CLEVELAND – One day after defeating No. 10 Edinboro, the West Virginia University wrestling team closed out its dual meet season with a dominating 36-6 win over Cleveland State on Sunday afternoon at the Woodling Gym.
“Today concerned me because of the hard-fought match that we had last night against Edinboro,” said coach Craig Turnbull. “This was a match that could have been a natural letdown for us. Cleveland State hadn’t had a lot of success this season, so we needed to be very professional in our approach.”
Just as it did the previous night, WVU used an early lead to help build momentum and control the match.
Pennesi’s major was his team-leading 25th win of the season and was his 11th major decision victory of the year.
Morales’ pin, which was his fourth pin of the season and third in his last four matches, came at the 4:47 mark of the match against Cleveland State’s Josh Palivoda.
“We needed to finish the season strong and feeling good about ourselves,” Turnbull said. “It was a good overall effort on our behalf.”
Following the team’s only losses of the day at 157 and 165 pounds, the Mountaineers closed out the day with a strong set of victories.
Redshirt junior Lance Bryson (174) majored the Vikinings’ Aric Thurn by a 10-2 final. After a slow start to the match, Bryson pushed the pace of the contest in the second and third period.
“Lance started initiating some takedowns in his match,” Turnbull said. “He has a lot of different takedowns in his repertoire, but he doesn’t always get there. He got some variety into his wrestling.”
At 184 pounds, redshirt senior Matt Ryan was able to pin Cleveland State’s Bobby Blankenship 1:20 into the first period. Ryan was able to work a cradle that sent Blankenship to his back and earned him the fall. The pin was Ryan’s 21st of his career and now places him in a tie with Brandon Lauer and Whitey Chlebove for fifth all-time in program history.
“Matt Ryan took a disappointing loss last night, but he was able to turn it around this afternoon,” Turnbull said. “He has the maturity at this point of his career to control himself and rebound with a win.”
Following Ryan’s pin, redshirt sophomore Mac Mancuso bounced back from a loss the previous night with a major decision victory at 197 pounds. Mancuso dictated his match against the Viking’s Nick Anthony, as he continuously converted takedown attempts on the way to his victory.
Prior to the beginning of the heavyweight match, Cleveland State forfeited the bout and ended the match with a final score 36-6 in favor of the Mountaineers.
WVU finished its dual meet season with a 9-4 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the Eastern Wrestling League.
The Mountaineers will return to action on Sunday, March 4 when it travels to Clarion for the EWL Championships. The tournament is set to begin at 10 a.m.