WVU Ends Regular Season With Victory

February 22, 2004

CLEVELAND – The 17th-ranked West Virginia wrestling team closed out regular season competition with a 27-12 win over Eastern Wrestling League foe Cleveland State on Sunday afternoon at Woodling Gymnasium.

The Mountaineers (9-5, 6-1 EWL) collected seven bonus points in winning seven bouts against Cleveland State (9-9, 3-4 EWL).

“Most EWL dual meets have a few even-up matches and today’s meet was no different,” says head coach Craig Turnbull. “Fortunately, we were able to score some extra points and finish up well.”

Setting the tone from the opening the match was NCAA Champion Greg Jones. WVU’s 184-pounder raced out to a 7-1 lead in the opening period. Jones increased his lead to 10-1 on his second three-point near fall of the match. Jones ended the match at 5:51 with his second technical fall of the season with the score at 19-2 over Ron Howard. Jones completed the second undefeated regular-season in WVU history, matching his unblemished 25-0 mark from a year ago.

An offensive-minded Ryan Wilman took the mat 197-pounds. The Mountaineer junior tallied two takedowns in posting an early 4-1 advantage after one period. Viking Joe Phillips escaped to open the middle period before Wilman notched his third takedown for a 6-3 lead. Wilman held on for a 9-6 decision.

“Ryan came out aggressive from the start,” says Turnbull. “He showed good mat poise and picked up a key win for the team.”

Cleveland State would respond with wins at 285 and 125-pounds for their only lead of the day. No. 16 ranked Russ Davie scored a fall at 1:06 over heavyweight Lanfer Simpson. DeAngelo Penn raced out to a 10-0 lead on Mountaineer Casey Brewster. Brewster fought back to make sure Penn did not score any bonus points yielding a 13-6 decision.

Moving up one weight-class to 133-pounds for WVU was Nathan Kendjorsky. The sophomore Mountaineer trailed 2-0 to CSU’s Mark Bugara. Moments later, Kenjorsky used Bugara’s momentum in turning a reversal into a cradle for a pinfall at 1:06. The fall marked the first of his dual meet career and put West Virginia on top 14-9.

“We were in a situation after 125 where we needed a lift and Nathan did that for us,” adds Turnbull. “He turned the momentum in our favor and came up huge with the fall.”

“You do whatever the team needs,” says Kendjorsky of filling the void at 133. “I was able to take advantage of my time in the lineup. Bugara got up too high on me and I used his momentum to turn him and get the fall.”

Two nationally ranked grapplers wrestled to a scoreless first period at 149-pounds. No. 17 Joe Clarke led No. 19 Anthony Coleman 3-0 on a near fall in the middle period. Coleman captured two takedowns in the final two minutes of action to knot the score at 5-5. Senior Clarke scored a takedown seconds into overtime to earn a 6-5 sudden victory.

Building on WVU’s team lead was senior Mike Torriero. The Sound Beach, N.Y., native scored first on a single-leg takedown to lead 2-0 on Matt DePolo. Torriero increased his lead to 8-5 on a three-point near fall and won 9-5. His 15th victory of the season made the overall score 20-9 in favor of West Virginia.

At 157-pounds, Matt Lebe’s reversal on Jason Effner gave him a 4-0 lead in the second period. Lebe, ranked No. 7 in the country, rode Effner for riding time after five minutes of action. Effner scored a takedown in the waning seconds as sophomore Lebe earned his team-leading 26th win, taking a 5-4 decision.

True freshman Zac Fryling put the contest out of reach with his fifth major decision of the season. Fryling tallied four takedowns in controlling Matt Klinger to an 8-4 lead at 165-pounds. Fryling finished the match with a 15-5 score sending West Virginia ahead 27-9.

The Viking’s Matt Kallai grasped a 7-2 lead at 174-pounds. WVU’s Eric Mullen responded with a takedown making it 10-6 before yielding a 12-6 decision.

West Virginia’s victory is the second of the season against the Vikings. The two teams previously met in January at the NWCA National Duals with WVU taking a 21-16 victory.

“We beat Cleveland State earlier in the year in an upset win in the final match,” says Turnbull. “Today, our team came out with a different attitude and worked very hard. To see that improvement as a coach feels very good.”

West Virginia finishes the regular season matching their dual meet win total from a year ago with nine victories. The Mountaineers return to the mat for the EWL Championships on March 6-7, at Bloomsburg’s Nelson Fieldhouse.

West Virginia 27 (9-5, 6-1 EWL)
Cleveland State 12 (9-9, 3-4 EWL)
184: #1 Greg Jones (WVU) Tech Ron Howard (CSU) 5:51
197: Ryan Wilman (WVU) Dec Joe Phillips (CSU) 9-6
285: #16 Russ Davie (CSU) Fall Lanfer Simpson (WVU) 1:16
125: DeAngelo Penn (CSU) Dec Casey Brewster (WVU) 13-6
133: Nathan Kendjorsky (WVU) Fall Mark Bugara (CSU) 1:06
141: #17 Joe Clarke (WVU) Dec #19 Anthony Coleman (CSU) 7-5 SV
149: Mike Torriero (WVU) Dec Matt DePolo (CSU) 9-5
157: #7 Matt Lebe (WVU) Dec Jason Effner (CSU) 5-4
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) Major Matt Klinger (CSU) 15-5
174: Matt Kallai (CSU) Dec Eric Mullen (WVU) 12-6

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