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Hokies complete undefeated season, down Pitt 27-12

by Virginia Tech Athletic Communications

Feature photo courtesy of Virginia Tech Wrestling's Twitter.

BLACKSBURG, Va. - For the eighth time in school history, Virginia Tech wrestling is an ACC Champion after defeating Pitt 27-12 in the final dual of the season Friday night to win the ACC Dual Meet Championship outright.
With the win, the No. 4 Hokies (9-0, 5-0 ACC) cap off their seventh undefeated season in school history, the first since the 1956-57 season. Head coach Tony Robie is the fourth coach in program history to accomplish the feat, and at 9-0, this is the Hokies' longest undefeated season, topping the 8-0 1954-55 team.
Tech has now won the ACC Dual Meet Title four times, matching its number of ACC Championship titles. The trophy is back in Blacksburg after the Hokies three-peated as conference regular season champs from the 2014-15 season through 2016-17.
• The reigning ACC Wrestler of the Week Sam Latona finished off an undefeated regular season of his own with a 12-3 major decision over Pitt's Colton Camacho. Latona will enter the postseason with an 8-0 record, including two wins over ranked opponents. The fifth-ranked 125-pounder in the country outscored his opponents 29-0, registering four bonus-point wins this season.

• Bryce Andonian won his seventh match of the year and picked up bonus points for the fifth time with a 10-1 major decision over Mick Burnett. The 2020 ACC 149-pound runner-up finished the conference season at 4-1 and outscored ACC opponents 17-3.

• Connor Brady secured his first win at Cassell Coliseum and did so in convincing fashion with a 12-1 major decision over Tyler Badgett, his first career bonus-point victory in an ACC dual. The redshirt freshman had a four-point near fall in the second period to distance himself out to a 9-1 lead and hung on for the win without being brought to the mat.

• At 174 pounds, Dakota Howard had the performance of the night with a 21-6 technical fall in 5:05. Howard continuously dropped Jared McGill, racking up six takedowns and two four-point near falls in just over two periods. The one-time ACC Wrestler of the Week has now secured bonus points in 11 of his 16 career wins.

• Sending a message before the postseason was Hunter Bolen, who came away with a 12-4 major decision over Gregg Harvey. The second-ranked 184-pound wrestler in the nation, Bolen scored five takedowns and controlled Harvey for 2:53 of riding time. Bolen is the only Hokie to complete the 2020-21 season with a 5-0 record in the ACC.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 27, No. 16 Pitt 12
285: Hunter Catka (VT) dec. Austin Cooley (PITT), 4-0
125: #5 Sam Latona (VT) MD Colton Camacho (PITT), 12-3
133: Joey Prata (VT) dec. Louis Newell (PITT), 3-1
141: #17 Cole Matthews (PITT) dec. Collin Gerardi (VT), 8-4
149: #10 Bryce Andonian (VT) MD Mick Burnett (PITT), 10-1
157: Connor Brady (VT) MD Tyler Badgett (PITT), 12-1
165: #10 Jake Wentzel (PITT) def. #1 Mekhi Lewis (VT) via injury default
174: Dakota Howard (VT) TF Jared McGill (PITT), 21-6 (5:05)
184: #2 Hunter Bolen (VT) MD Gregg Harvey (PITT), 12-4
197: #7 Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT) dec. Andy Smith (VT), 8-1
Extra Matches
141: Sam Hillegas (VT) MD Ryan Michaels (PITT), 14-3
157: Clayton Ulrey (VT) MD Antonio Petrucelli (PITT), 18-6
174: Kolton Clark (VT) WBF Dane Csencsits (PITT), 1:33
285: Hunter Catka (VT) MD Jake Slinger (PITT), 12-4
197: Austin Cooley (PITT) dec. Stan Smeltzer (VT), 10-4
The Hokies get a two-week break before the 2021 ACC Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina. The tournament, hosted by NC State, is set for Sunday, Feb. 28.