By Mike Finn, TheACC.com
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- North Carolina senior Joey Ward and Virginia Tech junior Zach Epperly Tuesday were named Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Wrestlers of the Week after each defeated a pair of nationally-ranked opponents last week.
Ward, wrestling at 141 pounds from Cincinnati, Ohio, was undefeated in four dual matches, leading the Tar Heels to three dual wins. He defeated 15th-ranked Logan Everett of Army West Point, 5-2; eighth-ranked Bryce Meredith of Wyoming (8-6, SV-1); Jack Mutchnik of American (12-0) and Brendan Ryan of Virginia Tech (16-0, 4:48). Meredith was the 2016 NCAA runner-up. Ward, who is now ranked fifth nationally, improved to 18-2 nationally overall.
The honor for Ward was his second of the year. He was named ACC Co-Wrestler of the Week last week on January 10.
Epperly, from Christiansburg, Virginia, and wrestling in the 174-pound weight class, won only two matches but both were against nationally-ranked opponents. Epperly, ranked second nationally by InterMat and FloWrestling, scored a major decision (12-4) over 17th-ranked Jonathan Schlieffer of Princeton, in leading the Hokies to a 30-11 win over the Tigers. He then scored an 8-2 decision over seventh-ranked Ethan Ramos of North Carolina in Tech’s 28-8 win over the Tar Heels in the Hokies’ ACC season-opener. He is now 8-0 overall.
They were chosen over Duke junior Alec Schenk of Perry Ohio. Schenk, wrestling at 184 pounds, led the Blue Devils to dual match wins over Hofstra and LIU Post. Schenk scored a major decision over Michael Oxley of Hofstra (10-2) and then was credited with a technical fall (18-2) over Dan McClure of LIU Post.
All three wrestlers will be competing in the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship; which will be hosted by NC State at Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday, March 4. The one-day tournament will begin at 11 a.m.
2016-17 ACC Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 9—Max Rohskopf, NC State (157)
Nov. 16—Ryan Solomon, Pitt (285)
Ty Walz, Virginia Tech (285)
Nov. 23—Dom Forys, Pitt (133)
Dec. 8—Joey Dance, Virginia Tech (126)
Dec. 13—Kevin Jack, NC State (141)
Joey Ward, North Carolina (141)
Jan. 3—Kevin Jack, NC State (141)
Jacob Kasper, Duke (285)
Jan. 10—Joey Ward, North Carolina (141)
Zach Epperly, Virginia Tech (174)