National Championship Success Eludes WJU Wrestlers

March 11, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. With the most entries in the three-year program history, the four Wheeling Jesuit wrestlers fell short of an opening-day win at the NCAA DII National Championships on Friday.

Both Nolan Whitely (133) and Logan Bowman (285) dropped two-point first round consolation matches, while Sawyer Leppla (184) had a three-point final match defeat.

"(For me) to say today was disappointing is an understatement. We had three guys here for the first time and you could definitely see the inexperience. It's the national tournament and finding wins here is very difficult," said WJU head coach Sean Doyle. "The 16 best kids in the country are here at every weight. I think that in our eight losses today, seven were All-Americans and a few were previous national finalists/champions. Throughout our first three years, our team has always responded to being knocked down and I would expect that we'll be a great deal better from this experience.

We've shown that we can be a top 20 team and contend at a high level, and with the maturity of our program, it's time that we get committed to making the next step," continued the Cardinals coach. "The goals of becoming a top-notch team will require a great commitment from the individuals within this program, and we'll find out soon who's willing to jump fully on board."

All four WJU wrestlers Whitely, Dominick Nania (149), Leppla and Bowman return next year for another attempt for All-American status.

Weight Class Field Breakdown:

133- Nolan Whitely
First Round lost dec. 8-2 to Daniel DeShazer, Nebraska-Kearney
First Round Consols lost dec. 7-5 to Dakota Bauer, Maryville (Mo.)

149- Dominick Nania
First Round lost maj. dec. 13-3 to John Hagerty, Maryville (Mo.)
First Round Consols lost maj. dec. 14-4 to Bradley Little, Ft. Hays State

184- Sawyer Leppla
First Round lost maj. dec. 11-3 to Jacob Waste, California Baptist
First Round Consols lost dec. 5-2 to Taylor DeLong, Indianapolis

285- Logan Bowman
First Round lost tech fall 15-0 (6:26) to Austin Goergen, St. Cloud State
First Round Consols lost dec. 5-2 to Sam Alnassiri, San Francisco State

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