WVU Wrestling Falls to Wyoming, No. 23 Illinois

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

VESTAL, N.Y. (November 22, 2009) – The West Virginia University wrestling team fell to Wyoming, 19-18, and No. 23-ranked Illinois, 23-15, at the ‘Sprawl & Brawl’ duals, which were held at Binghamton University, on Sunday afternoon. The matches served as the first two dual meet of the season for the Mountaineers.

The first contest of the day for the Mountaineers (0-2) came against a tough Wyoming squad. After dropping three of its first four bouts, WVU regrouped and went on to win three-straight matches to pull ahead of the Cowboys, 12-10.

“I thought this was really our first time of ramping up our competition,” assistant coach Greg Jones says. “There were some things we didn't do really well. I think the highlight of the day was Chance Litton's win over seventh-ranked Jordan Blanton. It's really good for him and his path of success. At the end of the day, we just have to get better.”

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Goodman started the streak at 157 pounds with a 10-6 victory over Mikah Kadera. A Latrobe, Pa., native, Goodman notched the first points of the bout with a takedown in the first period. In the second session, he earned an escape and then registered a takedown at the edge of the mat. He closed the period with another takedown and held 1:18 in riding time. Goodman added another takedown in the final period and amassed 1:51 in riding time for the victory.

Redshirt senior Donnie Jones, ranked No. 13 nationally at 165 pounds, pulled the Mountaineers to within one point at 10-9 with his 3-2 decision over 16th-ranked Shane Onufer. A match that saw a great deal of handfighting, Jones notched a takedown in the first period and an escape in the second en route to his first victory of the year.

Classmate Chance Litton, ranked 20th at 174 pounds, also posted his first win of the season, earning a 6-3 decision over Wyoming’s Alex Rieder.

WVU dropped its next two bouts, but junior heavyweight Brandon Williamson had an impressive showing in his first career match in the Old Gold and Blue. Williamson quickly notched a takedown on Mathew McLaughlan and then added two near fall points. With McLaughlan on the mat, Williamson tilted him and recorded the pin in 1:59; however, WVU came up just short, falling 19-18.

“Brandon has done a really good job of coming in,” Jones says of the 2008 junior college heavyweight national champion. “He brings a great work ethic and holds himself to a really high standard. He's making the most out of his opportunity to compete at this level. He's getting better on a daily basis. I think the most impressive thing is how he approaches the matches and really gets himself prepared to wrestle at a very high level.”

With little turnaround time, the Mountaineers were back on the mat against the Fighting Illini.

Sophomore Colin Johnston, as he did in the first match of the day, earned the first team points for WVU at 133 pounds. Johnston recorded a takedown early in the first period and almost had back points, but both wrestlers were ruled outside the circle. After registering six points in the second period, Johnston pinned Illinois’ Daryl Thomas in 4:59. The Eighty-Four, Pa., native improved to 2-0 after his match.

Litton won the Mountaineers’ next match at 174 pounds in a high-scoring bout. Despite being tied at three apiece with Illinois’ Jordan Blanton, ranked No. 7, Litton put on a scoring clinic in the second session. Although he chose the defense position, Litton quickly recorded a reversal and then notched two more takedowns for a 9-6 lead, heading into the third period. Litton tacked on one more takedown in the final period, as he also improved to 2-0 on the season.

The Mountaineers closed out the match with consecutive victories. Junior Kyle Rooney posted a 3-0 decision over Martin Smith at 197 pounds, and Williamson cruised to a 7-2 decision over Illinois’ heavyweight, Patrick Walker.

Also wrestling in their first career matches were true freshman Anthony Curcio (125) and sophomore Amador Ayala (141).

Yesterday, the Mountaineers competed at the Navy Classic, but the competition results were not available until late.

Redshirt sophomores Kyle Eason (157) and Christian Mory (165) both notched victories at their respective weight classes, while classmate Matt Weston won three matches at 184 pounds, including a pin at the 4:16 mark over George Mason’s William Widener.

Freshman Mac Mancuso, who also competed at 184 pounds, won three matches and took sixth place at the event.

WVU returns to action on Dec. 4-5 at the Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invitational in Primm, Nev. Competition on the first day starts at 9 a.m.

Wyoming 19 WVU 18
125 - Michael Martinez (WYO) major Anthony Curcio (WVU), 14-4
133 - Colin Johnston (WVU) dec. Kasey Garnhart (WYO), 2-0
141 - Chase Smith (WYO) dec. Trey Ayala (WVU), 5-3
149 - Cole Dallaserra (WYO) dec. Mark Tsikerdanos (WVU), 7-3
157 - Ryan Goodman (WVU) dec. Mikah Kadera (WYO), 10-6
165 - Donnie Jones (WVU) dec. Shane Onufer (WYO), 3-2
174 - Chance Litton (WVU) dec. Alex Rieder (WYO), 6-3
184 - Joe LeBlanc (WYO) FALL Matt Ryan (WVU), 0:40
197 - Alfonso Hernandez (WYO) Kyle Rooney (WVU), 4-2 (SV)
HWT - Brandon Williamson (WVU) FALL Mathew McLaughlan (WYO), 1:59

No. 23 Illinois 23 WVU 15
125 - John Deneen (ILL) major Anthony Curcio (WVU), 15-7
133 - Colin Johnston (WVU) FALL Daryl Thomas (ILL), 4:59
141 - Ryan Prater (ILL) TECH Trey Ayala (WVU), 18-1
149 - Eric Terrazas (ILL) dec. Mark Tsikerdanos (WVU), 5-3
157 - Clinton Arlis (ILL) major Ryan Goodman (WVU), 13-5
165 - Conrad Polz (ILL) dec. Donnie Jones (WVU), 6-4
174 - Chance Litton (WVU) dec. Jordan Blanton (ILL), 11-8
184 - John Dergo (ILL) major Matt Ryan (WVU), 16-4
197 - Kyle Rooney (WVU) dec. Martin Smith (ILL), 3-0
HWT - Brandon Williamson (WVU) dec. Patrick Walker (ILL), 7-2

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