The No. 6 NC State wrestling team competed in the Southern Scuffle after the new year, placing eight wrestlers on the podium and placing second as a team in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 34 total teams were represented and the Pack only finished behind No. 9 Oklahoma State.
The bulk of the matches were on Wednesday, Jan 1. Three athletes went on to advance to the semifinals on Thursday, and redshirt junior Hayden Hidley participated in the final match that day, placing first in the 157-pound class.
Hayden Hidley was the No. 1 seed and made it to the semifinals in three matches, highlighted by a 12-2 major decision against North Dakota State’s Jared Franek, who was ranked eighth. Hayden Hidley would go on to beat second-seeded Jesse Dellavecchia of Rider University for the final, winning 10-0 after a takedown and almost 5 minutes of riding time. He outscored his opponents 58-7 over the two days.
His brother, redshirt freshman Trent Hidley, was top ranked in the 184-pound weight class. He also went 3-0 on the first day and advanced to the semifinals. He won the semifinal match but lost in the finals by a 3-2 margin to second-seeded Lou Deprez from Binghamton University. He would end the tournament outscoring his opponents 37-13.
The third to advance to the semifinals was redshirt junior Thomas Bullard, who was the third seed in his weight class at 165. He won all three of his matches on the first day but lost the semifinal. In the consolation bracket, he beat conference rival No. 11 Jake Wentzel from Pittsburgh by a score of 4-1 to get to the third-place bout. He finished in fourth place.
Five other NC State athletes went to the quarterfinals held on Jan 1.
Redshirt sophomore A.J Leitten wrestled at 149 and won three matches to advance to the quarterfinals. His big and final win was against fifth-seeded Tanner Smith from Chattanooga, but Leitten, unfortunately, had to take an injury default.
Freshman Kai Orine, competing unattached, advanced to the quarterfinals at 133 pounds with two wins, including a pin against fourth-seeded Chance Rich from Cal State Bakersfield. He then lost the last match 4-2 with a last-second takedown by fifth-seeded Sammy Alvarez from Rutgers University. Orine would take fourth place in his weight class.
Redshirt junior Nick Reenan wrestled at 197 in his first tournament of the season. He won two matches by major decision before losing 1-0 against Penn State’s Michael Beard. Reenan would make the podium with eighth place.
Redshirt junior Daniel Bullard wrestled at 174 and won his first three matches to advance to the quarterfinals. The first two were by major decision, and the third was a 4-1 decision. He then lost 10-5 against fourth-seeded Dean Sherry from Rider. He would finish in third place in his weight class.
Sophomore Deonte Wilson at heavyweight won with three straight to advance to the quarterfinals with a notable 4-3 win against West Virginia’s eighth-seeded Brandon Ngati. Wilson would be beaten by top-seeded Demetrius Thomas from Pitt with an 8-3 score. Wilson placed seventh in his class.
Redshirt junior Tariq Wilson would battle his way from the consolidation bracket to place eighth in his class.
This was the Wolfpack’s last tournament before ACC Championship in March. Its next duals will be against No. 12 Princeton (2-2) on Jan. 11. The Pack is currently undefeated at 7-0 and will start ACC competition on Jan. 24 against No. 23 Virginia.