Sixth-ranked Hokies roll in ACC play

Tech downs NC State, Duke in impressive fashion

February 12, 2011

BLACKSBURG - The sixth-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling squad capped off another undefeated season in the ACC with an impressive Senior Night inside Cassell Coliseum, downing NC State 40-0 and Duke 39-3 to finish off a 5-0 season in the conference. Tech has now won 15 consecutive duals meets dating back to 2008 and the Hokies are 19-4 with one dual match left.

Tech posted a 40-0 blanking of the Wolfpack in the first match of the day. Fourteenth-ranked Jarrod Garnett started off with a technical fall before 10th-ranked Devin Carter picked up a pin to make it 11-0. Nineteenth-ranked Chris Diaz beat a tough Darrius Little 8-2 at 141 pounds and then No. 15 Brian Stephens survived a late scare in the third when he got locked in a cradle, but still pulled out a 14-7 win over Matt Nereim. Nereim filled in for No. 1 Darrion Caldwell, who did not wrestle. Fifth-ranked Jesse Dong kept things rolling with a 13-1 major decision and then No. 14 Pete Yates picked up a major decision of his own, beating Nijel Jones 15-2. Matt Epperly downed Quinton Godley 6-2 at 174 pounds before John Dickson beat Pat Carey 5-2 at 184 pounds and then Chris Penny pinned KaRonne Jones in the second period at 197 pounds to make it 37-0. At heavyweight, David Marone picked up a big 6-3 win over Eloheim Palma to finish things off.

In the second match of the night, Duke forfeited at 125 and 133 pounds to give Tech a quick 12-0. Zach Neibert stepped in at 141 pounds and picked up a 10-4 win over A.J. Guardado at 141 pounds and the Dong picked up a technical fall and Yates earned an 8-2 decision. Epperly finished off a strong Senior Night with a major decision over Bret Klopp. Diego Bencomo picked up Duke?s lone win with a 9-3 victory over Dickson before Duke forfeited at 197 pounds. Marone then finished off an undefeated ACC season with an 8-6 win over Andrew Fulk to finish off the night.

In between matches, Tech honored its three seniors - Diaz, Epperly and Tommy Spellman - who were all four-year starters for the Hokies.

Tech will wrap up the regular season on Thursday with a dual meet against Liberty at Salem?s Andrew Lewis Middle School. That match will start at 8 o?clock.

#6 Virginia Tech 40, NC State 0
125: #14 Jarrod Garnett (VT) tech fall Pedram Rahmmatabadi, 21-6 (4:31)
133: #10 Devin Carter (VT) fall Dale Shull, 1:36
141: #19 Chris Diaz (VT) dec. Darrius Little, 8-2
149: #15 Brian Stephens (VT) dec. Matt Nereim, 14-7
157: #5 Jesse Dong (VT) maj. dec. Colton Palmer, 13-1
165: #14 Pete Yates (VT) maj. dec. Nijel Jones, 15-2
174: Matt Epperly (VT) dec. Quinton Godley, 6-2
184: John Dickson (VT) dec. Pat Carey, 9-5
197: Chris Penny (VT) fall KaRonne Jones, 3:45
285: David Marone (VT) dec. Eloheim Palma, 6-3

#6 Virginia Tech 39, Duke 3

125: #14 Jarrod Garnett (VT) wins by forfeit
133: #10 Devin Carter (VT) wins by forfeit
141: Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Mike Bell, 10-4
149: #15 Brian Stephens (VT) dec. A.J. Guardado, 3-1
157: #5 Jesse Dong (VT) tech fall Ryan Harding, 17-2 (6:00)
165: #14 Pete Yates (VT) dec. Willy Mello, 8-2
174: Matt Epperly (VT) maj. dec. Bret Klopp, 16-8
184: Diego Bencomo (D) dec. John Dickson, 9-3
197: Chris Penny (VT) wins by forfeit
285: David Marone (VT) dec. Andrew Fulk, 8-6

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).