbs.) brought the Hokies their second individual championship appearance, but fell short when he lost to Pitt’s Taleb Rahmani. After No. 5 seed, David Bergida, lost during the first round and consolation semifinals, the Hokies began a victory train.
No. 1 seed, Zach Epperly, avenged last year’s loss to UNC’s Ethan Ramos and took the 174 lbs. title. No. 2 seed, Zach Zavatsky, won 184 lbs. over No. 1 seed, Michael Macchiavello (NCSU). The No. 1 seed, Jared Haught, continued VT’s individual championship collection, with a 197 lbs. victory. Ty Walz, the No. 1 heavyweight seed, defeated the No. 2 seed, Jacob Kasper (Duke), to wrap things up for the Hokies.
After the ACC tournament seven Hokies earned individual seeds to the NCAA Championship. Joey Dance is seeded at No. 2 while Sal Mastriani has been placed at the 15th seed. Chishko clocks in at No. 6 and Zavatsky is the No. 5 seed. Zach Epperly and Jared Haught are both ranked as No. 4 seeds. Ty Walz punctuates the seven individual selectees at No. 3.
No. 4 Hokies head to St. Louis for the NCAA Championship: Seven grapplers will represent .. https://t.co/AfOP2DoDXz— VT Wrestling (@VT_Wrestling) March 15, 2017
The NCAA Championship will be held in St. Louis, MO from March 16 through March 18 at the Scottrade Center. During the 2015-2016 season the Hokies finished fourth at the NCAA Championships, a program best performance. The seven Hokies will lead Virginia Tech into the NCAA Championship, hoping to improve on last year’s impressive performance.
Fans will be able to watch every match of the NCAA Championship tournament via ESPNU, ESPN, and the Watch ESPN application.
Congratulations on a great season, gentlemen, and best of luck in the Championship!