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Virginia Tech rolls into semifinals; North Dakota State upends Virginia at 37th Virginia Duals

By Jason Bryant, Special to | Jan. 13, 2017, 5:46 p.m. (ET)

Clayton Ream of NDSU battles Andrew Atkinson of Virginia on the way to a 5-4 win at 157 pounds at the Virginia Duals. Photo by Pat Ream.

Hampton, Virginia – Virginia Tech wrestling coach Kevin Dresser made it apparent prior to the 37th Virginia Duals that he wanted his team to see North Dakota State.

While the smooth-talking Hokie head coach was initially politicking to see the Bison in pool competition, Dresser will get his wish in Saturday’s semifinal session as Virginia Tech, North Dakota State, Arizona State and Oklahoma each won their pools to advance.

The fifth-ranked Hokies (9-1) dominated Kent State 41-3 and Lock Haven 35-6. All-Americans Joey Dance (125), Solomon Chishko (149), Zach Epperly (174), Jared Haught (197) and Ty Walz (285) went 2-0.

But the big reason Dresser wanted to draw North Dakota State, at least at some point, was because of Bison 125-pounder Josh Rodriguez.

“We’re excited for that 125-pound matchup, Joey (Dance) just really needs a real tough opponent and obviously Rodriguez is having a great year,” said Dresser. “We’re excited about 157 and obviously NDSU is turning some heads. We need to get out and feel’em.”

Rodriguez registered a key victory at 125 pounds in the 27-13 upset win over No. 24 Virginia, which entered as the tournament’s fourth seed. Rodriguez topped freshman Jack Mueller 7-2 to set the tone early.

A key turning-point came at 165 pounds where Cameron Harrell was leading North Dakota State’s Andrew Fogarty was trailing Virginia’s Cameron Harrell 8-2 before Harrell was forced to default due to a suspected concussion. It ended up being a nine-point swing, putting North Dakota State ahead 18-6. Virginia would pick up wins at 174 and 184 before Cordell Eaton and Dan Stribal finished off the Cavaliers.

North Dakota State will have to avoid bonus points on Saturday afternoon’s semifinal, something Virginia Tech is working to improve upon. On Friday, 12 Hokie wins were by bonus.

“We’re really focusing on (bonus points),” said Dresser. “If we want to be a team that wants to win a national title, we need to score more bonus points. Article came out a week or so ago about what teams have the most bonus points, and we weren’t even in the conversation.”

“Our guys are excited to be here,” said North Dakota State head coach Roger Kish. “The team chemistry is great and our boys are out there fighting for each other. We're excited to compete with Virginia Tech. It's a challenge and a test for the guys and they are fired up.”

Past Olympians Zeke Jones and Lou Rosselli will take their teams to battle on Saturday in the other semifinal. Jones’ Arizona State Sun Devils defeated Bucknell 29-10 before getting past pesky Campbell 23-20 to win the Poquoson River Pool, while Oklahoma trounced Old Dominion 29-6 and Chattanooga 34-6.

Nazareth (Pa.) started its quest to repeat in the National High School Division by registering two wins. The Blue Eagles topped Fauquier (Va.) 53-21 in the opening round before building a 34-11 lead over Independence (W.Va.) and eventually earning a 34-30 win in the quarterfinals.

Nazareth will face fifth-seeded Christiansburg (Va.) in the semifinals. Christiansburg, two-time National Division champions, upended St. Augustine Prep (N.J.) in the quarterfinals 52-15. The Blue Demons won 10 of the first 11 matches and cruised into the semifinals. Junior freestyle All-American Hunter Bolen registered two bonus-point victories at 160 pounds, including a fall in 1:02 over Joseph Colon in the quarterfinals.

In the bottom half of the National High School Division, second-seeded South Dade (Fla.) is making its first appearance at the Virginia Duals. Wins by Chei Hill at 220 and Kyron Hill at 285 lifted South Dade past McDonough (Md.) 34-20 in the opening round and the Buccaneers then had to rally back-to-back falls from Taylor at 285 and Bretil Reyna at 106 to get past Smyrna 35-27 in the quarterfinals.

South Dade will take on perennial Virginia Duals championship contender South Plainfield (N.J.) in the semifinals. South Plainfield opened up with a 36-25 victory over last year’s American Division champions, Eastern View (Va.) before getting past Cathedral Prep (Pa.) 36-29 in the quarterfinals.

Action continues through Friday with the American High School and Black & Blue High School Divisions kicking off at the 5 p.m. rounds, while the all championship semifinals begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Results, Brackets & Webcast Information:



125 - Nathan Kraisser (Campbell) over Michael Nguyen (Arizona State) Fall 0:17
133 - Jonathan Ryan (Campbell) over Ted Rico (Arizona State) Maj 13-5
141 - Nicholas Villarreal (Arizona State) over Joshua Heil (Campbell) Dec 4-3
149 - Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State) over Benjamin Barton (Campbell) Dec 3-1
157 - Joshua Shields (Arizona State) over Austin Kraisser (Campbell) Dec 5-4
165 - Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) over John Weiss (Campbell) Fall 5:47
174 - Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) over Alex Herringshaw (Campbell) Fall 3:36
184 - Ville Heino (Campbell) over Conner Small (Arizona State) Maj 12-4
197 - Willie Bivens (Campbell) over Sullivan Cauley (Arizona State) Fall 5:32
285 - Tanner Hall (Arizona State) over Jere Heino (Campbell) Dec 1-0


125 - Joshua Rodriguez (NDSU) over Jack Mueller (U.Va.) Dec 7-2
133 - Cam Sykora (NDSU) over William Mason (U.Va.) Dec 7-2
141 - George DiCamillo (U.Va.) over Taylor Nein (NDSU) Fall 2:41
149 - Mitchell Friedman (NDSU) over Samuel Krivus (U.Va.) Dec 6-4
157 - Clayton Ream (NDSU) over Andrew Atkinson (U.Va.) Dec 5-4
165 - Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) over Cameron Harrell (U.Va.) Inj
174 - Garrett Peppelman (U.Va.) over Dylan Urbach (NDSU) Maj 12-2
184 - Will Schany (U.Va.) over Tyler McNutt (NDSU) Dec 5-4
197 - Cordell Eaton (NDSU) over Chance McClure (U.Va.) Dec 5-2
285 - Daniel Stibral (NDSU) over Chuck Boddy (U.Va.) Fall 1:23


125 - Joey Dance (Virginia Tech) over Jake Field (Lock Haven) TF 20-4
133 - Dennis Gustafson (Virginia Tech) over DJ Fehlman (Lock Haven) Maj 14-3
141 - Lewis Williams (Lock Haven) over Kevin Norstren (Virginia Tech) Fall 0:24
149 - Solomon Chishko (Virginia Tech) over Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven) Dec 8-3
157 - Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech) over Kyle Hammond (Lock Haven) Maj 18-6
165 - David Bergida (Virginia Tech) over Jared Siegrist (Lock Haven) Dec 9-5
174 - Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech) over Adam Mackie (Lock Haven) TF 23-5
184 - Zachary Zavatsky (Virginia Tech) over Corey Hazel (Lock Haven) Dec 4-2
197 - Jared Haught (Virginia Tech) over Tristan Sponseller (Lock Haven) Maj 16-5
285 - Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) over Thomas Haines (Lock Haven) Maj 24-15


125 - Christian Moody (Oklahoma) over Steven Simpson (Old Dominion) Maj 14-5
133 - Jacob Rubio (Oklahoma) over Emilio Saavedra (Old Dominion) Maj 9-1
141 - Mike Longo (Oklahoma) over Kevin Budock (Old Dominion) Dec 3-2
149 - Michael Hayes (Old Dominion) over Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma) Dec 5-4
157 - Clark Glass (Oklahoma) over Austin Eads (Old Dominion) Dec 10-5
165 - Yoanse Mejias (Oklahoma) over Seldon Wright (Old Dominion) Dec 5-3
174 - Matt Reed (Oklahoma) over Antonio Agee (Old Dominion) Dec 5-1
184 - Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) over Andrew Dixon (Oklahoma) Dec 2-1
197 - Brad Johnson (Oklahoma) over Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion) Dec 4-3
285 - Ross Larson (Oklahoma) over Will Hilliard (Old Dominion) Fall 5:16

Semifinals pairings
Virginia Tech vs. North Dakota State
Arizona State vs. Oklahoma

Hampton River Pool Results
1st Place - Virginia Tech
2nd Place - Lock Haven
3rd Place - Kent State
Round 1 - Lock Haven defeated Kent State 32-10.
Round 2 - Virginia Tech defeated Kent State 41-3.
Round 3 - Virginia Tech defeated Lock Haven 35-6.

James River Pool Results
1st Place - Oklahoma
2nd Place - Old Dominion
3rd Place - Chattanooga
Round 1 - Old Dominion defeated Chattanooga 21-10.
Round 2 - Oklahoma defeated Old Dominion 29-6.
Round 3 - Oklahoma defeated Chattanooga 34-6.

Poquoson River Pool Results
1st Place - Arizona State
2nd Place - Bucknell
3rd Place - Campbell
Round 1 - Bucknell defeated Campbell 23-15.
Round 2 - Arizona State defeated Bucknell 29-10.
Round 3 - Arizona State defeated Campbell 23-20.

York River Pool Results
1st Place - North Dakota State
2nd Place - University of Virginia
3rd Place - The Citadel
Round 1 - North Dakota State defeated The Citadel 36-9.
Round 2 - University of Virginia defeated The Citadel 38-3.
Round 3 - North Dakota State defeated University of Virginia 27-13.