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Virginia Tech Hokies Finish In the Top-Ten at the NCAA Championships

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Virginia Tech vs Wisconsin Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

This month the Virginia Tech wrestling team traveled to St. Louis, MO and competed in the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Last year the Hokies posted a program-best fourth-place finish in the NCAA Championships. After Coach Kevin Dresser left for the Iowa State job, interim coach, Tony Robie, led the then No. 4 Hokies through the 2017 championships. The Hokies again performed admirably and ended the tournament in sixth place. This marks the fifth straight time the Virginia Tech Hokies have finished within the Top-Ten at the NCAA Championships.

The Fighting Gobblers produced five All-Americans: Joey Dance, Solomon Chishko, Sal Mastriani, Jared Haught, and Ty Walz.

No. 2, Joey Dance, 125 lbs., 5-2, fifth place. Dance lost in the quarterfinals against rival Jack Mueller, from UVA, during the quarterfinals before being again facing Mueller in the fifth-place match. Mueller was a medical forfeit, unfortunately.

No. 6, Solomon Chishko, 149 lbs., 4-3, sixth place. Chishko also lost in the quarterfinals to Missouri’s Lavion Mayes. He eventually lost the fifth-place match to No. 7 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa).

No. 14, Sal Mastriani, 157 lbs., 4-3, eight place. Mastriani lost in the second round to another Missouri product, No. 3 Joey Lavallee. Sal eventually lost the seventh-place match to unseeded Paul Fox from Stanford.

No. 4, Jared Haught, 197 lbs., 4-2, fourth place. Jared lost to the No. 1 seed, J’den Cox from Missouri. At this point I think it is necessary to point out that Missouri was the only program to hand the Hokies a defeat during the regular season. Haught also dropped the third-place match to No. 3 Kollin Moore from Ohio State.

No. 3, Ty Walz, Heavyweight, 4-2, fourth place. Walz lost to No. 2 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) during the semifinals. After winning the consolation semifinals he dropped the third-place match to No. 7 Tanner Hall from Arizona State.

No. 4 seed, Zach Epperly (174 lbs.), went 2-2, losing to No. 5 Mark Hall (PSU) in the quarterfinals before suffering a disappointing drop to unseeded Jake Residori from SIU-Edwardsville.

No. 5 seed, Zack Zavatsky (184 lbs.), also struggled posting a 1-2 record. During the second round, he lost to Norther Iowa’s Drew Foster (No. 12 seed). He then went on to drop the consolation round to unseeded Hunter Gamble from Gardner Webb.

After VT’s strong performance at the NCAA Championships, Tony Robie earned the full-time head coaching job of the Virginia Tech Hokies. This past week Robie and Dresser were named ACC Wrestling Co-Coaches of the Year.

Congratulations on another fantastic season!

Go Hokies!