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No. 7 Missouri wrestling has developed a reputation in recent years for being able to handle difficult early-season matchups against elite teams, but Saturday afternoon bucked that trend.

The Tigers fell in their opening dual meet 29-10 to No. 18 Virginia Tech in a top-25 matchup at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Missouri took an early 3-0 lead after a 6-0 win by Brock Mauller in the 149-pound weight class. Mauller ranks second in the country in his weight class and defeated No. 23 Brent Moore in his first match of the season.

After Virginia Tech took the lead on a technical fall in the 165-pound division, Missouri’s Conner Flynn, ranked No. 8 in the 174-pound division, tied the match at 7 with a major decision over the Hokies’ Cody Luges. Virginia Tech re-took the lead after Dylan Wisen dropped a 10-9 match with No. 9 Hunter Bolen in the 184-pound division.

Missouri tied the match on the back of a win from Wyatt Koelling in the 197-pound division, but the back-and-forth match was over from there with Virginia Tech outscoring Missouri 19-0 over the last four bouts.

The dual-ending skid included Missouri forfeiting the 133-pound bout to give Virginia Tech a 6-0 win in that division.

Next, Missouri will look to get back on track at the Southeast Open at 8 a.m. Sunday in Roanoke, Virginia. Coverage of the event will be on FloWrestling.com.

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.

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