WVU Wrestling Prepares for No. 9/10 Lehigh

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 14, 2010) – The West Virginia University wrestling team will face a tough challenge in No. 9/10-rated Lehigh on Friday, Jan. 15. Action at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall is set to begin at 7 p.m.

The Mountaineers (0-5, 0-0 EWL) last competed on Jan. 9 and fell at Michigan State, 24-9. Freshman Shane Young (125), redshirt senior Donnie Jones (165) and junior Kyle Rooney (197) earned wins for the Mountaineers at their respective weight classes. Jones earned his 13th win of the year by defeating MSU’s Kyle Bounds, 5-3.

Sophomore Colin Johnston (133), who battled against 2009 national champion and top-ranked Franklin Gomez of Michigan State, is the lone Mountaineer ranked in the latest InterMat individual rankings. An Eighty-Four, Pa., native, Johnston holds the No. 19 spot at 133 pounds.

Johnston leads the team in wins this season, owning a 15-2 overall mark, including a 4-1 dual meet record. Jones has the second-most wins on the team, followed by 184-pound redshirt sophomore Matt Ryan, who has 11 victories.

Lehigh enters Friday’s contest with a 9-3 overall mark after going 3-1 at the prestigious Virginia Duals on Jan. 8-9. The Mountain Hawks took second at the competition for the second-straight year after defeating UC-Davis, then-No. 16-ranked Edinboro, and Oklahoma, which was ranked 10th at the time.

The Mountain Hawks have six wrestlers ranked in the Top 20 of their respective weight classes in the latest InterMat rankings. The squad’s heavyweight, Zach Rey, comes in with the best ranking of the group at No. 5. Rey holds a 19-2 mark this season, including a 10-1 record in dual meets. Other ranked wrestlers include Matt Fisk (No. 14 at 133), Seth Ciasulli (No. 17 at 141), Mike Galante (No. 17 at 165), Robert Hamlin (No. 18 at 174) and David Craig (No. 15 at 184).

Lehigh is under the guidance of second-year coach Pat Santoro, who owns an 80-45-1 career mark, including a 32-4 record with the Mountain Hawks. The team went 23-1 last season, with a perfect 9-0 mark in EIWA action. Lehigh took home fifth place at the league tournament and finished 28th at the NCAA Championships with 20.5 points.

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