WVU Falls to No. 9 Lehigh

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 2, 2009) – The West Virginia University wrestling team fell to No. 9-ranked Lehigh, 35-3, in the Mountaineers’ home opener at the WVU Coliseum on Friday evening.

WVU (2-2, 0-0) was able to keep a majority of the matches close, but was unable to take the wins, dropping five bouts that resulted in less than a four point deficit apiece.

“They really outfought us in critical moments. Where they couldn't penetrate us and take us down, they out-hand fought us, they took all the ties away, they frustrated us and they took charge of the matches,” Coach Craig Turnbull said. “When I sit back and look at the film, I'm hoping that what we see us is what they felt are things that they are going to take into the room and really challenge themselves to take the lessons learned out of this.”

The Mountaineers earned three points in the final bout of the meet. Fifth-year senior 149-pounder David Jauregui, who missed the Penn State match with an injury, faced a difficult test against Lehigh’s top wrestler, Trevor Chinn, ranked No. 11 heading into the match. Jauregui, though, a Santa Ana, Calif., native, was able to overcome the feat.

“David's beaten two national champions in his career so far, Jaggers, who has won a national championship for Ohio State, and (Gregor) Gillespie from Edinboro,” Turnbull commented. “He's wrestled at that level and I think we want him on the podium somewhere. He's not out of the question to put himself in the finals, but that will be matches just like that, about four or five of them, for him to do that.”

The match started off in Chinn’s favor after he earned two points on a takedown in the first period. Jauregui was able to earn an escape and finished the first session down 2-1. Chinn increased his lead to 3-1 with an escape point after starting in the defensive position in the second period. Jauregui chose the defensive position to start the third period and quickly earned an escape to pull within a point. After Chinn was issued a stalling warning, Jauregui picked up the bout-tying point on Chinn’s second stall warning.

The match went into overtime and neither wrestler scored in the first extra session. In the second overtime, Chinn earned an escape point to pull ahead 4-3. Jauregui, however, would not be outdone as he earned an escape point and recorded a takedown in front of 843 screaming fans for the 6-4 decision.

“When I went out there, I was just clear headed and ready to wrestle,” Jauregui said. “I knew this kid was a tough kid because I wrestled him before and he hurt me and won on a default. However, I've beat kids that he lost to and I know I'm on the same level as all those other kids. I was nationally ranked before I got hurt earlier this year.

“He's one of the nationally ranked kids I know I need to get through,” Jauregui continued. “I just wanted to stay focused and I worked hard. My conditioning and mental toughness are what ended up winning it for me in the end.”

Fifth-year senior Kurt Brenner, ranked No. 13 at 174, also faced a difficult test against Lehigh’s Alex Caruso, ranked No. 14 prior to the match. The first two periods of the bout were scoreless, but Caruso held a two-minute riding time advantage going into the third period. Brenner, who was in the offensive position to start the final session, had the opportunity to gain the riding time back. Caruso, however, earned an escape point and finished the bout with 1:50 in riding time for the 2-0 decision.

The Mountaineers return to action on Friday, Jan. 9, against No. 8 Illinois at the WVU Coliseum. The match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Lehigh 35 WVU 3

157: Sean Bilodeau (Lehigh) MAJOR Ryan Goodman (WVU), 8-0
165: No. 17 Mike Galante (Lehigh) DEC Donnie Jones (WVU), 4-1
174: No. 14 Alex Caruso (Lehigh) DEC No. 13 Kurt Brenner (WVU), 2-0
184: David Craig (Lehigh) DEC Lance Bryson (WVU), 4-1
197: No. 19 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) MAJOR Kyle Rooney (WVU), 8-0
285: Zach Rey (Lehigh) FALL No. 17 Dustin Rogers (WVU), 5:58
125: Mitch Berger (Lehigh) DEC Kyle Turnbull (WVU), 2-0
133: No. 20 Matt Fisk (Lehigh) DEC Tyler Oravec (WVU), 2-0
141: Seth Ciasulli (Lehigh) FALL Colin Johnston (WVU), 2:33
149: David Jauregui (WVU) DEC No. 11 Trevor Chinn (Lehigh), 6-4 T.B.

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