Terps Close Out Regular Season with a 25-15 Win over Virginia
Steve Fehnel gets the best of Pete Ferrara during Maryland's 25-15 win over Virginia at the Comcast Pavilion in College Park MD on February 22, 2009. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Exactly one day after their 32-10 victory over George Mason, the Maryland wrestling team went head-to-head against ACC rival Virginia. The Terrapins took to the mat in the Comcast Center Pavilion for the final time this season, defeating the Cavaliers 25-15.
 
Maryland jumped out to an early 6-0 lead as No. 11 junior Steven Bell claimed the 133 lb victory by forfeit. No. 9 Maryland junior Alex Krom added 4 more points to the scoreboard as he earned a major decision over No. 17 sophomore Nick Nelson in the 144 lb matchup, 11-2.

With a quick 10-0 tally on the scoreboard, all eyes turned to the 149 lb matchup as Maryland senior Steve Fehnel faced Virginia senior Pete Ferrara. As the lone senior on the Maryland squad, Fehnel was honored in a senior day ceremony that occurred just prior to the start of today’s dual. Maryland fans encouraged Fehnel throughout his last match in Comcast Center with heavy cheers and applause. Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort, which included a near fall, Ferrara ultimately took the match 8-4. The Cavaliers were finally on the board with a score of 10-3.

Spurred on by the excitement of the prior match, fans prepared for the 157 lb face-off between Maryland freshman Kyle John and Virginia freshman Jedd Moore. The two wrestlers were evenly matched and at the end of the second period Moore held a narrow advantage at 2-1. As the third period began the momentum swung back and forth for both wrestlers and the crowd cheered louder and louder for the wrestler they wanted to win. Each time Moore scored on a takedown, John followed suit with an escape. As time ticked down on the clock, John earned a final two-point takedown to win the match, but as the wrestlers got up from the mat the Virginia coach jumped up and screamed at the ref. It seems the noise of the crowd had drowned out the sound of the buzzer and John’s takedown took place just one second too late. At the scorers table it was decided that Moore had in fact taken the match. John fell 6-5 and the Cavaliers’ score notched up 3 points to 10-6.

The coaches, players and fans settled down from the excitement of the previous match and watched Maryland sophomore Brian Letters defeat Virginia senior Mike Sewell in the 165 lb match, 5-3. The Terrapins pushed their lead to 13-6, but then lost the two subsequent matches at 174 and 184. With a decisive fall in the 184 lb match, the Cavaliers led for the first time, 13-15.

With the Terps lead erased, the timing couldn’t have been better for No. 10 Hudson Taylor to move to the mat. Taylor, an All-American, ACC Champion, and all-around crowd favorite, faced No. 19 Brent Jones in the 197 lb matchup. Taylor dominated the match through multiple takedowns and a near fall. Although Taylor was close to pinning Jones on multiple occasions he was ultimately forced to settle for a 12-0 shutout. This was Taylor’s second shutout of the weekend. He also kept George Mason’s No. 9 Cayle Byers scoreless on Saturday.

With Taylor’s win behind them the scoreboard turned back in favor of the Terrapins 17-15. Following Taylor’s victory, heavyweight sophomore Patrick Gilmore shut out Virginia junior Calvin Cardillo with a decisive 8-0 win and Brendan Byrne defeated sophomore Wyatt Anderson, 14-1. The Terrapins closed out their regular season with a 25-15 win over the Cavaliers.

The Terps will now look ahead to the ACC Tournament, which will take place March 7th in Blacksburg, VA.