CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia wrestling team won its school-record 19th match as it concluded the regular season with a 25-11 road victory over Old Dominion Sunday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Spurred by the return of 141-pounder Nick Nelson (R-Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) to the lineup, the Cavaliers won seven of 10 bouts, including the final six, to claim the team win. "Our kids have had a long season ? a very long season," Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. "We have had major injuries all year and to finish a season like this with 19 wins is a testament to our guys' mental toughness and focus. I am a very proud coach tonight."
ODU (7-12-1) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead by riding the backs of its two ranked wrestlers at 125 and 133 pounds. At 125 fourth-ranked James Nicholson remained unbeaten this season with a 12-3 major decision over the Cavaliers' Matt Snyder.
The 133-pound match was decidedly closer, as UVa freshman Joe Spisak (Boiling Springs, Pa.) led for much of the match before succumbing, 10-8, to 12th-ranked Kyle Hutter. Spisak, on the strength of a takedown and three-point nearfall, jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first period, only to see Hutter slowly creep back in and take a third-period lead. Spisak scored an escape to tie the bout at eight, but Hutter responded with a late takedown to seal a 10-8 victory.
The Cavaliers (19-7) broke through at 141 pounds, where Nelson returned to the UVa lineup after missing the past three months with an injury. Nelson improved to 7-0 this season with a 7-2 decision over ODU's Brennan Brumley.
At 149 pounds ODU's Scott Festejo scored a 15-6 major decision over Dave Ebbott (Sr., Blue Bell, Pa.) to stretch the Monarchs' lead to 11-3.
Virginia then won the final six weight classes. At 157 pounds Shawn Harris (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) took a 7-2 lead through his match with Chad Lowman before the Monarch was forced to stop the match and take an injury default. The six points pulled UVa within 11-9.
UVa took the lead when Jedd Moore (R-So., Mount Vernon, Ohio) picked up a 5-2 decision over Dan Rivera at 165 pounds. Fourth-ranked Chris Henrich (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.) won his 30th match of the season (30-1), while taking his 16th straight bout with an 8-3 decision over ODU's Tristan Warner at 174.
At 184 pounds 20th-ranked Jon Fausey (R-Fr., Dalmatia, Pa.) dominated Joe Budi in a 10-2 major decision. Fausey improved to 24-7 this season.
Reigning ACC Wrestler of the Week Stephen Doty (So., St. Louis, Mo.) notched his seventh straight win, earning a 8-3 win over Jacob Henderson at 197 pounds. Doty is now 25-9 this season and is second on the team to Henrich in wins.
Jack Danilkowicz (R-Sr., Green Oaks, Ill.) capped the UVa win with an 8-2 decision over Grant Chapman in the heavyweight match. Danilkowicz improved to 23-12 this year.
UVa will take next off before playing host to the 2011 ACC Wrestling Championship on March 5 at John Paul Jones Arena. Tickets to the event are on sale now through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office.
Virginia 25, Old Dominion 11
125: No. 4 James Nicholson (ODU) major dec. Matt Snyder (UVa), 12-3; UVa 0, ODU 4
133: No. 12 Kyle Hutter (ODU) dec. Joe Spisak (UVa), 10-8; UVa 0, ODU 7
141: Nick Nelson (UVa) dec. Brennan Brumley (ODU), 7-2; UVa 3, ODU 7
149: Scott Festejo (ODU) major dec. Dave Ebbott (UVa), 15-6; UVa 3, ODU 11
157: Shawn Harris (UVa) won by injury default over Chad Lowman (ODU); UVa 9, ODU 11
165: Jedd Moore (UVa) dec. Dan Rivera (ODU), 5-2; UVa 12, ODU 11
174: No. 4 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Tristan Warner (ODU), 8-3; UVa 15, ODU 11
184: No. 20 Jon Fausey (UVa) major dec. Joe Budi (ODU) 10-2; UVa 19, ODU 11
197: Stephen Doty (UVa) dec. Jacob Henderson (ODU), 8-3; UVa 22, ODU 11
285: Jack Danilkowicz (UVa) dec. Grant Chapman (ODU), 8-2; UVa 25, ODU 11