When Virginia Tech announced that last years ACC champion and All-American Devin Carter was redshirting this season, many were skeptical and even confused by the move.
Now, with the Hokies ranked No. 7 in the nation and having recent wins against Oklahoma and Oregon State, Tech is poised to have a good chance in this weekends NWCA National Dual finals.
Tech won all of their matches against Oklahoma, who is the No. 25 ranked team in the country. No. 5 Pete Yates (165) suffered his first loss of the year earlier this season after a defeat to Oklahoma’s Bubby Graham, but he came back from that loss to defeat Graham in their most recent match. The Hokies ended up beating Oklahoma 33-6.
Right after the match against Oklahoma, Tech took on No. 9 Oregon State. This match was a lot closer, as the Hokies won 20-15. Redshirt senior and No. 7 Jesse Dong (157) was noted for his heroics in this match, as he was down early against competitor R.J. Pena. He ended up beating Pena 5-4.
While Tech is succeeding as a team, Yates is also chasing after some highly distinguished individual awards. With a 24-1 overall record on the season, Yates is undefeated in dual and ACC matches.
Throughout his career, Yates has amassed 121 wins, good for third-most in school history and 12 wins away from tying the record of 133. Look for him to shine in the ACC championships, for which he has already locked down the number one seed in his weight class.
Even though most of the Hokies talent are upperclassmen, sophomore Nick Brascetta (149), who won the ACC as a freshman, is currently No. 6 in the nation and is 25-3 on the year.
With four wrestlers currently ranked in the top 10 of their weight classes, anticipate for the Hokies to go far in the ACC and NCAA championships.
The ACC championships are held on March 9 at the Maryland. Yates has already claimed the No. 1 seed in his weight class. The NCAA championships begin March 22 in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Hokies take on No. 4 Minnesota in the NWCA National Duals this Friday, February 22 at 9 p.m.