University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestler Nick Soto has been named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week the league office announced today. Soto went 6-1 during the opening weekend, including the 125-pound title at the Hokie Open.
The Mocs started the season with three dual matches in Charlottesville, Va. UTC defeated Ohio (21-12) and Anderson (37-6) before losing to No. 16 Virginia (26-9). Soto, a sophomore from Spring Hill, Fla., went 2-1 in the duals. His only loss was to No. 9 Matthew Snyder of Virginia.
The following day, Soto went 4-0 to earn the 125-pound title at the Hokie Open in Salem, Va. The Spring Hill, Fla., native opened his day with a pin of King College's Tanner Bates in 2:47. He followed that with another pin against North Carolina's Brian Bokoski (4:29) and a major decision (10-2) against Appalachian State's Dominic Parisi.
Soto picked up his biggest win of the weekend in the title match, upsetting No. 6 Jarrod Garnett of tournament host Virginia Tech 10-9 for his third career victory over a top-10 opponent. Soto moved up to No. 8 nationally after the weekend.
The wrestler of the week award is the third of Soto's career. He also took the honor twice last season (Dec. 21 and Jan. 4). Chattanooga is back in action Sunday at the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh, N.C.
The Mocs open their home schedule on Friday, Nov. 16, with a visit from No. 2 Iowa. It is a full day of wrestling at Maclellan Gym that begins at 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) and features the Mocs, Hawkeyes, Cumberland and Virginia. Look for details on the schedule next week on GoMocs.com.