Hilltoppers Close Out Home Slate

February 12, 2016

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. West Liberty got off to a fast start in its final dual meet of the season but couldn't hold off a fast-closing Gannon squad Friday night as the visitors came from behind for a 26-9 victory on Team Holdyn Night at the ASRC.

Led by head coach Mitch Smith, the Hilltoppers and the entire West Liberty wrestling community came together Friday night in support of Holdyn Keefer, a 4-year-old wrestling fan from Point Pleasant, W.Va. who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

Numerous fundraisers including t-shirt sales, a 50-50 raffle and donations were held throughout the evening with all proceeds being donated to a GoFundMe account set up in Holdyn's name to help the family with medical expenses, travel to treatment sessions and other necessities.

The WLU coaches recognized the Keefer family during intermission on Friday and are planning to take the wrestling team down to Point Pleasant later this semester to offer their support to Holdyn in person.

In addition to the events of Team Holdyn Night, the Hilltoppers also observed Senior Night on Friday with senior grapplers Cole Nace and David Schlieper being honored during pre-match ceremonies.

Nace was unable to wrestle in his final home match due to injury but Schlieper came up big, just missing an upset of regionally-ranked Garret Smith in their 157-pound match. The West Liberty senior reversed his way into a near-fall situation in the waning seconds but couldn't finish off the pin as time expired.

The Hilltoppers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Zach Brown gutted out a 3-2 win against Korey Caudill at 125 pounds.

Bryce Humphreys outlasted Gannon's Aaron Smith, 13-9, in a crowd-pleasing 133-pound bout before Anthony Craig gave the Black and Gold a 9-0 edge with a 7-3 win against Zach Reges at 141.

Momentum swung the Golden Knights' way after that, however, and the visitors closed out the night by sweeping the final six matches and picking up a forfeit at 197 pounds.

The West Liberty wrestlers will spend the next couple of weeks preparing for the Super Region One Tournament, which is scheduled for Feb. 26-27 at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa.

Gannon 26, West Liberty 9
125: Zach Brown (WLU) d. Korey Caudill, 3-2
133: Bryce Humphreys (WLU) d. Aaron Smith, 13-9
141: Anthony Craig (WLU) d. Zach Reges, 7-3
149: Ryan Kaminski (Gan) d. Josh Cornell, 5-3
157: Garret Smith (Gan) d. David Schlieper, 15-11
165: Nate Ross (Gan) d. DeMadre Turner, 8-3
174: Chris Matthews (Gan) md. Daniel Carpenter, 11-3
184: Jake Stratton (Gan) md. Doug Sizemore, 11-2
197: Lorenzo Maddox (Gan) won by forfeit
285: Gunner Loughman (Gan) d. Nate Dawson, 4-3 TB-2

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