WVU Finishes Season With Tie Against No. 13 Edinboro

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 22, 2009) – Behind a crucial victory from redshirt freshman Matt Ryan at 197 pounds and fifth-year senior Dustin Rogers’ win by forfeit at the heavyweight position, the West Virginia University wrestling team tied No. 13-ranked Edinboro, 19-19, on Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers end the regular season with an 8-4-2 overall mark and including a 4-0-2 record in the EWL (Eastern Wrestling League). Edinboro moves to 14-4-1 and 5-0-1 in league play.

Ryan, competing in only his fourth match this season, was up against a tough test in Pat Bradshaw, who entered the day with a 26-6 overall record this season. Ryan kept his poise and after evading an early Bradshaw shot, landed a takedown and began to ride the Edinboro 197-pounder. Bradshaw, however, was able to score a reversal to tie the match at two apiece. Ryan then countered with a reversal and went into the second period ahead, 4-3. While there was very little scoring in the second session, Bradshaw’s escape tied the bout at four apiece. With the choice in the third period, Ryan chose the defensive position and won the match after earning the escape point for the 5-4 victory, pulling WVU to within six, 19-13. Ryan holds a 3-1 overall mark this season.

"That was a great win,” Coach Craig Turnbull said of Ryan’s victory at 197 pounds. “He was redshirted last year so what you see with his record, that's his entire career right there and he's going against an opponent who has 23 wins under his belt in 30 matches this season. Ryan just had three matches under his belt and that's hard to do just from an endurance standpoint. You really have to look that in a certain light that it's very impressive to have limited matches under his belt against someone who has a lot more experience. You really have to take your hat off and appreciate the quality job he did there."

In what would have been another major test for Rogers at heavyweight, the Corning, Calif., native scored his 16th overall victory this season after Edinboro forfeited the position. Rogers also improves to 6-0 in league action.

Freshman Colin Johnston recorded WVU’s first win of the day at 141 pounds. The Eighty Four, Pa., native jumped out to an early lead with a takedown and then added two back points to go up 4-0. Johnston nearly had Edinboro’s Steve Waite pinned before the match ended, but could not stick Waite to the mat. In the second period, Waite closed the gap with an escape and a takedown, but still trailed 5-3 through two sessions. Johnston added an escape point in the final period for the 6-3 victory, his third-straight win.

After Edinboro registered wins at 149 and 157 pounds, redshirt junior Donnie Jones continued his impressive now nine-match win streak, upsetting No. 11-ranked Jarrod King at 165 pounds. Jones recorded a takedown, but King was able to escape and was down 2-1 heading into the second period. Electing the defensive position, Jones slithered out of King’s grasp less than five seconds into the period for the point. The Slickville, Pa., native then tacked on his second takedown of the match and lead 5-2 through the second session. King was able to score an escape point in the third, but it was not enough as Jones took the 5-3 decision.

“Donnie really had himself prepared to wrestle that match and prepared to win that match. Last year, in the first match, he was seeing and feeling out if he could win at this level and it was a close match,” Turnbull added. “This time, he went in with the idea that I'm battling to win this and there's no guarantees with that approach, but he was rewarded for it. He won the scrambles and he took away scoring opportunities. It was a great win for him. Those wins can be pivotal as to how you finish up this season."

Fifth-year senior Kurt Brenner, wrestling in his final match at the Coliseum, built on Jones’ momentum, handling Edinboro’s John Foley. Brenner scored two takedowns in the first period and never looked back after leading 4-1 in the first period. In the second session, Brenner deferred to Foley, who chose the neutral position. Brenner registered takedown after takedown, tallying four in the period, including one that came with one second left in the period. The Freedom, Pa., scored a reversal in the final period for the 15-5 major decision, giving WVU four team points to trail only 16-10.

Freshman Lance Bryson (184) dropped a close 4-1 decision to Chris Honeycutt, ranked 17th nationally. Bryson led 1-0 heading into the third period, but Honeycutt’s three points plus 1:12 in riding time gave him the edge.

WVU will have off until competing at the EWL Tournament on March 7 in Lock Haven, Pa. The all-day event is slated to begin at 8 a.m. at Lock Haven’s Thomas Fieldhouse.

WVU 19 Edinboro 19
125: #1 Paul Donahoe (EU) wins by forfeit
133: #19 Ricky Deubel (EU) DEC Grant Lowther (WVU), 4-1
141: Colin Johnston (WVU) DEC Steve Waite (EU), 6-3
149: Torsten Gillespie (EU) DEC #20 David Jauregui (WVU), 10-5
157: #1 Gregor Gillespie (EU) MAJOR Ryan Goodman (WVU), 14-0
165: Donnie Jones (WVU) DEC #11 Jarrod King (EU), 5-3
174: #11 Kurt Brenner (WVU) MAJOR John Foley (EU), 15-5
184: #17 Chris Honeycutt (EU) DEC Lance Bryson (WVU), 4-1
197: Matt Ryan (WVU) DEC Pat Bradshaw (EU), 5-4
HWT: #11 Dustin Rogers (WVU) wins by forfeit

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