Many must experience and deal with defeat in order to feel the high of victory when it matters most. The Hokies used their defeat against the North Carolina Tar Heels as a learning experience and source of motivation in the following match against Virginia.
Traveling just down the road to Charlottesville to face the Hoos, getting back in the win column was critical for Virginia Tech to stay in the conversation as one of the premier wrestling programs in the nation.
Anxiety settled in once again for those in the maroon and orange as the Hokies fell quickly to a 9-3 deficit just as they did against North Carolina. The remainder of the dual would not play out in the same manner though as Virginia Tech rattled off six straight victories to take a 20-9 lead over the Cavaliers.
No. 18 Mitch Moore, ACC freshman of the year and one of the Hokies’ toughest and most reliable wrestlers, got his team on the board almost securing a pin in the process as his opponent was saved by an ending sound of the first period. With the near-fall points awarded to Moore in the process, he was able to ride his lead to victory while also lighting a bit of a fire under the other Virginia Tech wrestlers.
With wins by Bryce Andonian, No. 18 B.C. LaPrade, No. 5 David McFadden, Cody Hughes and No. 2 Hunter Bolen, it appeared as though the fate of the dual was decided. Virginia Tech led 20-9 at this point, but like all resilient teams, UVA stormed back to instill a bit of a scare in the Hokies; No. 9 Jay Aiello of Virginia secured bonus points in his major decision over Stanley Smeltzer. John Borst would then fall victim to his opponent as well to close out the night ending in a tight 20-16 victory in favor of the Hokies.
This is the eighth consecutive victory for Virginia Tech over Virginia in wrestling as it also secured its first conference win of the season to improve to 1-1. The Hokies will look forward to a quick turnaround in their dual against Old Dominion on Sunday at 1 p.m.