WVU Falls to ASU in Home Opener
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 13, 2014) – Despite taking four of the last five bouts, the West Virginia University wrestling team couldn’t overcome a slow start and dropped a 19-13 contest to Arizona State on Thursday evening at the WVU Coliseum.
In spite of the final result, the start of the Sammie Henson era in Morgantown was thrilling, with two bouts going to extra periods and a pair of freshman notching victories in their career dual meet debuts.
“I think if you see our guys, our guys are in shape. We to work on our offense. We’re not getting our attacks off and we’re not doing the right things as far as staying with the game plan,” said Henson. “The guys who won, like Jake Smith, stayed to the system and that’s what we talked about. Some of our guys went back to what they used to do when things got tough and I think it cost us the match.”
The Mountaineers dropped the first five bouts of the match, falling into a 15-0 hole. Wrestling at 197 pounds, freshman Jake A. Smith stopped the skid with a win over ASU’s Wesley Moore. Smith scored on an early takedown to go up 2-0 in the first, then later made it 3-0 in the second after an escape. With Moore in the defensive position to start the third period, Smith registered a pair of nearfall points before adding another on riding time to take the 6-1 decision and put WVU on the board down 15-3.
Senior heavyweight A.J. Vizcarrondo followed up with a hard-fought tiebreaker battle over the Sun Devils’ Chace Eskam. After a scoreless first period, Eskam got on the board first with a second-period escape. Vizcarrondo matched that in the third, forcing the first overtime. Neither grappler registered a point in the first overtime period, but Vizcarrondo went on to take a 2-1 lead in the second overtime. He then registered a reversal to lead the bout 4-1 before giving up an escape and a reversal in the next overtime as Eskam tied the score 4-4. However, Vizcarrondo took the point with 30 seconds of riding time to earn the 5-4 tiebreaker win as the Mountaineers cut the deficit to nine, down 15-6.
Freshman Zeke Moisey dominated at 125 pounds in his WVU Coliseum debut, earning a major decision over Judson Preskitt. Moisey scored an early take down and added a pair of nearfall points to take a 4-0 lead in the first. Starting in the defensive position in the second period, Moisey added another point with an escape and quickly scored another takedown to go up 7-0 before giving up an escape to Preskitt. However, Moisey ended the second stanza with another takedown to carry a 9-1 lead into the final period. Starting on top, he gave up a point to Preskitt on an escape but added another takedown, as well as the riding time points to earn the 12-2 major decision as WVU came within five, down 15-10.
With the Mountaineers trailing 19-10 after losing a major decision at 133 pounds, senior Michael Morales capped the match with a thrilling sudden victory win in his new weight of 141 pounds. Facing Mech Spreggins, the two battled through a scoreless first period before Morales took a 1-0 lead on an escape in the second. Spreggins then followed suite with an escape of his own in the third to force an overtime period. Morales then scored an early takedown to end the bout, earning the 3-1 sudden victory.
James Dekrone dropped a close battle at 149 pounds in his WVU debut, dropping a 5-4 decision to Matthew Kraus. Dekrone led early on, but couldn’t escape a late Kraus takedown. Roman Perryman also dropped a heartbreaker to Oliver Pierce at 157 pounds. Pierce took a 2-0 first-period lead, but Perryman countered with an escape in the second period to cut the deficit to one. With Perryman starting in the defensive position in the third, Oliver scored two on a reversal to go up 5-3. A late escape by Perryman wasn’t enough as he dropped the 4-3 decision.
In addition to being the dual match coaching debuts of both Henson and Arizona State coach Zeke Jones, it marked the latter’s return to Morgantown. Jones was an assistant coach for the Mountaineers, helping produce a trio of national champions.
The Mountaineers will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday, November 22 to compete in the Navy Classic at the United States Naval Academy.
ASU 19, WVU 13
149: Matthew Kraus (ASU) dec. James Dekrone (WVU), 5-4
157: Oliver Pierce (ASU) dec. Roman Perryman (WVU), 4-3
165: Joel Smith (ASU) dec. Tim Wheeling (WVU), 9-5
174: Ray Waters (ASU) dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 8-4
184: Blake Stauffer (ASU) dec. Bubba Scheffel (WVU), 4-0
197: Jake A. Smith (WVU) dec. Wesley Moore (ASU), 6-1
HWT: A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU) tiebreaker 2 Chace Eskam (ASU), 5-4
125: Zeke Moisey (WVU) major dec. Judson Preskitt (ASU), 12-2
133: Dalton Brady (ASU) major dec. Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 13-5
141: Michael Morales (WVU) sudden victory 1 Mech Spraggins (ASU), 3-1
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