The Virginia Military Institute wrestling team won the first four matches of the afternoon and took advantage of two forfeits to beat Sacred Heart, 30-9, in the season-opening match for both teams in Lexington, Va., on Saturday.
VMI (1-0) prevailed in seven of 10 weight classes to avenge a 21-point loss to the Pioneers a year ago.
The host Keydets had a 15-0 lead after four matches before the Pioneers earned a victory. Redshirt junior Nick Palumbo (157) got a takedown with 17 seconds left in the third period to extend his lead to three points and cement a 5-3 decision over sophomore Seth Fillers.
Sacred Heart’s Scott Jarosz (165) got a takedown late in the first period to take a 5-2 lead and dominated the remainder of the match in a 6-2 decision over VMI’s Jon Hoover.
Redshirt senior Will Schmidt (174) got a key takedown with a minute remaining in the second period to take a three-point lead and rode out the third period in a 5-3 victory over VMI’s Joel Diaz.
Schmidt’s win cut the VMI lead to six, 15-9 but that would be it for the Pioneers.
At 174 pounds, undefeated Zack Brown outlasted Sacred Heart junior Joe Accousti of Newtown, 4-3. The match was tied 3-3 after two periods when Accousti let Brown escape early in the third period hoping for a match-winning takedown.
But Brown, now 5-0, wouldn’t let Accousti get in position to attempt a takedown to secure the win. VMI picked up a pair of forfeits at 197 and 285 pounds to close out the match.
The match began with a dramatic bout at 125 pounds with VMI’s Cliff Conway earning his first win of the season with a 8-2 win over Sacred Heart’s Sean Faraon in OT. Faraon led 2-0 after two periods thanks to a first period takedown and a dominating second period. Conway forced OT with a takedown with 49 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, Conway threw Faraon to his back for a two-point takedown and four near fall points.
At 133, VMI’s Luke Fegley got his first win of the season with a pin of Sacred Heart freshman Vincent Milazzo in 4:47. Fegley won an exhibition bout after the match was complete with another pin of Pioneer freshman Thomas Volpe in 2:01.
VMI’s Frederick Junko (142) shutout Sacred Heart’s Ryan Burns. 6-0 before Job Chishko (149) outlasted Sacred Heart’s Seth Brown, 4-2 thanks to a two-point near fall with 1:10 left in the match. Brown had a 2-0 lead after one period thanks to a takedown but Chishko tied the match with a takedown of his own with five seconds left in the second period.
Danbury senior Shaun Williams (157) wrestled in an exhibition match for the Pioneers and dropped an 8-6 decision to freshman Blake Showers. Williams trailed 7-0 before getting a third period takedown and throwing Showers to his back to cut the lead to 7-6. Williams let Showers go with 1:11 remaining but couldn’t get a takedown to win the match.
Sacred Heart (0-1) returns to action on Thursday, January 21 when they host EIWA rival Long Island University at 1 p.m. at the Pitt Center.
The Pioneers will be wrestling just five dual meets in this pandemic-shortened campaign.
VMI 30, Sacred Heart 9
At Lexington, Va.
125 Cliff Conway (V) dec. Sean Faraon, 8-2, OT
133: Luke Fegley (V) pin Vincent Milazzo, 4:47
142: Frederick Junko (V) dec. Ryan Burns, 6-0
149: Job Chishko (V) dec. Seth Brown, 4-2
157: Nick Palumbo (SH) dec, Seth Fillers, 5-3
165: Scott Jarosz (SH) dec. Jon Hoover, 6-2
174: Will Schmidt (SH) dec. Joel Diaz, 5-3
184: Zach Brown (V) dec. Joe Accousti, 4-3
197: Tyler Mousaw (V) forfeit
285: Robbie Adelstein (V) forfeit
Records: VMI 1-0, Sacred Heart 0-1
Exhibition: 157 – Blake Showers (V) dec. Shaun Williams, 8-6; 133 – Fegley (V) pin Thomas Volpe, 2:01