WVU Wrestling Closes Out Regular Season
By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 18, 2010) – The West Virginia University wrestling team will close out the regular season with a pair of matches against Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) opponents this weekend.
On Friday, Feb. 19, WVU will face Cleveland State at 7 p.m. at Woodling Gym. A day later on Saturday, Feb. 20, the Mountaineers travel to 25th-ranked Edinboro for a 7 p.m. match at McComb Fieldhouse.
The Mountaineers (2-9, 2-2 EWL) broke from league action in their last match, falling at non-conference foe Ohio, 27-15, on Feb. 14. Four Mountaineers registered wins, including 197-pound junior Kyle Rooney, who earned his second-straight upset victory. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native scored a 7-6 decision over Erik Schuth, ranked No. 16 nationally at the time. Sophomore Colin Johnston, ranked 18th at 133 pounds, redshirt senior Donnie Jones (165) and junior Brandon Williamson (HWT) were the other three Mountaineers to record wins at their respective weight classes.
Johnston leads the team with 20 victories, while Jones is second on the team with 17. Winner of his last five matches, Williamson now stands at 14-6 overall.
Cleveland State enters Friday’s dual with a 2-16 overall mark, 0-5 record in league action. The Vikings last competed on Feb. 13 in a three team dual meet. Cleveland State lost to Clarion, 49-0, and then fell to North Carolina, 40-0.
The team is led by 165-pounder Rob Michaels, who has the most wins of any Viking with 14. The squad’s 174-pounder, Marcus Effner, is second on the team with 12 victories.
The Vikings are under the direction of second-year coach Ben Stehura, who owns a 6-29 program mark. Last season, Cleveland State finished the season with a 4-13 overall record, including a 0-6 record in league action. The lone NCAA qualifier was former heavyweight Rashard Goff.
WVU’s next opponent, Edinboro, will also be wrestling on Friday and Saturday. The Fighting Scots will battle Pitt in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Prior to the match with the Panthers, Edinboro owns an 8-5 overall mark, with a 4-0 record in EWL action.
In their last dual, the Fighting Scots lost at home to North Carolina, 24-14, on Feb. 12. Four Edinboro wrestlers earned wins: 125-pounder Eric Morrill, 149-pounder Torsten Gillespie, 174-pounder Phil Moricone and 184-pounder Pat Bradshaw. Heavyweight Chris Birchler, rated No. 18 at the time, was upset, 3-2.
The Fighting Scots have three wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s latest Top 20 individual poll. The team is led by 2009 165-pound NCAA champion Jarrod King, ranked No. 3, and Morrill, ranked eighth. Each has 29 wins this season. The team’s other ranked wrestler is Birchler, who is No. 20 at heavyweight. He has 28 victories.
Edinboro is under the direction of Tim Flynn, now in his 13th year with the Fighting Scots. He has led the team to a 144-44-4 overall record during that span. Last season, the team posted a 14-4-1 overall mark, going 5-0-1 in EWL action. Outside of King winning the national title, former wrestlers Paul Donahoe (125) and Gregor Gillespie (157) earned All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
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