Season Comes to an End

By Daniel Whitehead
WVU Sports Information Office

March 18, 2011

Team scores and brackets AT THIS LINK

PHILADELPHIA – With West Virginia grapplers Donnie Jones and Matt Ryan competing in Friday afternoon’s second round of wrestlebacks at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, both were eliminated from the tournament with losses to end the 2010-11 season. Donnie Jones

“We came prepared and expecting a stronger tournament than we had,” says WVU coach Craig Turnbull. “For those coming back, we’ll be able to look at film and see where the guys need the most help and try to start building on their strengths.”

Jones had his WVU career ended by Clarion’s No. 24 Bekzod Abdurakhmonov with a 7-1 decision loss in Friday morning’s second round of wrestlebacks. Jones had previously beaten the Golden Eagle wrestler by a 6-5 decision in late January, but Abdurakhmonov’s two takedowns and two escapes proved too much in the loss. Jones earned an escape late in the second period, but Abdurakhmonov was able to earn riding time the rest of the way despite Jones’ efforts.

Jones, a sixth-year senior, fell to 20-6 for the year and ended his WVU career with 65 wins over four competitive seasons.

Ryan avenged a 7-5 decision loss earlier in the season to Pitt’s No. 15 Max Thomusseit with a 6-5 victory in Friday morning’s second round of wrestlebacks. Ryan had a takedown early in the first period and proceeded to earn over two minutes of riding time in the period. After a Thomusseit takedown, Ryan received two escape points and added another escape in the final period despite Thomusseit earning a takedown and escape. Ryan’s 1:43 of riding time made the difference as he advanced to face Wyoming’s No. 3-ranked and fifth-seeded Joe LeBlanc.

Against LeBlanc, Ryan was able to earn three escape points but LeBlanc’s five takedowns and escape along with two minutes of riding time proved to be insurmountable as Ryan fell to 22-9 for the year with a 12-3 major decision loss.

“There were a lot of positive things that happened during the year and we’ll take away a lot from this experience,” Turnbull says. “(Nathan) Pennesi has a very realistic goal of winning a national title, and Shane (Young) is close but we need to get him on the other side of those one-point losses. He’s got two years left and very capable of achieving high-level goals.

“For Donnie (Jones) and (Brandon) Rader, it’s a close to a special chapter of their lives. Guys like Donnie and Brandon are irreplaceable and have brought a lot to the program during their time here. We’ve had a Jones in the lineup for about 15 years now, so it’s the end of a huge span of great wrestlers. I don’t know how many wins that is, but more importantly it’s the quality of the competition they brought to our team. We’ll miss the seniors and everything they brought to the West Virginia wrestling program.”

Cornell pulled into first place with 61 points over Penn State’s 60.5 with three sessions remaining. Iowa is currently in third with 52 points while American arrived in fourth with 49 points. Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Lehigh follow closely behind. Session IV begins at 7 p.m. EST Friday night. The championship matches are slated for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.

WVU Session I Results
1st Round: No. 27 Steven Keith (Harvard)(23-15) dec. No. 26 Shane Young (28-9), 1-0
1st Round: No. 9 (11th seed) Scotti Sentes (C. Michigan)(31-6) dec. No. 18 Nathan Pennesi (24-7), 7-0
1st Round: No. 11 Eric Grajales (Michigan)(17-12) won by fall No. 30 Brandon Rader (14-10), 4:51
1st Round: No. 22 Donnie Jones (20-4) dec. No. 33 Ross Tice (Kent St.)(28-13), 8-3
1st Round: No. 9 (10th seed) Josh Ihnen (Nebraska)(26-8) maj. dec. No. 29 Matt Ryan (20-8), 10-0

WVU Session II Results
Wrestleback 1: No. 18 Matthew Snyder (Virginia)(24-10) dec. No. 26 Shane Young (28-10), 5-4
Wrestleback 1: No. 16 Jordan Keller (Oklahoma)(18-10) sudden dec. No. 18 Nathan Pennesi (24-8), 4-3
Wrestleback 1: No. 8 Ivan Lopouchanski (UNC-Greens.)(39-9) dec. No. 30 Brandon Rader (14-11), 5-2
2nd Round: No.3 (3rd seed) Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma)(30-5) dec. No. 22 Donnie Jones (20-5), 7-2
Wrestleback 1: No. 29 Matt Ryan (21-8) maj. dec. No. 19 Tony Dallago (Illinois)(16-17), 10-1

WVU Session III Results
Wrestleback 2nd Rd.: No. 24 Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion)(37-11) dec. No. 22 Donnie Jones (20-6), 7-1
Wrestleback 2nd Rd.: No. 29 Matt Ryan (22-8) dec. No. 15 Max Thomusseit (Pitt)(27-13), 6-5
Wrestleback 3rd Rd.: No. 3 (5th seed) Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming)(27-3) maj. dec. No. 29 Matt Ryan (22-9), 12-3

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