The University of Virginia won its third Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling championship in four years yesterday, scoring 82 points, but qualified only one wrestler for the national championships later this month.
The Cavaliers clinched the tournament on a victory by Maryland's Steve Hogg over North Carolina's Dean Brior in the 167-pound class in the tourney finals at Maryland.
Hogg, who was named the most valuable performer of the tournament by the other wrestlers, defeated Brior, 10-9, on the strength of four takedowns, one escape and a final point for riding time of 1:32.
In winning the bout, Hogg guaranteed Maryland (56.75) third place in the tournament.
The Virginia bench was on its feet, cheering Hogg as Brior closed in on him. As the match ended and Hogg picked up his extra riding-time point, he signaled "thumbs up" to the Cavaliers, who returned the signal.
"I'm pretty friendly with the Virginia guys," Hogg said afterward. "They kept on reminding if I lost North Carolina might possibly have the championship. But I was mainly concerned about winning for Maryland and now I feel so good."
Virginia coach George Edwards, in congratulating Hogg, who was the 1975 champion in his class, told him jokingly, "We're going to have a copy of the (championship) plaque made and send it to you."
Edwards said he was disappointed that only Bob Harwick, last year's champion, had qualified for the NCAA tournament March 17-19. Harwick defeated N.C. State's Mike Koob, 7-0, in the 142-pound category. Each of the 10 tournament winners will represent his school at the national tourney at the University of Oklahoma.
"We wrestled fairly poorly in the finals and I had expected we'd win at least three and possibly four," Edwards said of five losses in six final bouts.
The Cavalier's major upset was in the 134-pound category in which top-seeded Steve Silverberg lost to UNC's Chris Conkwright. Conkwright's brother, Scott, also won over Virginia's Gary Friedman by a pin (2:38) in the 118-pound class.
Maryland captain Steve Heger, last year's defending champion in the 177-pound class, beat Virginia's Paul Cianchetti, 4-0, on a duck-under hold he has been practicing all season.
"The key point in some of the bouts today was the temperature in here. Everybody is sweating profusely and it's a lot harder to use your normal style of grabs. So I started practicing on ones that wouldn't require control of the hands and legs as much," Heger said.
Besides Harwick and Heger, only two other 1976 ACC champions repeated out of seven who were in the tournament. Terry Reese, N.C. State's champion in the 158-pound division defeated Virginia's Matt Bacharach, 8- [WORD ILLEGIBLE] and UNC's Jeff Reintgen whipped Maryland's Kevin Colabucci, 17-5.
The bottom three teams in the tournament were last year's champions, N.C. State which had 50.50 points.Duke, with 32 points, and Clemson with 2.50.