Two Wrestlers Place at Midlands

By Scott Castleman
WVU Sports Information Office

December 30, 2005

EVANSTON, Ill. - West Virginia University wrestler Matt Lebe took third place, while Zac Fryling finished sixth at the Midlands Classic hosted by Northwestern on Dec. 30 in Evanston, Ill.

Despite sending only four wrestlers the Mountaineers placed 17th at the prestigous event.

Lebe bettered his performance from one year ago when he took fifth-place at the tournament.

No. 4-seeded Lebe began his day by dropping a hard fought overtime match to No. 1 seeded Alex Tirapelle of Illinois, 3-1, in the semifinals. The loss dropped the Jeannette, Pa., native to the consolation bracket and set up a bout with teammate Fryling who competed in the tournament unattached. Lebe advanced past his Mountaineer counterpart by a default to compete in the third-place consolation match.

In the third-place match Lebe faced No. 3-seeded Brandon Becker of Indiana. After falling behind 3-0 with only 42 seconds left, Lebe grabbed hold of Becker’s leg and was took him down for the pin.

Lebe is now 20-2 on the season with both of his losses coming to Tirapelle.

Fryling earned his way to the consolation semifinal match by downing Northwestern’s Greg Hagel 8-5 in his first consolation match. After falling to Lebe the Lansdale, Pa., native squared off against No. 8 seeded Matt Kocher of Pitt in the fifth-place consolation match.

Fryling’s fifth-place consolation match against Kocher went into overtime 1-1 and after the two traded points went into double overtime tied 2-2. Kocher scored a takedown in the second overtime to earn a 4-2 victory.

Jared Villers also wrestled in Friday’s competition. The junior was eliminated in the 197-pound consolation bracket to Purdue’s No. 6 seeded Nathan Moore by a narrow 3-0 decision.

The No. 24 Mountaineers (0-1) return to dual meet competition on Friday, Jan. 6, when they travel to Hempstead, N.Y., to face No. 19 Hofstra. Wrestling begins at 7 p.m.

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