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Wrestling Drops Pair of ACC Matches
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/12/2011
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Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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CHARLOTTESVILLE/BLACKSBURG, Va.-The Duke University wrestling team dropped a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches today to highly touted Virginia and seventh-ranked Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils

Duke (1-5-1, 0-4 ACC) started the day with a 40-0 setback at Virginia. The Blue Devils traveled over to Virginia Tech, falling to the ACC leader Hokies 39-3. Redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo went 1-1 on the day, registering his 23rd win of the year with a victory at Virginia Tech.

Redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo turned in a strong performance against the Cavaliers at 184 pounds, losing in overtime to Stephen Doty, 7-5. Bencomo scored the early takedown in the first period and held a 2-1 lead after three minutes of action. He built his advantage to 5-2 after two periods, but Doty came back with an escape to start the third session. Doty added a takedown to even the match and then rode that momentum for another takedown to earn the 7-5 sudden victory.

Also competing well for Duke was senior Mike Bell as he lost a hard-fought match 5-3 at 141 pounds. Bell registered a takedown in the third period to make it 4-3 against Virginia's Dave Ebbott, but the Cavalier redshirt junior earned an extra point for riding time to garner the two-point decision. 

Going up against fourth-ranked Christopher Henrich at 174 pounds, Duke redshirt freshman Bret Klopp fought well in a 14-7 decision. At heavyweight, redshirt sophomore Andrew Fulk suffered a narrow 8-4 decision to John Danilkowicz.

At Virginia Tech, Bell competed well at 141 pounds. Trailing 4-2 after the first period the Blue Devil senior scored on a reversal to even the bout at four heading into the final session against Zach Neibert. The Hokie redshirt freshman pulled away in the final period with six unanswered points to post a 10-4 decision in the first match wrestled.

Redshirt junior A.J. Guardado followed that with a strong performance at 149 pounds against No. 15 Brian Stephens. After a scoreless first period, Guardado garnered a 1-0 lead with an escape and held off Stephens for the next minute before the Hokie sophomore registered a takedown. Stephens started the third session down and picked up one more point with an escape to come away with the narrow 3-1 decision that pushed Virginia Tech's lead to 18-0.   

After Willy Mello fell to 14th-ranked Peter Yates in an 8-2 decision at 165 pounds, redshirt freshman Bret Klopp had an action-packed match at 174 pounds. Matt Epperly garnered an early 9-2 lead in the first period before Klopp cut the lead to three with a reversal and near fall before Epperly responded with a reversal and takedown for a 13-7 lead after five minutes of wrestling. Epperly continued to pull away in the final period, emerging with a 16-8 major decision for the Hokies.

Bencomo came away with the first win of the day against the Hokies at 184 pounds. The Phoenix native registered a pair of two-point takedowns in the first period for a 4-2 lead after three minutes. Virginia Tech's John Dickson pulled with one with an escape to start the second period, but a late takedown by Bencomo made it a 6-3 match heading into the final session. Bencomo opened the third stanza with an escape for a four-point lead and added one more takedown for his 23rd win of the season with a 9-3 decision.

Fulk closed out the day of wrestling with a hard-fought match against David Marone. The pair went back and forth in the first two periods with Marone holding a narrow 5-4 advantage. Fulk picked up one point for an escape to even the match, but a late takedown and an extra point for riding time gave the Hokies the 8-6 decision. 

Duke returns to action on Feb. 16, hosting Campbell at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The match is set for 7 p.m.

Virginia 40, Duke 0

125: Matt Snyder (UVa) wins by forfeit

133: Joe Spisak (UVa) wins by forfeit

141: Dave Ebbott (UVa) dec. Mike Bell (Duke), 5-3

149: Derek Valenti (UVa) dec. A.J. Guardado (Duke), 6-0

157: Shawn Harris (UVa) dec. Ryan Harding (Duke), 8-2

165: Jedd Moore (UVa) major dec. Willy Mello (Duke), 19-6

174: No. 4 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Bret Klopp (Duke), 14-7

184: Stephen Doty (UVa) dec. Diego Bencomo (Duke), 7-5 (SV)

197: No. 17 Mike Salopek (UVa) wins by forfeit

285: Jack Danilkowicz (UVa) dec. Andrew Fulk (Duke), 8-4

Virginia Tech 39, Duke 3

125: Jarrod Garnett (VT) wins by forfeit

133: Devin Carter (VT) wins by forfeit

141: Zach Neibert (VT)  dec. Mike Bell (Duke), 10-4

149: Brian Stephens (VT) dec. A.J. Guardado (Duke), 3-1

157: Jesse Dong (VT) tech fall Ryan Harding (Duke), 17-2

165: Peter Yates (VT) dec. Willy Mello (Duke), 8-2

174: Matt Epperly (VT) major dec. Bret Klopp (Duke), 16-8

184: Diego Bencomo (Duke) dec. John Dickson (VT), 9-3

197: Chris Penny (VT) wins by forfeit

285: David Marone (VT) dec. Andrew Fulk (Duke), 8-6