With three bouts remaining, ASU held a 16-11 overall lead, but the Hokies rallied, as Appalachian State wrestling (2-1) fell to non-conference opponent No. 14 Virginia Tech (3-1) by a
24-16 margin on Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.
“It was a good effort,” noted head coach JohnMark Bentley, “and we were inches away from picking up the win. We competed hard, and I feel good about our performance.”
Senior Savva Kostis (Boone, N.C./Watauga) was the first to win a bout for Appalachian, picking up a 15-5 major decision at 149 pounds to improve to 3-0 in dual matches for the season.
Classmate Chip Powell (Greensboro, N.C./S.W. Guilford) came up with a big pin at 157 pounds, downing VT’s Cameron Hurd in 2:40 to give ASU a 10-8 advantage in match points.
In the evening’s only bout featuring a pair of ranked wrestlers, Appalachian senior No. 20 Kyle Blevins (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa) fell behind early but tied the score at 5-5 in the final period. An illegal hold by No. 14 Pete Yates cost the Hokie the decisive point, and Blevins held on for the 6-5 decision.
After Chris Moon earned Virginia Tech a decision at 174 pounds, Mountaineer No. 11 Austin Trotman (Winston Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) swung momentum back in ASU’s favor with a 9-4 win at 184 pounds to extend the Apps’ advantage to 16-11.
From there, Virginia Tech rattled off 10 points in two bouts, and though Appalachian still had a chance in the final weight, VT’s 125-pounder Erik Spjut closed out the evening with a 4-0 decision.
“There were a couple of crucial weights that would have changed the outcome,” observed Bentley. “We were on the cusp of beating a top-15 team and have to start winning those close matches. We have some things to work on, but I feel good about our match with Gardner-Webb.”
In their next match, the Mountaineers travel to face Southern Conference newcomer Gardner-Webb on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
#14 Virginia Tech (3-1) 24, Appalachian State (2-1) 16
133: No. 7 Devin Carter (VT) tech fall Chris Johnson (Hillborough, N.C./Orange), 24-9 (6:07)
141: Zach Neibert (VT) dec. Mike Kessler (Bay City, Mich./Western), 7-1
149: Savva Kostis (ASU) maj. dec. Nick Murray, 15-5
157: Chip Powell (ASU) fall Cameron Hurd, 2:40
165: No. 20 Kyle Blevins (ASU) dec. #14 Pete Yates, 6-5
174: Chris Moon (VT) dec. Carter Downs (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter Christian), 9-5
184: No. 11 Austin Trotman (ASU) dec. John Dickson, 9-4
197: No. 16 Nick Vetterlein (VT) fall Jon Hartley (Lenior, N.C./South Caldwell), 1:21
285: Chris Penny (VT) maj. dec. Joe Cummings (Valley Cottage, N.Y./Nyack), 10-2
125: Erik Spjut (VT) dec. Tony Gravely (Martinsville, Va./Magna Vista), 4-0
Photo Courtesy: Savva Kostis, ASU Athletics