No. 14 Virginia Wrestling Holds Off Maryland, 16-15

Updated: January 31, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 14 Virginia wrestling team earned a 16-15 victory over Maryland Friday evening in front of a packed house at Memorial Gymnasium. A major decision by second-ranked Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) at 165 pounds proved to be the difference as both teams won five bouts.

“I have the utmost respect for Maryland,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “I knew going in that it was going to be a battle, and it really was. That was one of the crazier dual meets we’ve had all year. After going through the match with the kids and my staff, we found there were a lot of positives. Nick Herrmann and Blaise Butler grinded out wins, with Blaise getting a really big win in the tiebreaker. Nick Sulzer got us bonus points, which essentially won us the dual.”

Nick Herrmann (So., Amarillo, Texas), Gus Sako (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio), Blaise Butler (R-So., Belvidere, Ill.) andStephen Doty (R-Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) each won by decision at 125, 149, 157 and 174, respectively, for the Cavaliers.

Virginia jumped to an early 3-0 lead when Herrmann picked up a 5-1 win over Billy Rappo at 125 pounds. Herrmann took Rappo down 55 seconds into the match and never trailed.

The Terrapins (5-8, 1-3) won the next two bouts to grab a 6-3 dual lead. At 133, Maryland’s Tyler Goodwin scored on a five-point move early in the first period and forced Joseph Martinez (R-So., Platteville, Colo.) to play comeback from there in rolling to a 12-6 decision. Shyheim Brown then scored a 5-2 upset over 15th-ranked Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) at 141; four of Brown’s five points, including a two-pointer late in the third period, came on penalty points from stall warnings.

Virginia captured the next four weight classes to move out to a 16-6 advantage. Ranked as high as ninth nationally, Sako returned to the mat with an 8-3 win over Frank Goodwin at 149. Sako racked up six first-period points on a pair of takedowns and a reversal as he competed for the first time in nearly a month because of an injury. He now is 15-1 on the year.

Ranked 15th nationally, Butler brought the full house to its feet with a 7-6 win in a tiebreaker against Danny Orem at 157. Butler took a 5-4 lead and a decisive riding time advantage into the third period. An escape point knotted the score, and Butler was called for a stall warning, his second, to give Orem a penalty point in the waning seconds. Butler’s riding time point sent the match into overtime. After one scoreless sudden-victory period, Butler escaped quickly in the first tiebreaker period. He then maintained control for the second tiebreaker to claim the win.

Sulzer once again dominated at 165, taking Ben Dorsay down seven times in an 18-5 major decision. Sulzer is now 26-1 on the season, with 13 major decisions among his 19 bonus-point victories. UVa’s final win came at 174, where Doty rolled to a 9-2 win over Ty Snook to improve to 21-7 on the season.

With top-10 wrestlers manning each of the final three weights, the Terrapins claimed the final trio of bouts, although each went down to the wire. UVa’s Jon Fausey (R-Sr., Dalmatia, Pa.) fell 3-2 to top-ranked Jimmy Sheptock at 184. Sheptock scored on a takedown midway through the third period to break a 1-1 tie. On the takedown, Fausey was forced to take injury time. Sheptock took the down position coming out of the stoppage, but Fausey rode him the rest of the way to claim the riding time point.

Maryland nearly got the bonus points it needed at 197, as eighth-ranked Christian Boley posted a 6-1 win over Zach Nye (R-So., Enola, Pa.). With the match tied 1-1 with 45 seconds left in the third period, Boley took Nye down and put him on his back for three back points. Boley was mere inches from getting the fall, but Nye fought him off for several seconds before wiggling loose and getting off his back as Boley settled for the back points.

The match came down to heavyweight, where Ethan Hayes (R-So., New Lebanon, Ohio) dropped a 4-3 decision to sixth-ranked Spencer Myers. The Maryland All-American took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but Hayes took him down midway through the period to tie the bout. After Hayes pushed the riding time back under a minute, Myers escaped for the decisive point.

Virginia is home again at 2 p.m. Sunday when it entertains Bucknell at Mem Gym. There is no admission charge, and parking is free of charge in the Culbreth Road Garage. Live results will be available at

Virginia 16, Maryland 15
125: Nick Herrmann (UVa) dec. Billy Rappo (UMD) 5-1; UVa 3-0
133: Tyler Goodwin (UMD) dec. Joseph Martinez (UVa) 12-6; 3-3
141: Shyheim Brown (UMD) dec. No. 15/17 Joe Spisak (UVa) 5-3; UMD 6-3
149: No. -/9 Gus Sako (UVa) dec. Frank Goodwin (UMD) 8-3; 6-6
157: No. 15/15 Blaise Butler (UVa) dec Danny Orem (UMD) 7-6 (TB1); UVa 9-6
165: No. 2/2 Nick Sulzer (UVa) major dec. Ben Dorsay (UMD) 18-5; UVa 13-6
174: No. 17/12 Stephen Doty (UVa) dec. Ty Snook (UMD) 9-2; UVa 16-6
184: No. 1/1 Jimmy Sheptock (UMD) dec. No. -/18 Jon Fausey (UVa) 3-2; UVa 16-9
197: No. 8/13 Christian Boley (UMD) dec. Zach Nye (UVa) 6-1; UVa 16-12
285: No. 6/8 Spencer Myers (UMD) dec. Ethan Hayes (UVa) 4-3; UVa 16-15