Wrestling: Insight Gained at Sprawl & Brawl
November 22, 2010 12:02 AM
Sprawl & Brawl Results
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Following a few individual tournaments, the West Virginia University wrestling team returned to dual meet action at the Sprawl & Brawl Duals in Vestal, N.Y.
The Mountaineers were able to gain experience versus talented teams in the northeast as they defeated Sacred Heart, 41-0, but fell to No. 24 Rutgers, 14-25, and No. 6 Penn State, 3-40.
WVU earned a clean sweep against Sacred Heart as all 10 weight classes won their individual bouts. True freshman Michael Morales (141 lbs) and redshirt freshman Cameron Gallaher (197) pinned their opponents while sophomore Shane Young (125) and redshirt juniors Matt Weston (174) and Matt Ryan (184) gained victories by major decision.
“We dominated a team we were supposed to dominate in Sacred Heart,” says WVU coach Craig Turnbull.
Redshirt senior Brandon Rader (149), ranked No. 8 in the country, earned a technical fall victory over Sacred Heart’s Tim Rich. Heavyweight Philip Mandzik earned his first dual victory of the season with a win over Paul Schweighardt. Nathan Pennesi (133), Ryan Goodman (157) and Christian Mory (165) also defeated their Sacred Heart opponents by decision.
“(Nathan) Pennesi is wrestling consistently strong and at a high level,” Turnbull says. “He earned three hard-fought victories today and put in full matches. (Brandon) Rader is still getting back into form after having wrestled on-and-off the past three years. His progress is coming along and he’s doing well for us.”
Facing No. 24 Rutgers, the Mountaineers jumped to a quick 6-0 lead as Young and Pennesi both picked up victories by decision. The Scarlet Knights proceeded to go on a 19-0 run with wins over Mountaineers Morales, Rader, Goodman and Christian Mory. Rader was faced with the challenge of going up against Rutgers’ No. 13 Mario Mason, while Goodman faced No. 18 Daryl Cocozzo and Mory went up against No. 8 Scott Winston.
“I thought we wrestled Rutgers pretty evenly, but it was made more challenging when we decided not to use one of our leaders, Donnie Jones, who is nursing an injury,” Turnbull says. “There were two pivotal matches that made a big difference in the outcome as we were unable to come out on top in the 141-lb and 174-lb classes. They came down to the end, but you really need those points in close matchups with equal opponents.”
WVU’s Matt Ryan pinned Scarlet Knight Jesse Boyden in 1:48 before Mountaineer senior Kyle Rooney earned a win by decision over Rutgers’ Mike Wagner. In the heavyweight bout, Mandzik was also beat by a ranked opponent in No. 8 DJ Russo.
Against traditional rival Penn State, WVU sophomore Pennesi earned the lone victory for the team as he defeated Nittany Lion Bryan Pearsall by decision, 10-5. PSU freshman Andrew Alton, ranked No. 12, pinned WVU’s Morales (141) in 21 seconds before three other Mountaineers (Goodman, Weston, Mandzik) were pinned by their opponents.
“Penn State is the best team we’ll face all year,” Turnbull says. “I think we learned a lot in this matchup and saw where we stand against higher opponents and where we would like to be. I was a bit disappointed at times that we didn’t rise to the occasion and come up with a few more points, but this is the reason we schedule better opponents so that we learn and hopefully become a top-20 program.”
Goodman faced No. 6 David Taylor, Weston wrestled No.14 Ed Ruth and Mandzik contended against No. 9 Cameron Wade. PSU’s No. 6 Quentin Wright defeated Gallaher and No. 12 Jake Kemerer beat redshirt freshman Nick Vallone, who made his first dual meet appearance for the Mountaineers.
WVU returns to action Dec. 3-4 in Las Vegas at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.