BLACKSBURG, Va. –Redshirt junior Jacob Kasper extended his win streak to 17 matches Sunday afternoon upsetting Virginia Tech’s Ty Walz in the premier match of the afternoon in the wrestling dual between the Blue Devils and No. 5 Hokies. Duke fell to fifth-ranked Virginia Tech in the overall dual 26-13.
Duke (3-6, 0-2 ACC) garnered victories at heavyweight, 133 pounds and 141 pounds and were all square 13-13 with the Hokies after six bouts. The Blue Devils picked up bonus points in two of the three wins at the Moss Arts Center.
Virginia Tech (15-1, 4-0) jumped out to a 9-0 lead with bonus point victories at 184 and 197 pounds. The action ramped up in the next bout with one of the premier heavyweight matchups in the country featuring No. 3 Walz, 16-1 heading into the match, and No. 5 Kasper (22-1). And the match did not disappoint.
Kasper scored the match’s opening takedown for the 2-0 lead. Walz escaped and picked up a takedown of his own, but Kasper answered with an escape and takedown to finish the first period with a 5-3 lead. The back and forth action continued in the second period as the Blue Devil veteran escaped twice to maintain his two-point advantage, 7-5.
Trailing by two after five minutes of wrestling and in the bottom position, Walz evened the score with a reversal early in the third. However, that’s all Kasper would allow as he took over with a takedown, four nearfall points and the bonus point for riding time to get the 15-7 major decision. It was his sixth dual victory with bonus points and pushed his overall record to 23-1. He is now 6-0 against top 20 opponents.
The Hokies, featuring seven top 15 wrestlers in their lineup, added four more points to extend their team lead to 13-4 through four matches. Cole Baumgartner, coming off of a match-winning victory Wednesday night, came onto the mat for the Blue Devils at 133 pounds and picked up three points with a 9-4 decision. The senior, trailing 4-1 after one period, took over in the final two stanzas with an escape, reversal and two nearfall points to pull away for his 16th win of the year and first against an ACC foe.
Zach Finesilver, coming out of intermission, needed only one minute into the second period to garner his 13th win of the year. Holding a 2-0 lead after the first, he quickly put Brendan Ryan on his back for the pin at 4:02 to tie the dual 13-13.
The Hokies broke open the match in the final four bouts, securing a major decision and three decisions. Jake Faust battled No. 14 Sal Mastriani, but couldn’t get the points in the third period for the win. At 174 pounds, Connor Bass wrestled No. 2 Zach Epperly tough in a 3-1 setback. Epperly got the early takedown and never let Bass get into his own offense to add the day’s final three points for the 26-13 victory.
Duke returns to action Feb. 1 at Gardner-Webb. The match is set to start at 7 p.m.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 26, Duke 13
184: No. 4 Zack Zavatsky (VT) major dec. Alec Schenk (Duke), 13-3 | VT 4, Duke 0
197: No. 3 Jared Haught (VT) TF Luke Farinaro (Duke), 22-7 (5:57) | VT 9, Duke 0
285: No. 5 Jacob Kasper (Duke) major dec. No. 3 Ty Walz (VT), 15-7 | VT 9, Duke 4
125: No. 2 Joey Dance (VT) major dec. Thayer Atkins (Duke), 18-4 | VT 13, Duke 4
133: Cole Baumgartner (Duke) dec. Dennis Gustafson (VT), 9-4 | VT 13, Duke 7
141: Zach Finesilver (Duke) fall Brendan Ryan (VT), 4:02 | VT 13, Duke 13
149: No. 7 Solomon Chishko (VT) major dec. Xaviel Ramos (Duke), 22-9 | VT 17, Duke 13
157: No. 14 Sal Mastriani (VT) dec. Jake Faust (Duke), 8-3 | VT 20, Duke 13
165: David Bergida (VT) dec. Garrett Neff (Duke), 8-4 | VT 23, Duke 13
174: No. 2 Zach Epperly (VT) dec. No. 18 Connor Bass, 3-1 | VT 26, Duke 13