WVU Takes Second in EWL Tourney
By Scott Castleman
WVU Sports Information Office
March 5, 2006
EDINBORO, Pa. - The West Virginia University wrestlers claimed a tournament-leading four individual championships en route to a second-place finish at the 31st Eastern Wrestling League tournament held at McComb Fieldhouse in Edinboro, Pa, on Sunday, March 5.
WVU finished with 110.5 points, 10 points behind Edinboro, which claimed its fourth-straight EWL tournament title. Two Fighting Scots won individual championships on the evening.
Winning first-place honors for the Mountaineers were Brandon Rader (141), Matt Lebe (157), Kurt Brenner (174) and Jared Villers (197). 165-pounder Larry Hall (165) took second as well.
“I felt coming into this weekend that if we came in and wrestled well and Edinboro faltered we would have a shot at winning the team championship,” said head coach Craig Turnbull. “We could have gotten a couple more guys to the finals, but we wrestled with great intensity and hopefully we can take some of this momentum into the NCAA championships.”
Rader increased his current win streak to 10 with his 10-6 win over Pitt’s Ron Tarquinio in the 141-pound championship bout. The Parkersburg, W.Va., native had to wrestle from behind after Tarquinio scored on an early takedown and a two-point near fall to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first period.
In the second period Rader drew within one point as he scored on two takedowns, while only allowing Tarquinio two points on a pair of escapes.
The third period belonged to WVU’s true freshman as he tallied an escape shortly after starting from the bottom and then added a takedown and two near fall points for good measure.
Lebe claimed the Mountaineers’ next individual title as he won a 3-2 decision in the 157-pound bout. The Jeannette, Pa., native landed the match’s only takedown in the first period and then added an escape in the third to earn his second consecutive EWL championship.
The win was especially memorable for Lebe as it marked the 119th of his career, tying him with former Mountaineer greats Scott Collins (1987-91) and Jim Akerly (1985-88) for second all-time in career wins at West Virginia.
WVU’s third individual championship came when 174-pounder Kurt Brenner defeated Edinboro’s Eric Ring, 5-2. The Freedom, Pa., native made his run in the second period in a flurry where he scored on a takedown and quickly padded his lead with three points for a near fall.
All Brenner would allow Ring to put on the board was an escape and a point for riding time.
Villers earned WVU individual championship No. 4 on the day by getting redemption against Edinboro’s Joe Fendone in a 7-1 decision. The Akron, Ohio, native led 2-1 heading into the third period and pulled away on a pair of takedowns and a point for riding time. Fendone had pinned Villers the last time the two met in the regular season on Feb. 18.
Hall fell short in his championship run as he dropped a 2-0 decision to Pitt’s Justin Nestor in the 165-pound title bout. With Hall riding Nestor in the second period, the Panther grappler scored on a reversal for the only points of the match.
Through the third session Sunday morning the Fighting Scots had mounted a 14-point lead over WVU, with a 116.5 total, to the Mountaineers’ 102.5.
Jauregui escaped from a scare in his first match of the morning to come back and take third-place in yet another close match. Before earning a trip to NCAA’s, the Santa Ana, Calif., native battled Cleveland State’s Ryan Hurley to a 7-5 decision in double overtime.
In the consolation finals Jauregui trailed throughout the match to Pitt’s Joey Ecklof, but made a late comeback in the third period. Ecklof clung to a 3-2 lead with seconds remaining as Jauregui steadily attempted to score a takedown. Just before the final whistle he was able to bring the Pitt grappler to the mat and become the sixth Mountaineer to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Lisa finished fourth after falling in the 133-pound consolation finals to Cleveland State’s David Armstrong. The Northampton, Pa., native was leading, 3-0, with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second period when Armstrong successfully performed a reversal to make the score 3-2. Armstrong then was able to end the match with a pin with only 10 seconds remaining in the period.
Earlier in the day Lisa advanced to the consolation finals by defeating Clarion’s Robert LaBrake by a 10-5 decision.
Lisa will have to wait to see his what his fate will be as he did not get a wildcard spot, but was picked as an alternate if another wrestler pulls out.
Litton also took fourth on the afternoon after falling 10-5 in his 184-consolation bout against Lock Haven’s Derrick Morgan. Morgan built a 7-0 lead midway through the third period, however, Litton finished strong by tallying a pair of takedowns and an escape.
The Parkersburg, W.Va., native defeated Pitt’s Kyle Deliere, 3-0, earlier in the consolation semifinals.
Rounding out the WVU wrestlers, 125-pounder Scott Stuart and heavyweight Matt Holsopple competed in the fifth-place finals, both placing sixth at the tournament.
Mountaineers’ Rader, Jauregui, Lebe, Hall, Brenner and Villers will continue their respective seasons March 16-18, when they compete at the NCAA championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the Ford Center.
2006 Final EWL Tournament Team Standings:
1. Edinboro (120.5)
2. West Virginia (110.5)
3. Pitt (97.0)
4. Bloomsburg (94.5)
5. Cleveland State (82.0)
6. Lock Haven (70.5)
7. Clarion (29.5)
2006 Individual EWL Champions:
125: Obenson Blanc (Lock Haven)
133: Shawn Bunch (Edinboro)
141: Brandon Rader (West Virginia)
149: Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro)
157: Matt Lebe (West Virginia)
165: Justin Nestor (Pitt)
174: Kurt Brenner (West Virginia)
184: Ron Howard (Cleveland State)
197: Jared Villers (West Virginia)
HWT: Mike Spaid (Bloomsburg)
WVU Session III Results (consolations):
125: Brad Gentzle (UP) DEC Scott Stuart (WVU), 8-4
125: (Fifth-place match): Ricky Deubel (EUP) TECH Scott Stuart (WVU), 16-0 3:13
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) DEC Robert LaBrake (CU), 10-5
133: (Third-place match): David Armstrong (CSU) FALL Seth Lisa (WVU), 4:50
149: David Jauregui (WVU) DEC Ryan Hurley (CSU), 7-5 TB
149: (Third-place match): David Jauregui (WVU) DEC Joey Ecklof (UP), 4-3
184: Chance Litton (WVU) DEC Kyle Deliere (UP), 3-0
184: (Third-place match): Derrick Morgan (LHU) DEC Chance Litton (WVU), 10-5
HWT: A.J. Brooks (CU) DEC Matt Holsopple (WVU), 3-2
HWT: (Fifth-place match): Lou Thomas (UP) DEC Matt Holsopple (WVU), 8-4
WVU Session IV Results (championships):
141: Brandon Rader (WVU) DEC Ron Tarquinio (UP), 10-6
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) DEC Seth Martin (LHU), 3-2
165: Justin Nestor (UP) DEC Larry Hall (WVU), 2-0
174: Kurt Brenner (WVU) DEC Eric Ring (EUP), 5-2
197: Jared Villers (WVU) DEC Joe Fendone (EUP), 7-1
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