Cassell ColiseumFClarion3(4) Virginia Tech 39Game Audio: Listen

BLACKSBURG - The fourth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestled team cruised to a 39-3 win over Clarion in its home opener Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum in front of nearly 1,000 fans. With the victory, the Hokies improved to 13-3 while the Golden Eagles fell to 2-2.

Jarrod Garnett, ranked 13th in the country at 125 pounds, got things off to a good start with a technical fall of Trey Hicks. He took him down early and turned him three times to take a quick 11-0 lead. He turned him again in the second period to end it, winning 17-1. Freshman Devin Carter, ranked eighth in the country at 133 pounds, sizzled in his home debut, pinning Devin Cook in just 1:04. Chris Diaz kept things rolling at 141 pounds, tech falling Colby Pisani. He took him down and turned him twice for a 7-0 lead. He led 9-1 after one and kept the pressure on, with a takedown and nearfall combo in the second period and another in the third stanza to win 18-2.

At 149 pounds, eighth-ranked Brian Stephens started slow, but finished with a flurry to pick up a tech fall. In the first period, Stephens used a pair of takedowns and a nearfall combination to take a 7-1 lead. In the second, he took White down twice to lead 11-3 before White was given an unsportsmanlike conduct call, giving Stephens a point. It lit a fire under the sophomore as he took him down immediately after and turned him twice to earn the 19-4 win.

Jesse Dong, ranked fifth in the country at 157 pounds, rebounded from an upset loss Saturday at UNC to down Kyle Braddock in just 29 seconds. He took Braddock right down to his back and stuck him quickly to make it 27-0 at the break. Moving to the upper weights, Pete Yates capitalized on a second-period takedown and got a reversal with 30 seconds left to earn a hard-fought 6-3 win over Bekzod Abdurakhmonov.

Matt Epperly won an exciting match at 174 pounds, downing Scott Joseph, 3-2. Epperly escaped to start the second period and Joseph appeared to take the lead on a takedown late in the second period, but referee Deno White waived it off at the buzzer. Joseph escaped early in the third period, but Epperly battled for a takedown with 40 seconds left and held on for the win. John Dickson, filling in for Tommy Spellman, completed a successful weekend with an 8-3 win over Steven Cressley at 184 pounds. After picking up a big pin in the UNC dual on Saturday, Dickson used a pair of takedowns and a reversal to earn the win. At 197 pounds, Alex Thomas of Clarion finally got the Golden Eagles on the board with a 12-8 win over Chris Penny.

David Marone capped things off with a 7-3 win over Quintas McCorkle at heavyweight. Marone took him down in the first period and again in the second to take a 5-1 lead into the final stanza. In the third period, the junior got one more takedown and held off a late charge to end the match on a high note.

The win was a dominating one as the Hokies scored the first offensive point in all 10 matches and picked up 21 takedowns in winning nine of 10 matches.

Tech will be back in action next weekend for a pair of tough duals. The Hokies will travel to Piscataway, N.J., to take on No. 18 Rutgers on Friday at 7 o?clock and will then head to College Park, Md., for an ACC showdown with Maryland on Sunday at 2 p.m.

#4 Virginia Tech 39, Clarion 3
125: #13 Jarrod Garnett (VT) tech fall Trey Hicks, 17-1 (4:34)
133: #8 Devin Carter (VT) fall Devin Cook, 1:04
141: #14 Chris Diaz (VT) tech fall Colby Pisani, 18-2 (5:32)
149: #8 Brian Stephens (VT) tech fall Anthony White, 19-4 (4:10)
157: #5 Jesse Dong (VT) fall Kyle Braddock, 0:29
165: #14 Pete Yates (VT) dec. Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, 6-3
174: Matt Epperly (VT) dec. Scott Joseph, 3-2
184: John Dickson (VT) dec. Steven Cressley, 8-3
197: Alex Thomas (C) dec. Chris Penny, 12-8
285: David Marone (VT) dec. Quintas McCorkle, 7-3

Continue reading "Tech dominates Clarion, 39-3, in home opener"