Wrestling: UVA splits duals with Gardner-Webb, George Mason

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia wrestling team split a pair of dual matches in Richmond on Saturday, taking a 22-19 win over Gardner-Webb before dropping a 18-17 dual with George Mason. The duals were wrestled at St. Christopher’s School.

DUAL 1: Virginia 22, Gardner-Webb 19
Gardner-Webb (2-3) got off to a quick start in the day’s first dual, rattling off four straight wins – including a pin at 133 pounds – as the Runnin’ Bulldogs built a 15-0 lead on the Cavaliers.

Virginia (4-1) then went to work, winning five of the last six weight classes with four of them producing bonus-points for the Hoos. It started with a major decision from Nick Sanko (157) before Mason Stefanelli (165) and Justin McCoy (174) posted consecutive wins by technical fall that cut the lead to one point at 15-14.

Gardner-Webb then picked up one final victory with a major decision at 184 pounds, but Colden Dorfman (197) got two points late for a 6-4 decision to put the Cavaliers within striking distance with heavyweight left to wrestle. Ryan Catka (285) left nothing to chance, taking a tech fall victory to complete the rally and give Virginia the 22-19 victory.

DUAL 2: George Mason 18, Virginia 17
The Cavaliers started out strong in the second dual of the afternoon, picking up three straight wins. It started with consecutive decisions from Kyle Montaperto (125), Keyveon Roller (133) and was capped by a dominant performance from Kyren Butler (141) to secure a major decision over No. 23 Nathan Higley.

George Mason (8-4) pulled within one by securing three straight victories before McCoy would secure a major decision to push Virginia back out to a five-point lead at 14-9. A nine-point swing in the dual score vaulted the Patriots in front as a pin at 184 pounds and a decision at 197 pounds put George Mason up by four.

Catka (285) closed things out with his second win of the day, but his decision wasn’t enough to overtake George Mason and the Patriots claimed the dual 18-17.


  • With the comeback win over Gardner-Webb, the Hoos improved to 10-0 all-time against the Bulldogs.
  • Justin McCoy won both his matches with bonus-points to improve to 11-1 on the season.
  • Ryan Catka won both matches on the afternoon to improve to 7-2 on the season.
  • Kyren Butler’s win over Higley gave the 141-pounder his first win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season.


“Wrestling is a crazy sport and athletics are crazy. I didn’t think we wrestled well in the first match and found a way to win. That’s nothing against Gardner-Webb, they did a fantastic job and put themselves in a position to win. They fought their tails off and reversed results in a think three matchups from earlier this year. Attitude wise, we just weren’t awake and then we found that in the second half of the dual and those guys won the match for us.

“The second dual we came out great and it was the exact opposite. It was completely different from the first dual of the day. We wrestled completely differently in the second match and lost, but I couldn’t be more proud of the way we wrestled. It’s that kind of crazy in sport. I told our guys that we’re banged up, but no one cares about that and they’re learning it. Dual meets come down to the details and we have to focus on that moving into the Virginia Duals next week.”

125: Drew West (GWU) dec. Kyle Montaperto, 2-0 – GWU 3, UVA 0
133: Takeo Davis (GWU) pinned No. 28 Marlon Yarbrough, 1:19 – GWU 9, UVA 0
141: Todd Carter dec. Jack Gioffre, 11-5 – GWU 12, UVA 0
149: Zach Price (GWU) dec. Erik Roggie, 8-2 – GWU 15, UVA 0
157: Nick Sanko major dec. Tyler Brignola (GWU), 11-3 – GWU 15, UVA 4
165: Mason Stefanelli tech fall Tyler Hicks (GWU), 19-2 (5:19) – GWU 15, UVA 9
174: No. 13 Justin McCoy tech fall Samuel Mora (GWU), 20-5 (6:06) – GWU 15, UVA 14
184: No. 32 Jha’Quan Anderson (GWU) major dec. Griffin Gammell, 10-1 – GWU 19, UVA 14
197: Colden Dorfman dec. Josh McCutcheon (GWU), 6-4 – GWU 19, UVA 17
HWT: Ryan Catka tech fall Peyton McComas (GWU), 20-5 (5:36) – UVA 22, GWU 19

125: Kyle Montaperto dec. JB Dragovich (GMU), 3-0 – UVA 3, GMU 0
133: Keyveon Roller dec. Shawn Nonaka (GMU), 10-3 – UVA 6, GMU 0
141: Kyren Butler major dec. No. 23 Nathan Higley (GMU), 18-7 – UVA 10, GMU 0
149: Kaden Cassidy (GMU) dec. Erik Roggie, 5-4 – UVA 10, GMU 3
157: No. 26 DJ McGee (GMU) dec. Nick Sanko, 7-2 – UVA 10, GMU 6
165: Evan Maag (GMU) dec. Mason Stefanelli, 13-7 – UVA 10, GMU 9
174: No. 13 Justin McCoy major dec. Paul Pierce (GMU), 9-1 – UVA 14, GMU 9
184: Malachi Duvall pinned Griffin Gammell, 2:53 – GMU 15, UVA 14
197: Tyler Kocak (GMU) dec. Colden Dorfman, 15-10 – GMU 18, UVA 14
HWT: Ryan Catka dec. No. 30 Chad Nix (GMU), 7-3 (sv-1) – GMU 18, UVA 17