Virginia claimed its first-ever Virginia Duals team championship with a 20-19 victory over No. 14 Edinboro Saturday evening at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. The 13th-ranked Cavaliers rallied from a 13-3 deficit after four weight classes, winning five of the final six classes to secure the title.
The championship is Virginia’s first in the 34-year history of the event. The top-seeded Cavaliers topped fifth-seeded Kent State 22-12 in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon to advance and face the second-seeded Fighting Scots.
Nick Herrmann, Nick Sulzer, Jon Fausey and Zach Nye each scored a pair of wins Saturday.
“This whole week was a gritty one for our guys,” Virginia head coach Steve Garland said. “We lost one of our starters (Gus Sako) and hopefully we get him back soon, but it was a big hit to our lineup. Chris Yankowich stepped in and did a good job as always, but it didn’t affect the rest of the guys. They did their jobs and went out there and grinded out wins.
“We took a lot of tough losses over the course of this tournament, but guys kept rebounding and coming back. That’s the thing you want to see as a coach. It’s only January, but this feels good. We’re starting to see some special qualities from this group and hopefully that will continue.”
Virginia is back in action Friday with a 7 p.m. ACC dual at Duke. The Cavaliers then travel to Old Dominion Jan. 19 for a 3 p.m. match.
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