WAYNESBURG, Pa. – A stirring rally fell just short here Tuesday night as the West Liberty wrestling team dropped a 22-16 decision to NCAA Division III power Waynesburg at the Yellow Jackets’ Rudy Marisa Gym.

Waynesburg (12-2-1) appeared to have things well in hand after sweeping the first four matches of the evening. A pinfall, technical fall, major decision and decision left the Hilltoppers on the short end of an 18-0 count heading into the 157-pound match.

That’s when West Liberty hit the comeback trail.

Seth Phalen got the Hilltoppers on the board with a 6-4 decision at 157 and Jarrod Shaw trimmed the margin to 18-7 with a major decision at 165.

Matt Littleton kept things going with a wild 14-10 victory at 174 and Derrick Williams followed with an overtime victory at 184.

An 8-2 decision by All-American Mitch Knapp at 197 pulled West Liberty within striking distance, trailing just 18-16 heading into the final match, but that was as close as the visitors would come.

Waynesburg heavyweight Brandon Fedorka broke open a close match with a pair of near-falls in the third period for an 8-0 major decision to close out the 22-16 Yellow Jacket victory.

Coach Brian Davis’s Hilltoppers will return home to host Ohio Valley University in a Feb. 8 dual at the ASRC.

Waynesburg 22, West Liberty 16

125 – Alex Crown (WAY) tf. Preston Foster, 16-0
133 – Rico Borz (WAY) d. Pete McAtee, 17-5
141 – Nick Garber (WAY) p. Matt Cunningham, 1:40
149 – Luke Lohr (WAY) d. Brian Leggett, 8-5
157 – Seth Phalen (WL) d. Garret Johnston, 6-4
165 – Jarrod Shaw (WL) d. Sam Lombardo, 15-5
174 – Matt Littleton (WL) d. Jared Roberts, 14-10
184 – Derrick Williams (WL) d. Cody Catalina, 6-4 (OT)
197 – Mitch Knapp (WL) d. Jake Linn, 8-2
285 – Brandon Fedorka (WAY) d. Drake Kowcheck, 8-0

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