NCAA Wrestling ACCtion: Thursday, March 15

Asper Through to Quarterfinals

Seventh-seeded Josh Asper picked up three victories at 165 pounds to advance to Friday's quarterfinals at the 2012 NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center Thursday. Asper is one win away from securing All-American status for the second consecutive season. The Terps are in 31st place after the first day with Penn State in first with 38.5 points.

Asper earned a 5-0 decision over Buffalo's Mark Lewandowski in the 165-pound pigtail match to open the tournament. Approximately 90 minutes later, Asper picked up a 6-4 decision over Virginia's Nicholas Sulzer. In the evening session, Asper beat Cal Poly's Dominic Kastl.

Against Lewandowski, Asper took control of the match in the second period and stifled Lewandowski's attempts to generate any offense. Asper escaped at the beginning of the final frame and picked up a point for riding time to secure the victory.

Ferguson, Mock Advance To Day Two At NCAAs

Senior Thomas Ferguson and sophomore Corey Mock each went 1-1 on the opening day of the NCAA Championships in St. Louis Thursday as the pair advanced to the second day of competition. Freshman Evan Henderson went 1-2 in his first appearance at the NCAA Championships as his season came to an end.

Corey Mock opened the day by facing a familiar foe in Roger Pena of Oregon State who defeated Mock by a 10-4 margin at the Cliff Keen Invite. Pena got the better of Mock once again on Thursday as Pena claimed a 7-1 decision, sending Mock to the consolation bracket.

The sophomore took on Missouri's Drake Houdashelt in another rematch after Houdashelt claimed a narrow 7-6 decision at the Southern Scuffle in January. Mock bounced back from the opening round defeat and punched his ticket for Friday with a 5-2 decision over Houdashelt.

Virginia Completes Day One at NCAA Championships

The Virginia wrestling team completed day one of the 2012 NCAA Championships Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and all six Cavaliers in the field remained alive heading into the morning session Friday. UVa accumulated 12 points on day one, which puts the Cavaliers in a 23rd-place tie in the double-elimination tournament.

None of the Cavaliers came through the first day unscathed; each posted a 1-1 record. UVa's three seeded wrestlers all won their first-round matches, then fell in the second round - No. 11 seed Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.) at 125 pounds, No. 7 seed Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at 141 and No. 12 seed Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.) at 184.

Matt Nelson (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.), Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) and Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) each lost their first-round matches but bounced back in the consolation round to advance to the second day of action. Sulzer scored a 3-2 win in a tiebreaker over No. 10 seed Cody Yohn of Minnesota to move on to Friday.

Neibert advances to quarters of NCAA Wrestling Championships

Zach Neibert capped off a big first day with his second upset of the tournament Thursday evening in the second session of the 2012 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center, highlighting the session for the Virginia Tech wrestling squad. In all, five Tech wrestlers will compete in Friday's action in a quest for All-America honors.

The match of the session for Tech belonged to Neibert at 141 pounds, who controlled the pace to upset seventh-seeded and ACC Champion Nick Nelson of Virginia, 4-2. After a scoreless first period, Neibert rode Nelson for two minutes in the second period and escaped quickly to grab the first point in the third stanza. He got a takedown to widen the lead, but Nelson reversed him late to cut it to 3-2. But riding time ended up being a factor, accounting for the 4-2 win. Neibert picked up two upsets on the day as began the day with a win over the No. 10 seed. He'll now move to the quarterfinals Friday morning against second-seeded Kendric Maple of Oklahoma, whom he lost to in the dual match earlier this year, 13-1.

The result wasn't as good for Tech's other two wrestlers who won their first match this morning. Sixth-seeded Devin Carter struggled against 11th-seeded Steven Keith of Harvard early and fell behind big. He rallied to tie it up, but gave up a takedown late and Keith earned a point for riding time to pick up the 8-6 upset win. Nick Brascetta put up a good fight against eighth-seeded Eric Grajales of Michigan, but a takedown in the first period doomed the freshman as Grajales went on to pick up a 4-1 win. Both will now have to win two matches tomorrow morning and one more tomorrow night to earn All-America honors. If not, they'll be eliminated from the tournament.

Hough Drops Pair of Decisions at NCAA Championships

Duke University freshman Tanner Hough opened NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships today in the first and second rounds at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Hough dropped a pair of matches to conclude his rookie campaign.

Just the second true freshman in Duke wrestling history to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships, Hough opened the event against Colonial Athletic Assocation champion redshirt sophomore Luke Vaith of Hofstra. The pair shared one common opponent during the season, with both wrestlers falling to Mike Kessler of Appalachian State.

Vaith scored first in the match with a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead after three minutes of action. Hough managed an escape to make it 2-1, but a takedown near the end of the third stanza gave Vaith the 4-1 decision. The loss was Hough's 12th of the year.