Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Virginia Tech Wrestling made a statement in Cassell Coliseum today as the 16th-ranked Hokies showed they were underrated in the preseason polls against No. 9 Missouri.
FINAL SCORE 29-10, HOKIES! pic.twitter.com/uuU4AgIowd— Virginia Tech Wrestling (@HokiesWrestling) November 2, 2019
The Hokies dominated Missouri beating the 9th-ranked Tigers 29-10 while winning 6 of the 9 matches that were contested (Missouri forfeited one matchup). With the win, the Hokies seem poised to climb a few spot in the rankings this upcoming week while a few Virginia Tech wrestlers may also climb the rankings in their respective weight classes.
The dual meet opened at 149 and though Mitch Moore was unable to upset the 2nd-ranked 149 wrestler Brock Mauller, Moore was able to hold him to a 6-0 victory, preventing Mauller from picking up bonus team points that the Tigers likely were hoping for.
The first ranked vs. ranked match (rankings according to Intermat) came at 157 between VT's 17th-ranked B.C. LaPrade and Missouri's 16th-ranked Jarrett Jacques. The match reflected how close the two wrestlers are in the rankings, but LaPrade showed he should be ahead of Jacques defeating the Missouri sophomore in sudden victory 3-1 to pick up a big win in a toss-up match.
In his return to 165, David McFadden was dominant as expected picking up a 15-4 major decision over Peyton Mocco to give Virginia Tech a 7-3 lead. However, Cody Hughes was unable to pull off an upset suffering a 12-1 major decision loss to #10 Connor Flynn, tying it at 7 between the Hokies and Tigers.
In the second ranked match of the day, ninth-ranked Hunter Bolen had a battle with 14th-ranked Missouri senior Dylan Wisman, but despite a late charge from Wisman, Bolan used his riding time advantage to pick up a big season debut victory, giving the Hokies a 10-7 lead.
Stanley Smeltzer's first career start didn't go so well as he fell to Wyatt Koelling 8-1, tying things at 10. However, that would be the final loss of the day for the Hokies.
John Borst got the strong closing run going for the Hokies picking up an impressive 11-3 major decision victory over Missouri's Rodrigo Diaz that makes you wonder if Borst has turned a corner and could have a breakout season.
With Korbin Myers out for a considerable amount of time due to injury, Joey Prata stepped up at 125 with a 2-0 victory over Dack Punke, making it 17-10 and putting it out of reach for Missouri. Because of that, Missouri decided to forfeit what would have been the first official match as a Hokie for Collin Gerardi who entered the season ranked 19th after an impressive redshirt year wrestling unattached.
Mitch Moore had the performance of the day in the final match pinning Missouri's Alex Butler 26 seconds in to his match to seal the 29-10 victory. Moore's impressive performance should have the talented sophomore climbing higher in the rankings from his 18th spot.
The biggest thing for the Hokies was the fact that their ranked wrestlers won the toss-up matches with Hunter Bolen and B.C. LaPrade both picking up big victories. David McFadden also wrestled as dominantly as you would expect at his best weight, 165, while John Borst and Mitch Moore impressed today, showing signs that both Borst and Moore are ready to take major steps forward.
Virginia Tech may have started the season ranked 16th, but they showed today that this team can once again be a top 10 team in a year with a starting lineup full of youth.
Looking ahead, Virginia Tech will compete in the Southeast Open tomorrow in Roanoke before facing Northwestern next Sunday in the first ever wrestling match at English Field