UVA Wrestling surges to No. 11 ranking after strong Virginia Duals showing

Andrew Carpenean-US PRESSWIRE

After the team's successful second place finish, the wrestling program continues to reach new heights.

The Virginia wrestling team came in ranked 11th in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll, the highest national ranking in program history. The 9-3 Cavaliers are coming off a dual meet win over then-No. 9 Central Michigan in the Virginia Duals semifinals. The Hoos would go on to lose to then-No. 10 Virginia Tech and settle for second place, but did enough to impress during its 3-1 weekend.

After rolling past Bucknell and Boise State, Virginia, the tournament's fourth seed, took down top-seeded CMU 20-13 in the semi-finals. The match started with UVA's Matt Snyder, No. 7 nationally, shutting out his ninth-ranked foe 4-0 at 125 pounds. After splitting the first four decisions, Virginia won 4 of the next 5, two by major decision (of 8 points or more), to take a 10 point lead and seal the match. Fifteenth-ranked Jon Fausey also took down a ranked opponent in the process, winning 9-1 over No. 19 Craig Keliher at 174 pounds.

Virginia Tech won the tournament, ironically becoming the first team from the Commonwealth to win the Virginia Duals in 33 chances. Half of the Hokies' ten wrestler lineup is ranked in the top 15 at their weight class, and each won his bout by decision. Overall, all 10 of the bouts were decided by decision in a competitive match.

The full Virginia Duals bracket can be found here.

The Hokies have now dealt UVA two of its three losses, as Virginia Tech prevailed in the teams' ACC conference matchup 25-6 back in November. The Hoos also lost earlier that month to No. 4 Iowa.

Virginia heads into the heart of ACC play this weekend, traveling to Chapel Hill to take on UNC on Friday before returning home to Memorial Gym to see Duke Sunday at noon. The matchup with the Tar Heels can be viewed on ESPN3 at 7 PM.

Virginia and defending champ Maryland will contend in the conference this season, but both will struggle to stop a powerful VT squad.

The new USA Today Top 25 follows:



Rank Team Points Record Previous
1 Penn State (10) 400 5-0 1
2 Oklahoma State 390 8-0 2
3 Minnesota 379 10-1 3
4 Iowa 370 12-1 4
5 Illinois 355 5-0 6
6 Ohio State 349 7-2 5
7 Missouri 346 6-0 7
8 Cornell 327 5-2 8
9 Virginia Tech 322 9-2 10
10 Oregon State 304 4-3 13
11 Virginia 293 9-2 19
12 Central Michigan 285 8-3 9
13 Oklahoma 278 6-3 14
14 Nebraska 268 7-3 17
15 Wyoming 258 6-3 15
16 Edinboro 247 6-3 16
17 Pittsburgh 242 6-3 12
18 Michigan 236 6-3 11
19 Wisconsin 214 5-2 22
20 Bloomsburg 210 10-2 24
21 Northwestern 208 4-4 18
22 Purdue 192 10-4 21
23 Maryland 168 8-4 23
24 Penn 88 4-2 20
25 Boise State 69 5-5 NR
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