WVU Qualifies Seven for NCAAs

By Scott Castleman
WVU Sports Information Office

March 5, 2007

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University wrestlers Zac Fryling (157) and Dustin Rogers (HWT) have earned wildcards to the NCAA tournament and will join their five teammates at The Palace at Auburn Hills March 15-17 in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The seven qualifiers this season marks only the ninth time in program history that WVU has taken seven or more to the NCAA tournament. The last time the Mountaineers qualified at least seven was in 2004.

West Virginia’s seven qualifiers rank second among EWL schools behind Edinboro’s eight.

Rogers and Fryling join automatic qualifiers Mark Anderson (133), Brandon Rader (141), David Jauregui (149), Kurt Brenner (174) and Jared Villers, who all earned automatic bids on Sunday. Rader and Villers finished first in their respective weight classes, while the other three finished second.

Fryling finished third at the EWL tournament on Sunday, defeating No. 4-seeded Matt Hill in the consolation finals. The Lansdale, Pa., native is 21-6 on the season.

Rogers took fifth at the tournament after pinning Lock Haven’s Ben Hepburn to close out his EWL tournament run. The Corning, Calif., native is 17-7 this season.

A replay of Sunday’s championship finals from the EWL tournament can be seen on Fox Sports Pittsburgh on March 11 and March 16 at 1:30 and 1 p.m., respectively. The broadcast can also be seen on CSTV on March 12 at 9 p.m. and on SportsTime Ohio on six different dates. Check your local listings.

WVU Takes Second at EWL Tournament

By Scott Castleman
WVU Sports Information Office

March 4, 2007

CLEVELAND- West Virginia University wrestlers Brandon Rader and Jared Villers claimed individual titles to help guide their team to a second place finish in the team standings at the Eastern Wrestling League tournament on Sunday, March 4, at Cleveland State’s Woodling Gym.

Edinboro’s 5.5 point lead heading into Sunday’s finals was too much for the Mountaineers to overcome despite having a tournament best five wrestlers in Sunday afternoon’s finals. The Fighting Scots led all teams with 113 points, while West Virginia checked in at 104.5.

WVU has now finished second or higher at the EWL tournament in nine out of the past 12 seasons.

The titles won by Villers (197) and Rader (141) were both repeats as they won their respective weight classes in 2006. Both wrestlers went undefeated against EWL opponents this season.

Rader, seeded No. 1, provided one of the most impressive victories of all 10 finals on the day as he defeated No. 4-seeded Darren Kern of Bloomsburg by a 16-5 major decision. It was the Parkersburg, W.Va., native’s sixth major decision of the season and his 10th consecutive win.

Villers beat Edinboro’s Jim Gibson 4-2 in a bout that he controlled from the start. The Akron, Ohio, native has won 10 straight heading into the NCAA tournament. His last loss occurred at the NWCA National Duals almost two months ago.

Teammates Mark Anderson (133), David Jauregui (149) and Kurt Brenner (174) didn’t fare as well in their championship bouts as they all lost to finish second.

Along with the five West Virginia wrestlers that competed in Sunday’s finals several other WVU wrestlers will have a chance to earn a wildcard berth into the NCAA tournament. Those selections will be made later this evening.

Mountaineers Fryling and Litton rebounded from losses Saturday’s semifinals to finish third in their respective weight classes. Fryling defeated Bloomsburg’s Dennis Bermudez, 6-2, in the 184-pound consolation semifinals and then took care of No. 4-seeded Matt Hill, 3-1, in the consolation finals. Litton won an 8-5 decision against Lock Haven’s Tom Kocher in the consolation semifinals and followed it up with a 3-0 win in the finals against Pitt’s Kyle Deliere.

The WVU wrestlers that qualified for the NCAA tournament now get a week off before traveling to Detroit, Mich., to compete March 15-17 at The Palace at Auburn Hills.

Final Team Standings
1. Edinboro- 113
2. West Virginia- 104.5
3. Lock Haven- 98
4. Pitt- 95.5
5. Bloomsburg- 94.5
6. Cleveland State- 77.5
7. Clarion- 35

2007 EWL Individual Champions
125- Obeson Blanc (Lock Haven)
133- Drew Headlee (Pitt)
141- Brandon Rader (WVU)
149- Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro)
157- Seth Martin (Lock Haven)
165- Deonte Penn (Edinboro)
174- Keith Gavin (Pitt)
184- Alex Clemsen (Edinboro)
197- Jared Villers (WVU)
HWT- Mike Spaid (Bloomsburg)

Tournament brackets AT THIS LINK

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