Virginia Tech’s Walz Named ACC Wrestler of the Week


Hokie Heavyweight Defeated Second-Ranked Adam Coon of Michigan at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Atlanta

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Virginia Tech junior Ty Walz was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Wrestler of the Week this week after winning a pair of matches, including a decisive 9-3 verdict over Michigan’s Adam Coon at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Atlanta on Nov. 1.

Walz’s honor is the initial ACC Wrestler of the Week award for the 2015-16 season.

In addition to his win over Coon, who was ranked the nation’s No. 2 wrestler in preseason rankings in the 285-pound weight class and was the 2015 NCAA National runner-up last March, Walz (Cleveland, Ohio) also scored a 21-7 major decision of Iowa State’s Quean Smith to key Tech’s 32-3 win over the 13th-ranked Cyclones in Blacksburg last Sunday.

Walz entered the season ranked fourth nationally preseason by InterMat Magazine in the 285-pound weight class but moved up to second nationally this week with the two wins. Virginia Tech was ranked sixth nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) preseason poll and is currently also ranked sixth by InterMat.

Walz was chosen over an impressive list of nominees that included Duke’s Jacob Faust (Bellville, Ohio), North Carolina’s Alex Utley (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), Pitt’s Ryan Solomon (Milton, Pa.) and Virginia’s Andrew Atkinson (Lynchburg, Va.).

Faust, a redshirt junior wrestling at 165 pounds, won four matches to capture his weight class at the Hokie Open, including a 6-2 decision over Stanford’s Jim Wilson, the nation’s fourth-ranked wrestler. That win was the highest ranked opponent Faust has defeated in his career. Faust was unranked in the preseason, but is now ranked 17th nationally.

Utley, a redshirt senior wrestling at 184 pounds, captured the individual title in his weight class at the Hokie Open also winning four straight matches. He is now ranked 20th nationally by InterMat.

Solomon, ranked 19th nationally by InterMat at 285 pounds, captured the deciding match in the Panthers’ 16-15 win over Maryland. Solomon defeated the Terrapins Dawson Peck, 7-5, to claim the individual and team triumph at College Park, Md.

Atkinson, a redshirt sophomore wrestling at 157 pounds, won his first four matches of the year, helping Virginia to a 3-1 dual match record. Atkinson defeated Cody Park of South Dakota State, the nation’s sixth-ranked wrestler with a 7-4 decision.

The 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship will be hosted by the University of Virginia on Sunday, March 8. The one-day tournament, which will take place at the John Paul Jones Arena Center in Charlottesville, Va., will begin at 11 a.m.