Annapolis, Md. –
The West Virginia University wrestling team earned a ninth-place finish with 61.5 points at the Navy Classic today. Senior Nathan Pennesi
(133) and sophomore Bubba Scheffel
(174) led the Mountaineers with second-place finishes.
“I felt we showed some signs of not recovering from last weekend’s extended trip,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “We were not as sharp as we were in Iowa, but I thought we still had some good performances.”
After a first round bye, Pennesi defeated Grimaldi Gonzalez of Bucknell, 8-1. In the quarterfinals, he tallied a major decision, 9-0, over Princeton's Christopher Perez. Pennesi earned a trip to the finals with a 6-4 decision over Anthony Finocchiaro of Brown.
In the finals, Pennesi matched up against InterMat's No. 2-ranked Tyler Graff of Wisconsin. Pennesi gave up two takedowns in the first period, and struggled to gain momentum for the remaining two periods. Graff won the title by a score of 16-4. It was Pennesi's first loss this year.
At 174 pounds, Scheffel won four consecutive matches before dropping the final bout. He opened the tournament with back-to-back pins, bringing his season total to 11, which ties him in the program record book for single-season pins with Brandon Lauer (2003). With two more wins by fall this season, Scheffel will tie Scott Collins for the WVU record.
In the quarterfinals, Scheffel defeated Brown's Richard McDonald, 6-4. He then held Brett Harner of Princeton scoreless, winning by decision 6-0 in the semifinal round. Scheffel dropped his fourth match of the season to a ranked opponent. No. 17 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of the Citadel brought Scheffel to the mat twice in the first period. Two escape points by Scheffel would not be enough, as he dropped the bout by a 5-2 decision.
Senior Mac Mancuso
earned sixth place at 184 pounds. He had a first round bye, and then defeated the Citadel's John Duane by major decision, 12-2. Kent State's Sam Wheeler knocked Mancuso into the consolation bracket in the quarterfinal round.
Mancuso defeated Navy's Stout Watson by a 3-1 decision before withdrawing from the bracket, ending his run at sixth place.
Sophomore A.J. Vizcarrondo
(HWT) was the fourth Mountaineer to place, finishing the bracket in sixth place. Vizcarrondo exited the championship bracket with a loss to Connor Medberry of Wisconsin in the quarterfinals, 7-3. He then won three matches in the consolation bracket to reach the fifth-place bout.
In his final match of the day, Vizcarrondo battled Colynn Cook of Navy into two overtime periods. With the score deadlocked at 1-1, and neither wrestler able to score in overtime, Cook recorded a reversal that would be the difference.
Seven Mountaineers reached the quarterfinals in their respective weight classes. Joining the WVU wrestlers that placed in the third round were freshman Cory Stainbrook
(125), junior Gage Swartz
(133) and senior Colin Johnston
Johnston's 10-match win streak came to an end in the quarterfinals to Tyler Small of Kent State, 7-2.
No. 24 Wisconsin won the team title with 164 points. Navy was second with 106.5, Princeton earned third with 101.5 points, Kent State ended at 95.5 and Chattanooga rounded out the top five with a score of 93.
“Overall we gained a lot of value with a strong tournament. We got a lot of matches in for a lot of guys, which brings excitement back in the room. We look forward to recovering over Thanksgiving heading into the Hoosier Duals.”
WVU takes the mat again from December 7-8 at the Hoosier Duals. The Mountaineers will wrestle Drexel, VMI and SIUE on the 7th, and Indiana and Northern Colorado on the 8th.