WVU Falls to No. 14 Penn State

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 11, 2009) – The West Virginia University wrestling team fell to No. 14-ranked Penn State, 33-12, on Friday night at the WVU Coliseum. A total of 1,136 fans piled in to watch the Mountaineers’ home-opening dual match.

WVU (0-3) freshman Shane Young had an impressive showing in his career debut. Facing seventh-ranked 125-pounder Brad Pataky, Young opened the bout aggressively with a takedown before the Nittany Lion broke free to lead, 2-1. Young had a pair of back-to-back double-leg takedown attempts, but was unable to convert, and Pataky eventually scored on a takedown before the end of the first period. Pataky increased his lead by three in the second period and went on to win, 11-5.

"I do feel that by the end of the season that Shane Young can win that match,” coach Craig Turnbull says. “That's his first varsity match. There was a little nervous energy. There was a little poise."

Sophomore Colin Johnston (133) recorded the Mountaineers’ first win of the match. The Eighty-Four, Pa., native led 7-1 at the end of the first period courtesy of two takedowns and one three-point near fall. Johnston notched another point in the second period on an escape and tacked on four more points, plus riding time, for the 13-4 major decision over Bryan Pearsall. Johnson continued his unbeaten streak, improving to 8-0 on the year.

Following the 133-pound bout, Penn State (5-1) registered three-straight wins by fall.

"Colin did an all right job, but didn't really seal the deal,” Turnbull adds. “We knew we were in trouble at 141 and 149 pounds. We put a 125-pounder at 141. In two weeks, Brandon Rader and Mike Rowe go in and that makes us much stronger. There was going to be a real momentum shift in that 141- and 149-pound area. Our 157-pounder did a real poor job with his weight management, so we put three in the middle there that really deflated the whole team energy."

The Mountaineers looked to Donnie Jones at 165 pounds to end the streak. The redshirt senior had a difficult match in facing No. 9-ranked Dan Vallimont. Jones opened the bout with a takedown less than a minute into the match. Vallimont was able to escape 30 seconds later, and Jones led 2-1, heading into the second period. Jones chose the down position to start the second period and quickly cut loose to extend his lead, 3-1. Vallimont, however, tied the match with a takedown with less than a minute remaining in the second period. With the choice to start the third period, Vallimont chose down and earned the one escape point to go ahead 4-3. Recognizing he needed a takedown for the victory, Jones aggressively shot at Vallimont, who eventually earned a stalling warning. Despite being the aggressor throughout the third, Jones never earned the stalling point, and Vallimont took a 4-3 decision.

Veteran Chance Litton was next up for the Mountaineers at 174 pounds, facing Justin Ortega. The two finished the first period scoreless and Ortega earned the first point of the match with an escape to start the second session. On a low shot, Litton was able to complete the takedown and go ahead 2-1. The Parkersburg, W.Va., native added three more points in the final frame for the 5-2 victory. Litton improved to 7-2 on the season.

After 14th-ranked David Erwin defeated No. 19 Matt Ryan of West Virginia, freshman Cameron Gallaher won by forfeit at 197 pounds.

The final bout of the evening featured WVU’s Brandon Williamson and 13th-ranked Cameron Wade at heavyweight. The two spent the entire first period hand fighting and walking each other around the mat for a scoreless first period. Wade picked up the first points of the match in the second period on a stall and then escaped to increase his lead, 2-0. Williamson chose the down position to start the third period, hoping to gain an escape point and cut Wade’s lead in half. However, Wade was able to ride Williamson out and then won the match on a disqualification, which forced the Mountaineers’ to lose a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

WVU returns to action on Dec. 20 at the Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev. The all-day event begins at 9 a.m. PT.

125: #7 Brad Pataky (PSU) dec. Shane Young (WVU), 11-5
133: Colin Johnston (WVU) major dec. Bryan Pearsall (PSU), 13-4
141: Colby Pisani (PSU) FALL Anthony Curcio (WVU), 5:28
149: #6 Frank Molinaro (PSU) FALL Brandon Loro (WVU), 5:22
157: #3 Cyler Sanderson (PSU) FALL Ryan Goodman (WVU), 2:22
165: #9 Dan Vallimont (PSU) dec. Donnie Jones (WVU), 4-3
174: Chance Litton (WVU) dec. Justin Ortega (PSU), 5-2
184: #14 David Erwin (PSU) dec. #19 Matt Ryan (WVU), 7-1
197: Cameron Gallaher (WVU) WBF No Entry (PSU)
HWT: #13 Cameron Wade (PSU) WBDQ Brandon Williamson (WVU), 7:00

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