Spjut, Penny highlight action in Tech’s win over Maryland

Updated: January 19, 2014

BLACKSBURG – The 15th-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team won seven of 10 matches in defeating theUniversity of Maryland 24-9 Sunday afternoon inside Cassell Coliseum in anACC dual match to improve to 13-2 overall, 2-1 in the conference.

Ninteenth-ranked Joey Dance got the Hokies off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Billy Rappo at 125 pounds. After escaping in the second period for his point, Dance rode Rappo for over a minute in the third period before Rappo finally escaped. But Dance fended off a late charge and held on for the close win. At 133 pounds, Dennis Gustafson had his way with Tyler Goodwin, using a takedown and nearfall points to roll to the 7-2 win.

Senior Erik Spjut then provided the highlight of the afternoon at 141 pounds. Trailing 1-0 late to No. 15 Shyheim Brown in a neutral position, Spjut shot in and got the takedown with five seconds left to pull off the 2-1 upset. The action sent the crowd into a frenzy and the senior exited the mat to a standing ovation pumping his fists in jubilation.

Zach Neibert, ranked 20th in the country, took care of business at 149 pounds, picking up three takedowns and over two minutes of riding time to down Derrick Evanovich 9-2. Sal Mastrianicontinued his hot streak, beating Ben Dorsay 8-3 at 157 pounds. The redshirt freshman dominated the action from the first whistle and rolled to his fifth win in his last six matches. Chris Moon used two takedowns, a point for riding time, a point for stalling and an escape to beat Josh Snook 7-0 at 165 pounds.

At 174 pounds, Ty Snook reversed John Dickson late in the third period to pick up a 5-3 win and put Maryland on the board. At 184 pounds, 17th-ranked Nick Vetterlein gave top-ranked Jimmy Sheptock all he wanted, but Sheptock got a takedown with 40 seconds left to pull out the 3-1 victory and remain undefeated.

Chris Penny put on a dominating performance at 197 pounds and beat eighth-ranked Christian Boley. Penny had picked up two takedowns, an escape and a penalty point and was leading 6-0 before Boley took a second injury time and eventually took an injury default late in the second period.

Ty Walz had a chance to pull off a big upset at heavyweight as he picked up a quick first-period takedown of No. 6 Spencer Myers, but Myers got a takedown on the edge of the mat with 17 seconds left when Walz had a chance to take the action out of bounds to pick up a 4-3 win.

The bout served as Senior Day, even though Tech will host the ACC Championships in March. Dickson, Neibert, Penny, Spjut and Vetterlein were honored before the match.

Tech (13-2, 2-1 ACC) will be back in action on next Friday, taking on Duke University in Charlotte, N.C., at the Charlotte Latin Day School Match time is 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Hokies will take on NC State in Raleigh at 2 p.m.

#15 Virginia Tech (13-2, 2-1 ACC) 24, Maryland (4-7, 0-2 ACC) 9
125: #19 Joey Dance (VT) dec. Billy Rappo, 2-1
133: Dennis Gustafson (VT) dec. Tyler Goodwin, 7-2
141: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. #15 Shyheim Brown, 2-1
149: #20 Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Derrick Evanovich, 9-2
157: Sal Mastriani (VT) dec. Ben Dorsay, 8-3
165: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Josh Snook, 7-0
174: Ty Snook (MD) dec. John Dickson, 5-3
184: #1 Jimmy Sheptock (MD) dec. #17 Nick Vetterlein, 3-1
197: Chris Penny (VT) inj. def. #8 Christian Boley, 4:45
285: #6 Spencer Myers (MD) dec. #20 Ty Walz, 4-3