WVU Knocks Off Pitt, 23-15

By Tim Goodenow
WVU Sports Information Office

February 5, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The 21st-ranked West Virginia University wrestling team used back-to-back bonus point wins at 184 and 197 pounds to defeat neighboring rival Pitt, 23-15, on Saturday evening at Fitzgerald Field House.

West Virginia used 10 team points in two victories from senior Greg Jones and sophomore Jared Villers to seal the dual meet win and remain unbeaten in conference action. The Mountaineers are 3-0 in Eastern Wrestling League play for the fourth straight year and have won 23 of their last 24 regular season EWL dual meets.

Two-time national champion Jones raced out to a 7-2 lead against Pitt's Mike Heist at 184 pounds. Leading 10-2 in the second period, Jones turned Heist to his back for his third fall of the season at 4:34.

Mountaineer 197-pounder Villers followed with an impressive 11-0 major decision to put WVU up 23-12 in the team standings and seal the win. Villers scored three two-point near falls in the middle period on Panther Lou Thomas to take a 8-0 advantage. A takedown and riding time in the final period pushed Villers to his first career major decision victory at 11-0.

West Virginia won six bouts on the day including the first two at 125 and 133 pounds. Freshman Shawn Cordell tallied a takedown for 2-0 lead and then went up 5-0 with a near fall on the restart against Geoff Moy. Cordell gathered two more near falls in the third period and added riding time for a 14-0 major decision win.

Seth Lisa collected win number 50 in his Mountaineer career with a solid 4-3 decision over Pitt's 15th-ranked Drew Headlee. Headlee scored first with a takedown for an early 2-0 lead. Both wrestlers traded escapes to begin the second and third periods and the Mountaineer junior trailed 3-2. Lisa hit a single-leg takedown with 40 seconds remaining and rode Headlee out for a 4-3 decision.

Pitt scored their first team points at 141 pounds behind 2004 EWL champion Ron Tarquinio. Tarquinio, ranked seventh in the nation, scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead after one period over Mountaineer Vince Gioiella. Tarquinio went up 5-0 before collecting a fall at 4:52 to make the team score 7-6.

At 149 pounds, WVU's Mike Torriero raced out to an 8-3 lead on four takedowns in the first three minutes of action. Pitt's Mike Ciotti began the second period with an escape and later collected a takedown but trailed 12-8. Senior Torriero picked up a point for riding time to win 13-8.

Two ranked grapplers squared off at 157 pounds in the match between WVU's seventh-ranked Matt Lebe and Pitt's 18th-ranked Matt Kocher. Lebe led 2-1 after one period on a double-leg takedown. Kocher escaped for the only point of the second period. Lebe countered with an escape to begin the third for 3-2 score where the match ended. The win was Lebe's 75th of his career and put WVU up 13-6 in the team score.

Mountaineer grapplers Zac Fryling and Ryan Wilman fell in tough bouts at 165 and 174 pounds before Jones and Villers put the contest away.

Pitt picked up the night's final win with a 5-1 decision at heavyweight, but it was not enough to overcome the total Mountaineer team effort.

West Virginia has now won four straight over Pitt and resumes dual meet action with Mid-American Conference member Ohio on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m.

No. 21 West Virginia 23 (3-5, 3-0 EWL)
Pitt 15 (6-6, 2-1 EWL)
125: Shawn Cordell (WVU) MAJOR Geoff Moy (PITT), 14-0
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) DEC #15 Drew Headlee (PITT), 4-3
141: #7 Ron Tarquinio (PITT) FALL Vince Gioiella (WVU), 4:52
149: Mike Torriero (WVU) DEC Mike Ciotti (PITT), 13-8
157: #7 Matt Lebe (WVU) DEC #18 Matt Kocher (PITT), 3-2
165: Justin Nestor (PITT) DEC Zac Fryling (WVU), 9-3
174: Zach Doll (PITT) DEC Ryan Wilman (WVU), 8-1
184: #1 Greg Jones (WVU) FALL Mike Heist (PITT), 4:34
197: Jared Villers (WVU) MAJOR Lou Thomas (PITT), 11-0
285: Zach Sheaffer (PITT) DEC Matt Holsopple (WVU), 5-1

Official Bruce Haselrig

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