Feb. 8, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The University of Maryland wrestling team put a scare into No. 13 Virginia Tech Sunday evening, but the Hokies won four of the final five matches to secure a 22-15 victory in Blacksburg, Va.
The Terrapins (7-8-1, 2-2 ACC) led after five matches, 11-8, and led by as many as five points during the match. However, Virginia Tech (18-1, 3-0 ACC) scored the crucial points down the stretch to earn the win.
"This was a tough one to lose," Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said. "We had a lot of toss-up situations that went the other way. The good news is we still have time to work on our areas of concern. Although we can't win the regular-season championship, I feel we are in a great position to win the conference tournament."
The Hokies took the 125-pound matchup to start the proceedings with No. 14 Jarrod Garnett defeating Brendan Byrne, 10-5.
Down 3-0, Maryland pulled ahead at 133 pounds with No. 11 Steven Bell taking a 13-5 major decision from Brock LiVorio.
In probably the most-anticipated match of the night, No. 11 Alex Krom stole the show at 141 pounds. Krom was never threatened in the match and easily dispatched of No. 19 Chris Diaz, 9-1, to put the Terps on top, 8-3.
The five-point lead didn't last for long, though. No. 20 Pete Yates registered a five-point technical fall over Dex Lederer at 149 points, winning 23-7 in 4 minutes, 40 seconds.
Like last weekend against Navy, redshirt freshman Kyle John posted an upset victory at 157 pounds to tilt the momentum in Maryland's favor. Trailing 2-1 without the benefit of riding time entering the final period, John pulled ahead with a takedown and then just missed a pin in the final seconds, earning a three-point near fall en route to a 6-2 victory and an 11-8 Maryland lead.
Brian Letters had a chance to give Maryland more of a cushion in the 165-pound bout against Matt Epperly. Tied 1-1 in the third period with riding time not a factor, Letters seemed to have a sure takedown, but couldn't complete the move. Epperly later turned the tables and earned a takedown of his own with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation and won 3-1 to tie the score at 11 apiece.
Riding the emotion of Epperly's win, the Hokies won major decisions at both 174 and 184 pounds to take an eight-point lead with two matches remaining. In both victories, the Hokies scored with less than 10 seconds left in the match to earn major decisions rather than decisions.
No. 10 Hudson Taylor cut Tech's lead in half at 197 pounds, scoring an 11-3 major decision against D.J. Bruce.
Heading into the heavyweight match, Patrick Gilmore needed a major decision to tie and a technical fall or pin to earn a Terps victory.
Gilmore could not get much going, however, and lost a 4-2 decision to David Marone to account for the final margin.
Maryland returns to the mat Saturday night at local rival American University for a non-conference matchup.
No. 13 VIRGINIA TECH 22, MARYLAND 15
125 - No. 14 Jarrod Garnett (VT) dec. Brendan Byrne, 10-5 (3-0)
133 - No. 11 Steven Bell (MD) major dec. Brock LiVorio, 13-5 (3-4)
141 - No. 11 Alex Krom (MD) major dec. No. 19 Chris Diaz, 9-1 (3-8)
149 - No. 20 Pete Yates (VT) tech. fall over Dex Lederer, 23-7 (4:40) (8-8)
157 - Kyle John (MD) dec. Jesse Dong, 6-2 (8-11)
165 - Matt Epperly (VT) dec. Brian Letters, 3-1 (11-11)
174 - Anthony Trongone (VT) major dec. Bradley Nielson, 12-4 (15-11)
184 - Tommy Spellman (VT) major dec. Ryan Gray, 10-2 (19-11)
197 - No. 10 Hudson Taylor (MD) major dec. D.J. Bruce, 11-3 (19-15)
HWT - David Marone (VT) dec. Patrick Gilmore, 4-2 (22-15)