WVU Drops Tough EWL Contest

By Tim Goodenow
WVU Sports Information Office

February 13, 2005

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – With four starters out due to injury, the 21st-ranked Mountaineer wrestling team dropped a tough 21-19 decision at Lock Haven on Sunday evening at Thomas Field House.

Lock Haven's win was only West Virginia’s second loss in its last 25 Eastern Wrestling League contests.

“It never feels good to lose,” said head coach Craig Turnbull. “But it has definitely been an adjustment from the beginning of the year. Injuries are part of the sport, but it has been frustrating as of late.”

The Golden Eagles (5-7, 2-2) opened the night with four straight wins, including three bonus point victories to take a 17-0 team lead.

West Virginia (4-6, 3-1) won the next five bouts to grab a 19-17 lead heading into the final match.

Lock Haven bumped standout Morgan Horner up to heavyweight where he posted a 12-2 major decision and give the Golden Eagles its first EWL win of the year.

Lock Haven’s Obe Blanc began the night with a major decision over Shawn Cordell. Blanc took a 10-4 lead after two periods before finishing the match at 15-7.

At 133 pounds, WVU’s Codie Gustines dropped a close 4-3 decision to Jim Collins. After a scoreless first period, Collins took a 2-1 lead in the middle period on a single-leg takedown. Freshman Gustines started in the defensive position to begin the third period and quickly reversed Collins to knot the score at 3-3. A Collins escape on a restart put him ahead 4-3 where the bout ended.

Keeping the momentum going for Lock Haven was 141-pounder Matt Fittery. He posted his third fall of the season at 3:18 over Mountaineer Vince Gioiella.

Josh Medina extended Lock Haven’s team lead to 17-0 with a major decision at 149 pounds. Medina led 8-4 before closing the bout at 15-7.

Matt Lebe put West Virginia on the board with solid 5-2 decision at 157 pounds. Junior Lebe led 2-1 and scored a takedown with 4 seconds remaining in the first period for a 4-1 lead. Seth Martin notched an escape while Lebe added riding time for the 5-2 victory.

Sophomore Zac Fryling followed with an impressive win at 165 pounds. The Lansdale, Pa., native earned his third fall of the season at just 35 seconds into the match over Golden Eagle B.J. Mikeska.

Eric Mullen narrowed the gap at 17-12 with a victory at 174 pounds over Carlos Ponce. The two grapplers traded shot attempts during a scoreless opening period. Trailing 4-3 entering the final period, Mullen tallied a takedown at the edge of the mat to go ahead 5-4. Junior Mullen collected the winning takedown with 27 seconds remaining for a 7-6 decision victory.

Mountaineer Greg Jones remained unbeaten on the season and extended his winning streak to 41 matches. WVU’s 184-pounder raced out to a 6-2 lead on Lock Haven’s Mike Metzger through one period. Three-time EWL champion Jones was dominate in the second period outscoring his opponent 8-0 for a 14-2 lead. Senior Jones battled for two more takedowns in the final period for a 19-5 major decision.

At 197 pounds, Ben Hepburn of Lock Haven took an early 2-1 lead on Mountaineer Jared Villers. Freshman Villers regained the lead in the second period at 4-2 with an escape and takedown. Villers collected two two-point near falls in the final session for a 9-2 decision.

Lock Haven moved 2003 EWL Rookie of the Year Horner up at heavyweight to battle Matt Holsopple. Horner proved too quick for the Mountaineer big man in taking a 12-2 major decision and put the Golden Eagles on top 21-19.

“It was pretty even tonight,” said Turnbull of splitting five matches with Lock Haven. “Right now we are not getting the effort we need at weights where we are injured. I see Thursday and Friday being fairly even as well and it will be a challenge for us.”

West Virginia closes out the season with a pair of home EWL contests on Thursday, Feb. 17, against Edinboro and on Friday, Feb. 18, against Cleveland State.

Lock Haven 21 (5-7, 2-2 EWL)
No. 21 West Virginia 19 (4-6, 3-1 EWL)
125: Obe Blanc (LH) MAJOR Shawn Cordell (WVU), 15-7
133: Jim Collins (LH) DEC Codie Gustines (WVU), 4-3
141: Matt Fittery (LH) FALL Vince Gioiella (WVU), 3:18
149: Josh Medina (LH) MAJOR Teddy Adams (WVU), 15-7
157: #7 Matt Lebe (WVU) DEC Seth Martin (LH), 5-2
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) FALL B.J. Mikeska (LH), 0:35
174: Eric Mullen (WVU) DEC Carlos Ponce (LH), 7-6
184: #1 Greg Jones (WVU) MAJOR Mike Metzger (LH), 19-5
197: Jared Villers (WVU) DEC Ben Hepburn (LH), 9-2
285: Morgan Horner (LH) MAJOR Matt Holsopple (WVU), 12-2

Official: Joe Bartell
Attendance: 1200

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