BUIES CREEK, NC – The Virginia wrestling team (2-1) made a furious comeback on Sunday (December 4), taking the last five weight classes of the dual – including a pin from Denton Spencer – to close a 16-point deficit and 18 points to reach -16 victory in Campbell (2-4).
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Camels took an early lead in a duel that started at 197 pounds, winning the first five weight classes to build a 16-0 lead over the Hoos. Virginia wouldn’t go down easily, however, as evidenced by the struggles of newcomers Kyle Montaperto at 125 and Garrett Grice at 133 – both last-second one-point decisions.
Virginia made his 149-pound move when Jarod Verkleeren made a 3-1 decision to put the Cavaliers on the scoreboard. Denton Spencer then put the Hoos within striking distance with his first-period pin from Troy Nation at 157 pounds. Ninth-placed Justin McCoy then scored a decision at 165 before Justin Phillips battled at 174 to a 2-1 win that pulled Virginia within one on the scoreboard.
Neil Antrassian, the No. 30 wrestler at 184 pounds, then completed the comeback with his 9-3 decision over No. 13 Caleb Hopkins as he dominated the first period with a takedown and over two minutes of driving time before extending his lead expanded to the end.
VIRGINIA 18, CAMPBELL 16
197: Levi Hopkins (CU) Major Dec. Michael Battista, 14-3 – GE 4, UVA 0
HWT: #13 Taye Ghadiali (CU) Dec Jessie Knight, 10-5 – GE 7, UVA 0
125: Anthony Molton (CU) Dec. Kyle Montaperto, 6-5 – GE 10, UVA 0
133: Domenic Zaccone (CU) Dec. Garrett Grice, 6-5 – GE 13, UVA 0
141: Shannon Hanna (CU) Dec Dylan Cedeno, 5-1 – GE 16, UVA 0
149: No. 29 Jarod Verkleeren Dec. Chris Rivera (GE), 3-1 – GE 16, UVA 3
157: Denton Spencer pinned Troy Nation (CU), 1:10 – CU 16, UVA 9
165: #9 Justin McCoy Dec. Dom Baker (GE), 9-3 – GE 16, UVA 12
174: Justin Phillips Dec. Cole Rees (GE), 2-1 – GE 16, UVA 15
184: #30 Neil Antrassian vs Caleb Hopkins (CU), 9-3 – UVA 18, CU 16
NOTES ON THE DUAL
• Virginia went 4-1 in the all-time series against Campbell after Sunday’s win.
• Freshmen Kyle Montaperto (125) and Garrett Grice (133) made their first collegiate doubles appearances.
• Denton Spencer clinched his third pin of the season and 21st pin of his career.
BY HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND
“What a huge win tonight. The whole match turned when Denton Spencer, who moved up a weight class for the team, fell at 157. That got us fired up and then we just got going. Then to finish like we did when Neil hit such a stud; He controlled the game. Neil did what an experienced leader should do and he got the job done. I’m happy for our boys.”
NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will break for the finals before returning to action at the Northwestern-hosted Midlands Championships. The prestigious two-day event begins on December 29th.