Mountaineers Take to Road for Pair of EWL Matches

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 22, 2009) – The West Virginia University wrestling team hits the road to begin action against Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) opponents Bloomsburg and Clarion. WVU faces Bloomsburg on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Nelson Field House. The Mountaineers will then wrestle Clarion on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in W.S. Tippin Gymnasium.

"Both go real hard. They'll be excited to wrestle us,” Coach Craig Turnbull said. “I think both will be challenging matches in their own ways. With the inexperienced lineup that we have in spots, I think we've been taught this year that we vacillate a little bit in our performance. We need to be prepared to get our wrestling out both times, really with anyone on our schedule; we've got to get our best wrestling out there. We'll have to take one match at a time."

The Mountaineers’ first opponent, Bloomsburg, stands at 5-5 this season and 0-1 in league action. Bloomsburg is coming off of a 24-8 loss at the hands of then-ranked No. 6 Central Michigan on Jan. 17. The Huskies’ two ranked wrestlers, Matt Moley, No. 10 at 157 pounds, and Ricky Schmelyun, No. 17 at 165 pounds, were the only ones to notch victories.

Bloomsburg is under the direction of fourth-year Head Coach John Stutzman, who holds a 36-30-1 record with the program. The Huskies finished the 2007-08 season with an 8-7-1 overall record, 3-3 in EWL action. Moley earned All-America status at the NCAA Tournament after taking eighth place.

When WVU and Bloomsburg squared off last year, the Mountaineers took a 21-12 home victory. David Jauregui, Donnie Jones and Kurt Brenner, who wrestled at 184 pounds last season, were amongst the WVU wrestlers to earn wins.

The following day, the Mountaineers will be the last of three teams to wrestle at Clarion (5-9-0, 0-1 EWL). The Golden Eagles posted a 1-2 mark at the Indiana duals on Jan. 18, defeating Gardner-Webb (37-4) and then losing to American (21-18) and then-ranked No. 20 Indiana (49-0).

Clarion is led by 125-pounder Jay Ivanco, who is ranked No. 20 nationally. Ivanco, who took first place at the PSAC Championships, sports a 12-8 overall record. At 157 pounds, Hadley Harrison is another Golden Eagle who has seen success, bringing a 13-9 mark into Saturday.

The Golden Eagles are under the direction of third-year Head Coach Teague Moore. With a 22-37-1 overall record, Moore guided the program to a 10-15-1 mark, its first 10-win season since 2000-01.

WVU (3-4) cruised to a win its last time out, defeating Duquesne on the road, 57-0, on Jan. 18. Even though the Dukes lost three matches by forfeit and two by injury default, the Mountaineers won the other five bouts by bonus decision.

Ranked No. 19 nationally, 149-pounder Jauregui registered a 21-5 tech fall against Duquesne’s Josh Pascazi. Jauregui, a fifth-year senior, now leads the team with 32 takedowns after tallying eight through three periods. Jauregui is 6-0 in dual meets this season.

Redshirt-junior Jones (165) also recorded a tech fall, posting a 22-6 victory over Matt Gregg. Jones had 10 takedowns in the match. Fifth-year senior Rogers (HWT), redshirt-freshman Mark Tsikerdanos (157) and freshman Lance Bryson (184) all won by fall. For Rogers, it was his team-leading third pin of the season.

"I think they're getting near mid-season form and they're getting comfortable,” Turnbull said of Jones, Jauregui and Rogers. “Donnie was out and hadn't accrued any real experience so I think now that he's got some matches under his belt, he'll start to get toward where he should be. Jauregui is starting to get his best wrestling out there and Rogers too. We just have to get the younger guys to just be comfortable and go out there and battle and we'll be closer to where we need to be."

WVU defeated Clarion last season, 35-3, winning nine of the 10 bouts.

All-time, the Mountaineers hold a 16-12-1 mark over Bloomsburg and a 20-3 advantage over Clarion.
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