NC State Wins ACC Dual Title Over VA Tech In Thrilling Season Finale

NC State Wins ACC Dual Title Over VA Tech In Thrilling Season Finale

The ACC dual meet championship is on the line and we're bringing the play-by-play to you in real-time!

Feb 23, 2024 by Andrew Spey
NC State Wins ACC Dual Title Over VA Tech In Thrilling Season Finale

It's a top 10 dual for the ACC regular season championship. #9 Virginia Tech takes on #5 NC State inside a hostile, sold-out Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina!

This one is for all the dual meet marbles! Virginia Tech is 9-3 on the season while NC State is 15-2, however, both are undefeated and 4-0 in the conference. Now one of those ACC 'ohs' has got to go!

How to Watch

The dual meet will be broadcast on ACCN, the cable channel, at 7:00 PM ET. You'll need a subscription to a cable TV service that carries ACCN to watch. If you do, you can stream it on Watch ESPN, but you'll still need your cable TV log in and password. And sorry but I am not able to share mine!

It's also senior night for the Wolfpack, so before the dual the NC State seniors will be honored in the Coliseum starting at 6:45 PM ET. 

For a preview with predictions of the dual, click here

Probable Lineups

125: #16 Jakob Camacho or Jarrett Trombley, NCSU vs #7 Cooper Flynn, VT

133: #5 Kai Orine, NCSU vs #13 Sam Latona, VT

141: #4 Ryan Jack or Koy Buesgens, NCSU vs #13 Tom Crook, VT

149: #4 Jackson Arrington, NCSU vs #2 Caleb Henson, VT

157: #17 Ed Scott, NCSU vs Clayton Ulrey or Rafael Hipolito, VT

165: #15 Derek Fields or AJ Kovacs, NCSU vs #19 Connor Brady, VT

174: Alex Faison, NCSU vs #2 Mekhi Lewis, VT

184: #10 Dylan Fishback or Brock DelSignore, NCSU vs #20 TJ Stewart or Cody Howard, VT

197: #2 Trent Hidlay, NCSU vs #26 Andy Smith

285: #12 Owen Trephan or Chase Horne, NCSU vs #18 Hunter Catka

Historically Speaking

This rivalry has become one of the fiercest and most competitive in college wrestling. The Wolfpack hold the lead in the all-time series which stands at 36-29-1. NC State also has won four of the last six contests, although Virginia Tech won the last meet in a thrilling 16-14 victory. 

I was at that last dual and can provide proof of its excellence in the form of audio commentary of the dual and interviews with several Hokies which you can find here

If recent history is any indicator, fan should expect a tight bout. Four of the last five duals have been decided by 3 points or less. 

149: #4 Jackson Arrington, NCSU vs #2 Caleb Henson, VT

1st period: Starting the dual off with a top 5 matchup. NC State won the coin toss and decided to start at this weight. Henson defeated Arrington twice last year, in the dual and at ACCs. Both wresters are true sophomores. 

Arrington in on a shot early. Has a single leg but Henson rips his leg back and they're back in neutral. Shot by Arrington, throw-by attempt by Henson, no score. Shot by Henson, stalemate. No scores but great action early. Fewer shots now but Arrington controlling the ties and moving Henson around the mat. Slide-by attempt from Henson doesn't score. SHot in short time by Arrington, reattack by Henson and he's got a leg. Quick finish and it's 3 points for Henson with under 10 seconds left in the period. Ride out and a great short time takedown for Henson. 

2nd period: Arrington takes down. Arrington stands. Very methodically works to get a an escape but as soon as it's awarded Henson is right back in on a shot. Arrington whizzers and sits on his leg, limps out and he's back in neutral. 51 seconds of RT, approaching 30 seconds. Arrington hit with stalling after Henson takes a half shot. Period ends, 3-1 Henson leads. 

3rd period: Henson chooses down. Henson stands, Arrington rides for 30 seconds as they go out of bounds. Arrington breaks Henson down on the restart. Now Arrington cuts Henson with just a minute to go. Riding time not a going to be a factor. Henson lightning strike on a single leg, tries to swing the leg out, Arrington keeps his balance and defends but Henson chewed up a lot of clock. Under 10 to go, Henson has a stall to give but won't need it. First period short time takedown is what did it and Henson win 4-1. 

Henson over Arrington by decision, 4-1

VA Tech 3, NC State 0

157: #17 Ed Scott, NCSU vs Rafael Hipolito, VT

1st period: It'll be true freshman Hipolito, who hails from Manaus, Brazil and will be able to keep his redshirt. Chest to chest for most of the first minute, no scores. Level change and Scott's on a leg, he picks Hipolito up and finishes big for three. Scott, a junior, putting a nice ride on Hipolito. Mat return out of bounds and Scott has close to a minute of RT already. Hipolito stands and escapes with RT at 1:02. 30 seconds left in the period. Still 3-1 for Scott at the end of the period. 

2nd period: Scott takes down and is out almost immediately. 4-1 and scott's in on a single leg. He brings Hipolito to the mat who tries to hit a gator bacon but Scott floats his hips and corrals him. 7-1 with 90 seconds left in the period. Hipolito stands and Scott is unable to return him so it's 7-2. Hipolito on a double and he drives Scott to the mat to cut the leads to 7-5. Scott escapes and it's 8-5. RT at 1:25 for Scott. Period ends still 8-5. 

3rd period: Hipolito chooses down. Hipolito is out, riding time at 1:49 for Scott, 8-6 in Scott's favor. Pivotal point int he match. Scott's in on a single, and he finishes for three big points as we round the final minute. Neutral restart for Scott and it's 11-6. RT is secured, 50 seconds for Scott to try and get the major. Upper body tussle, back to neutral. 30 seconds. A takedown would give Scott the major but Hipolito stays on the attack himself which keeps Scott at bay. And time is up, extra point makes it 12-6 for Scott. 

Scott over Hipolito by decision, 12-6

VA Tech 3, NC State 3

165: #15 Derek Fields, NCSU vs #19 Connor Brady, VT

1st period: No scores half way through the period. Brady with a throw-by but missing on the leg and Fields is free and they're both in neutral. 30 seconds remaining. Brady on the attack at the buzzer but no scores after 3 minutes. 

2nd period: Fields chooses down, stands and is out in just a few seconds. A lot more hand fighting and collar ties, a couple shots, a couple more half shots, but no scores, 1-0 Fields after two. 

3rd period: Brady's turn underneath. Sits, stands and he's out almost immediately. 1-1 with most of the third period to go. Brady pounces on a single leg. Fields is on his butt, fighting hands, trying to hide on of his legs, chest wrap but Brady fights through and collects crucial three points. Fields is out but just 10 seconds to go. And Brady is going to take the match 4-2. 

Brady over Fields by decision 4-2

VA Tech 6, NC State 3

174: Alex Faison, NCSU vs #2 Mekhi Lewis, VT

1st period: The 2019 NCAA champ will be favored to extend the Hokies' lead. Lewis pressuring in, has Faison ceding territory. Lewis on a single, Faison fighting hard but Lewis' grip is too strong. Lewis drags Faison back to the center, runs behind and collects three. Restart with 23 on the RT clock and 45 on the match clock. Faison working for the escape but Lewis is stuck on him. Mekhi gets the ride out on the period and he'll take a 3-0 lead and just over a minute of riding time to the 2nd period. 

2nd period: Lewis takes down and is up and out quickly. Now Faison on a single, Lewis sprawls and gets a stalemate. It's 4-0 Lewis with most of the second period still to go. Level change blast double for Lewis and he powers Faison to the mat for three more. Lewis leads 7-0, riding time ticking up again. Faison escapes with about 35 seconds to go in the period. Lewis will take the 7-1 lead and 1:33 of RT into the third. 

3rd period: Faison takes down and Lewis says optional start, so it's 7-2 with two more minutes to go. Lewis thinking major. Faison gets dinged for stalling, his first warning. Faison on a shot, not score. One minute to go, still 7-2. We're in neutral. Lewis changing direction, Faison backing away, gives up a stall call. It's 8-2. Lewis in on a single, Faison not giving up. 30 second fight and Faison avoids giving up the takedown and the major. RT point makes it 9-2 but a precious team point saved by Faison. 

Lewis over Faison by decision 9-2

VA Tech 9, NC State 3

184: #10 Dylan Fishback, NCSU vs #20 TJ Stewart, VT

1st period: The ranked will both hit the mat, despite alternates listed as possibilities. This is a big one between two redshirt freshmen and blue chip recruits. Ferocious clubs and short attacks in the first minute but no scores yet. That continues for another minute. The ref warns that the next hands to the face will be a point. TJ asks, "A point?" The ref replies, "Yeah." "Alright." 

Back to action. Single leg from Stewart and he explodes to his feet and finishes cleanly for three. TJ gets the rideout and it's a 3-0 first period for Stewart. 

2nd period: Stewart stands, tries to run forward but doesn't have enough room, no change. Stewart is up again and this time he's out to make it 4-0. Fishback's attacks are making Stewart react but he's unable to finish any of them. Nice reattack on one of them for Stewart but no score there either. Still 4-0 after two period. 

3rd period: Fishback takes bottom. Fishback is out almost instantly. 4-1 Stewart, riding time not a factor. Shot by Fishback, ferocious reattack by Stewart. He's got Fishback's left leg. Fishback defends for a stalemate but a bunch of clock is run off. One minute to go, back in neutral. Fishback attacks, stall on Stewart but another great reattack by Stewart. Fishback fighting, kept standing and Stewart wasn't awarded a takedown, though that may get reviewed. But it's moot as a huge mat return gives Stewart the undeniable three and a 7-1 lead. Fishback escapes but that's all he'll get. Another big win by TJ Stewart. 

Stewart over Fishback by decision 7-2

VA Tech 12, NC State 3

197: #2 Trent Hidlay, NCSU vs #26 Andy Smith

1st period: Who else but Trent Hidlay to right the Wolfpack ship? Hidlay one win away from college career win #100. Underhook throw-by opens up a leg attack on the other side so Hidlay obliges and get the takedown for three within the first period. Smith escapes and it's 3-1. Smith on the attack but low level reattack from Hidlay and he collects two ankles and three more points. Hilday spins out front and Smith stands to make it 6-2. RT at 1:03. Under hook to a body lock and Hidlay gets three more in short time. 9-2 at the end of the period. 

2nd period: Smith on bottom, he's out to make it 9-3, Hidlay charging ahead. Stall warning on Smith. Hidlay keeps taking ground. Smith defends a couple of attacks from Hidlay. Relentless pressure from Hidlay. Second stall call, 10-3 Hidlay, now 13-3 as Hidlay finishes a double in short time. Rideout and the period ends. 

3rd period: Hidlay's opportunity to try bottom. He's out quickly. 14-3 and riding time will be locked up shorty. Another body lock that Hidlay scoots over hip to hip and then coverts for a score. 17-3, a rideout would make it a tech fall but Smith escape and fend off Hilday to save a team point. 30 seconds left. They tumble out of bounds, 18 seconds to go. Fresh start for Smith. Stand off the whistle, Hidlay brings him down. 10 seconds. Hidlay gets the ride out. 18-3 tech fall at 7:00 minutes exactly. Big flex from Trent as the Wolfpack crowd goes wild. Hidlay raises the roof during the hand raise and then coach Pat Pop hands him a WWE style belt for his 100th win. Great moment for Trent Hidlay in his last home dual. 

Hidlay over Smith by tech fall 18-3, 7:00

VA Tech 12, NC State 8

285: #12 Owen Trephan, NCSU vs Jimmy Mullen

1st period: No Catka, instead it's Hokie football d-lineman, Big Jim Mullen. No scores after a minute. Another 'tactical' minute of heavyweight wrestling with little action or scores. The period ends with doughnuts on the scoreboard. 

2nd period: Trephan takes down. Stands but ankle pick brings Trephan down. Another stand but Mullen shows off his speed by dropping down to an ankle and then shows off his strength but bringing Trephan back down to the mat. Third time's the charm for Trephan as he's up and out after 33 seconds of match time. 1-0 Trephan leads. Couple of nice flurries in the second with attacks from both wrestlers but still 1-0 after two periods. 

3rd period: Mullen on bottom. He stands, Trephan looking for a mat return but Mullen too large and it's 1-1, riding time won't be a factor. Huge match here, pivotal minute of wrestling. NC State down by four, favored in two of the next three bouts. They'll need lots of bonus and/or an upset if they don't get this one. Trephan taking ground, Mullen drops down for a an ankle pick, a scramble. Mullen has the advantage, now Trephan gains height, he's in position for a go behind. Mullen holding on to a leg. 20 seconds to finish. Trephan is almost there, under 10 seconds and he completes the takedown. Three points and the win for Owen Trephan. That's about as clutch as it gets. Get period of action from both heavies. 

Trephan over Mullen by decision 4-1

VA Tech 12, NC State 11

125: #16 Jakob Camacho, NCSU vs #7 Cooper Flynn, VT

1st period: Flynn is the favorite on paper but Camacho has spent plenty of time in the rankings in several difference seasons in the top 10. if we get that version of Jakob Camacho this bout is very much a toss up. It's also 125-pounds so who knows what's going to happen. Two minutes of tactical no scoring wrestling. Camacho shoots in on a single with about 45 seconds on the clock. Camacho trying to sit the corner, Clynn trying to hold on for a stalemate. Camacho can't break Flynn's grip but he is able to scoot behind the hips and collets the three just before time runs out. Clutch takedown and a 3-0 lead after 3 minutes. 

2nd period. Flynn takes bottom. One mat return from Camacho but Flynn out on the second escape attempt. 3-1 Camacho leads No scores the rest of the period. 

3rd period: Camacho's turns on bottom. He's out to make it 4-1, 27 seconds of RT for Camacho, it won't be a factor. Flynn needs a takedown. He's on the attack, Camacho keeping him at bay. 30 seconds to go, Flynn pressuring. 10 seconds. Illegal hold called on Flynn but the officials want to look at it first. Front head lock for Flynn, may have been under the neck with no arm. Something like that anyway. And it's confirmed, 5-1 Camacho leads. And that's how it'll end. Big win for Camacho. 

Camacho over Flynn by decision 5-1

NC State 14, VA Tech 12

133: #5 Kai Orine, NCSU vs #13 Sam Latona, VT

1st period: Now the pressure's on Virignia Tech. They need to win either the next two or one of the next two by bonus. Essentially a must-win bout for the Hokies. Orine is a slight favorite but Latona is a two-time All-American so you can consider this a toss-up. A win by Latona and it's winner take all at 141. Shot by Latona but Orine defends. Half way through the first period. A tactical first period comes to a close with goose eggs on the score board. 

2nd period: Orine chooses down. He's out quickly. More tactical wrestling. 1-0 Orine after two more minutes. 

3rd period. Latona on bottom. One mat return for Orine. Another mat return. Now Latona up on a third time when they go out of bounds Orine gets hit for stalling. 31 seconds of riding time on the restart. Latona unable to get to his feet on the whistle. Orine stays on Latona as they go out of bounds. Now Latona dinged for stalling, not sure I get that call. Latona needs blood time. RT is over a minute. Latona escapes finally with under 30 to go. Orine can give up a stall and still force overtime but I'm sure he'd rather win it now. 2-1 Orine leads. Latona on a shot. 20 seconds to go, Orine fighting him off. Latona adjusting. Latona picks Orine up. They go back to the mat but Orine keeps his balance. Time runs out as Latona is still in deep but he isn't able to finish. Kai Orine takes it and the Wolfpack are in the drivers seat. 

Orine over Latona by decision 2-1

NC State 17, VA Tech 12

141: #4 Ryan Jack, NCSU vs #13 Tom Crook, VT

1st period: Crooks needs a fall to win the dual for the Hokies. A tech-fall and it'll go to criteria and I believe individual points scored so you can add those up to see what Crook needs to win but I doubt it'll come to that. Jack wth the first score, quick takedown as Crook was still fighting off the shot but control was awarded. Crook out almost immediately. Another flurry, long scramble, Coach Popolizo thought he had another takedown and throws the challenge brick. The ref will let them continue the scramble. Crook almost has a merkle but can't snake the leg so it'll be a stalemate and they'll look at the replay. No takedown confirmed and it's still 3-1, 30 seconds to go in the first. 

2nd period: Jack takes down. The Danbury, Connecticut native escapes quickly and it's 4-1. He's coached by his brother Ryan on the NC State staff. Crook, a grad of Tampa Jesuit in Florida, has yet to find his offense. Jack in on a single leg. Crook avoids the trip, gets his hips back and it's a stalemate. Period ends still 4-1.

3rd period: Crook goes underneath, he's out quickly to cut the lead down to two. But Jack is right in on a shot and he finishes after a brief flurry and now it's a 7-2 lead for Jack. Escape for Crooks and it's 7-3 with one minute to go. Jack in control of this bout. Jack charging ahead, Jack drops down on a leg, chews up a ton of clock. Restart with 22 left in the match. Crook never stops attacking. Nearly had a takedown at the buzzer but it's waved off. Wouldn't have mattered. Wolfpack win the dual and the ACC regular season title!

Jack over Crook by decision 7-3

NC State 20, VA Tech 12

The Wolfpack are ACC dual champs! Trent Hidlay fittingly gets to house the trophy first. Lots of key performances in this one. THe most dramatic win has to be Owen Trephan in the final seconds of heavyweight. That kept the momentum from Hidlay's tech-fall at 197. The Wolfpack then swept the last three weights as well to complete the comeback. 

Great atmosphere in the sold out Reynolds Coliseum as well. College wrestling at it's best on display tonight. Thanks for reading along, apologies for the typos. See you in the postseason!