Leading 15-6 through six matches against Virginia Tech, a banged-up Nebraska wrestling squad lost the final four matches on its way to a third straight dual loss Sunday evening.
The sixth-ranked Huskers (12-4, 6-3 BIG) were defeated 22-15 by the No. 5 Hokies (18-1, 5-0 ACC) as part of the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Nebraska had a nine-point lead after the 165-pound match. Sophomore Dustin Williams of Nebraska pinned Ryan Blees, a sophomore transfer from Oklahoma State, in a time of 5:45.
Trailing 5-4, Blees went for a takedown on Williams, but failed to grab onto the leg of Williams. Williams shifted down and flipped Blees onto his back. The pin by Williams was the first of his collegiate career.
David Bergida of Virginia Tech won a 13-8 decision against Justin Arthur of Nebraska in the 174-pound match. Arthur replaced senior Micah Barnes, who sat out with an injured knee and groin, according to Nebraska coach Mark Manning.
Sixth-rakned Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech tied the team score with a pin of his own in the 184-pound match.
Zavatsky pinned Nebraska junior Eric Engler in 4:44. Engler, who made his second consecutive start for the Huskers, replaced an injured TJ Dudley. Dudley sat out the match with an injured shoulder.
The Hokies took their first lead since the 125-pound match with an overtime victory at 197 pounds.
Third-ranked Jared Haught of Virginia Tech won a low-scoring rematch against No. 6 Aaron Studebaker of Nebraska, 3-2 in tiebreaker-1.
In the Round of 12 at last year’s NCAA Championships, Haught defeated Studebaker 5-4 to earn All-American honors.
Haught gained a 3-1 win in Sunday’s dual with a reversal in the first 30 seconds of the tiebreaker. Studebaker earned an escape in the second 30 seconds but could not get a takedown.
With an 18-15 lead in the team score, Virginia Tech closed the dual with a major decision from No. 5 Ty Walz.
Walz, a two-time All-American, defeated No. 14 Collin Jensen of Nebraska 14-5, earning seven takedowns.
Nebraska built its early lead with victories at 133, 141 and 157 pounds before Williams earned his pin at 165.
Returning All-American and third-ranked Eric Montoya of Nebraska won a 6-2 decision against Dennis Gustafson, a 2014 ACC Champion, of Virginia Tech.
Junior Colton McCrystal, ranked No. 14 at 141 pounds for Nebraska, scored double-digit points for the 16th time this season with a 12-5 decision against Kevin Norstrem.
Third-ranked Tyler Berger of Nebraska went to overtime for the third time this season in a match against No. 15 Sal Mastriani of Virginia Tech at 157 pounds.
Berger earned an escape in tiebreaker-1 and held Mastriani in the final 30 seconds for a 2-1 victory.
The Huskers closed the 2016-17 dual season with three losses to top-10 opponents. Nebraska lost 24-13 against No. 4 Ohio State on Feb. 10 and 27-9 against No. 3 Iowa on Feb.12.
Nebraska is now 2-8 in their last 10 top-10 matchups, including four straight losses.
The Huskers will have a weekend off before traveling to the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Indiana.
125: No. 3 Joey Dance (VT) dec. No. 6 Tim Lambert (NEB), 7-4 (VT 3, NEB 0)
133: No. 3 Eric Montoya (NEB) dec. Dennis Gustafson (VT), 6-2 (VT 3, NEB 3)
141: No. 14 Colton McCrystal (NEB) dec. Kevin Norstrem (VT), 12-5 (NEB 6, VT 3)
149: No. 6 Solomon Chishko (VT) dec. Collin Purinton (NEB), 8-5 (NEB 6, VT 6)
157: No. 3 Tyler Berger (NEB) tiebreaker-1 No. 15 Sal Mastriani (VT), 2-1 (NEB 9, VT 6)
165: Dustin Williams (NEB) pin Ryan Blees (VT), 5:45 (NEB 15, VT 6)
174: David Bergida (VT) dec. Justin Arthur (NEB), 13-8 (NEB 15, VT 9)
184: No. 6 Zack Zavatsky (VT) pin Eric Engler (NEB), 4:44 (NEB 15, VT 15)
197: No. 3 Jared Haught (VT) tiebreaker-1 No. 6 Aaron Studebaker (NEB), 3-2 (VT 18, NEB 15)
HWT: No. 5 Ty Walz (VT) major dec. No. 14 Collin Jensen (NEB), 14-5 (VT 22, NEB 15)