The No. 7 ranked Virginia Tech wrestling program has had many firsts in program history in the past few years, and they recently reached another. Virginia Tech has reached the final eight in the NWCA/Cliff Keen Duals tournament for the first time ever. The NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals is not an NCAA-sanctioned national championship event however many believe that it should be. In an NCAA event the team title is decided by the cumulative success of each squad's qualifying individuals, which is not the case in a duals event.
For Virginia Tech to make it to the final eight, they had to travel 3 time zones away and face No. 25 ranked Oklahoma followed by No. 8 ranked Oregon State. With wins they would advance to next weekend's National Duals finals in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the first match, VT won all eight matches over Oklahoma to win 33-6. The second match seemed more difficult, however the Hokies prevailed to win 20-15 advancing to the finals.
“I thought we really wrestled well and redeemed ourselves today against Oklahoma, even though we beat them three weeks ago. We left too much on the table in that match and took it to them pretty good today,” head coach Kevin Dresser told HokieSports.com. “In the OSU match, Jesse Dong got the gold star with his comeback win against a top-10 guy. He made the difference in the dual meet. Now, we have a quick turnaround with an arrival back to Blacksburg late Monday night and a flight to Minneapolis Thursday. He have some guys dinged up, so we have to lick our wounds and try to get ready.”
There will be a quick turn around for the Hokies as the finals take place on Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23.
To read more about the Hokies quest to win the NWCA/Cliff Keen Duals please visit Hokiesports.com