Jones and Lebe Win EWL Titles
By Tim Goodenow
WVU Sports Information Office
March 6, 2005
CLARION, Pa. * Greg Jones and Matt Lebe won individual titles while West Virginia placed fourth overall at the 2005 Eastern Wrestling League Championships on Sunday at Tippin Gymnasium.
Jones became just the fourth wrestler in EWL history to win four titles. WVU's 184-pounder joined brother Vertus (West Virginia/1997-2000), Kurt Angle (Clarion/1988, 1990-92) and Don Reese (Bloomsburg/1979-82) as four-time league winners.
"Today was just another building block towards Greg achieving his goals," says head coach Craig Turnbull. "Greg has an outstanding EWL tournament and is peaking at the right time. It is really neat for our program to be involved with an elite group of wrestlers who have won four titles. Half of those four our from our school and those two happen to be from the same family."
Jones, a Slickville, Pa., native remained unbeaten at 20-0 with his 20-7 major decision over Pitt's Keith Gavin. Jones led 6-2 on three takedowns in the opening period. The senior Mountaineer increased his lead to 13-4 on a single-leg takedown with 1:35 remaining in the match. Jones added another takedown in the final 20 seconds to extend his winning streak to 46 matches, tying his own mark from 2001-03.
"It feels good to win the fourth title," says Jones, a Hodge Trophy candidate. "At the same time, we still have a few more weeks of wrestling to go. If it means anything right now, it means I've been a consistent wrestler. We came in as a team a little banged up, but I'm proud of the way this team competed this weekend."
Lebe avenged a loss in last year's championship final to Clarion's Chris Horning with a 3-2 decision at 157 pounds. The junior Mountaineer wrestled to a scoreless opening period before opening the middle period with an escape for a 1-0 lead. Lebe connected on a takedown with 12 seconds remaining in the period for a 3-0 advantage. Horning scored an escape and stalling point in the final two minutes as Lebe won his 32nd match, a career-high.
"Winning today is a little bit of a relief but my goal is not complete," says Lebe. "I'm happy with the win but it's not going to place me at the NCAA tournament. Hopefully, this win will give me some momentum to carry over into my run at the national tournament."
West Virginia, which sent four grapplers to finals matches, produced two champions, second to only Bloomsburg who crowned three wrestlers.
Junior Seth Lisa earned his second NCAA tournament appearance with an impressive showing at 133 pounds. Lisa gave the nation's top ranked wrestler, Shawn Bunch of Edinboro, all he could handle in a close 4-3 bout. Leading 2-1 after one period, the two traded escapes to begin the middle and final periods. Lisa tried several scoring attempts in the final minute to draw a stalling point to make it 3-3. Bunch scampered around in the final seconds with a riding time advantage for the 4-3 decision.
True freshman Shawn Cordell closed out a fine tournament with a hard-fought decision loss to No. 1 seed Mike Sees of Bloomsburg. Sees opened the second period with a reversal off the whistle to lead 4-1. Cordell escaped and was awarded a point for an illegal hold to trail 4-3. WVU's 125-pounder tied the score at 4-4 with an escape at 1:18 in the final stanza. Sees, like Bunch, escaped with the 5-4 decision via his riding time advantage.
"Shawn and Seth both wrestled their butts off this weekend," says Turnbull. "It is hard to say there's a good loss, but those two were right there with their opponents. Seth is peaking at the right time and earned his way back to the national tournament. Shawn is wrestling the best of his young career and will only get better."
WVU's fifth NCAA qualifier was Zac Fryling who placed third at 165 pounds this morning in the consolation finals.
Edinboro won the tournament title with 113 points while Lock Haven finished in second-place with 104 points. The Mountaineers tallied 93 points to finish in fourth-place.
Jones was named the EWL's Most Outstanding Wrestler for the second time in his career with his three-bonus point win-effort it taking his fourth consecutive league crown. He also became WVU's all-time EWL tournament wins leader with a perfect 12-0 mark.
Wildcard selections will be made this evening and can be found at www.ewlwrestling.com. Check back later tonight for more information on the EWL's 36 NCAA qualifiers.
Final Team Standings
1. Edinboro 113.00
2. Lock Haven 104.00
3. Pitt 98.00
4. West Virginia 93.00
5. Bloomsburg 81.00
6. Clarion 62.00
Cleveland State 62.00
125: Shawn Cordell (WVU) MAJOR Zach Bowman (PITT), 11-0
125: Shawn Cordell (WVU) Obe Blanc (LH), 9-0
125: Mike Sees (BLOOM) DEC Shawn Cordell (WVU), 5-4
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) 5 pt TECH Jim Collins (LH), 17-2 7:00
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) FALL Drew Headlee (PITT), 2:53
133: Shawn Bunch (EDIN) DEC Seth Lisa (WVU), 4-3
141: Rick McLaughlin (EDIN) MAJOR Vince Gioiella (WVU), 11-1
141: Vince Gioiella (WVU) BYE
141: Vince Gioiella (WVU) DEC Brad Forbes (BLOOM), 5-1
141: Matt Fittery (LH) MAJOR Vince Gioiella (WVU), 12-4
149: Ryan Hurley (CSU) DEC Teddy Adams (WVU), 12-5
149: Mike Ciotti (PITT) DEC Teddy Adams (WVU), 12-5
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) MAJOR Chris Tate (BLOOM), 10-2
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) DEC Matt Hill (Edinboro), 6-1
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) DEC Chris Horning (CLAR), 3-2
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) DEC Marcus Surin (CUP), 8-6
165: Nate Yetzer (Edinboro) DEC Zac Fryling (WVU), 12-6
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) DEC B.J. Mikeska (LH), 8-4
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) DEC Justin Nestor (PITT), 6-3
174: Ryan Wilman (WVU) DEC Matt Klinger (CSU), 5-4
174: Bryce Hasseman (BLOOM) MAJOR Ryan Wilman (WVU), 10-2
174: Chris Goings (CLAR) DEC Ryan Wilman (WVU), 4-1
174: Ryan Wilman (WVU) DEC Zach Doll (PITT), 4-1
184: Greg Jones (WVU) MAJOR Mike Metzger (LH), 20-6
184: Greg Jones (WVU) 5 pt TECH Jim Gibson (Edinboro), 19-3 5:53
184: Greg Jones (WVU) MAJOR Keith Gavin (PITT), 20-7
197: Jared Villers (WVU) MAJOR Charlie Cilinski (CUP), 9-0
197: Morgan Horner (LH) INJ DEF Jared Villers (WVU), 0:43
197: Lou Thomas (PITT) MED FOR Jared Villers (WVU)
197: Paul Burger (EDIN) MED FOR Jared Villers (WVU)
285: Joe Hennis (EDIN) MAJOR Matt Holsopple (WVU), 16-8
285: Jon Fager (CLAR) DEC Matt Holsopple (WVU), 4-3 SV-2
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