University of Virginia wrestlers won six of 10 semifinal matches last night as the Cavaliers held the lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling tournament at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.
The semifinal consolation matches begin at 11 a.m. today. The final consolation matches start at 1 p.m. and the championship round at 2:30.
Four of those victories were against Maryland grapplers. Maryland, in fourth place, had three winners, two against Virginia opponents.
Trailing Virginia in total points were North Carolina (46.75), North Carolina State (38.50), Maryland (32.25), Duke (19.0) and Clemson with none. Clemson is in its second year of varsity wrestling.
"Our paper, we expected to win only four and the other six were going to be toss-ups," said Virginia coach George Edwards, after learning that the Cavaliers led with 51.25 points.
"We were keyed up mentally for two things this year - the North Carolina State match and this tournament," Edwards said. Virginia won the N.C. State match, 21-11.
Edwards said there were two key victories yesterday for Virginia: Mitch Smith quarterfinal upset and Matt Bacharach semifinal 158-triumphant.
Smith, who had not won an ACC bout this year, stunned N.C. State's top-seeded Mike Zito, 1-0, in overtime and went on to defeat fourth-seeded Mike Meko of Maryland, 3-2, in the semifinals. Smith's semifinal winning point came on a takedown at the final buzzer.