West Virginia Wrestling

Set for Northeast Duals

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 28, 2014) – The West Virginia University wrestling team will compete in a trio of duals this weekend as the Mountaineers compete in the Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals, hosted at Hudson Valley Community College on Saturday. The Mountaineers will face Northern Illinois at 9:30 a.m. before taking on Cornell at 11:30 a.m. and finishing up with Rutgers at 2:30 p.m.

“We look to build on our recent success and continue to get better this week,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “We have some challenging duals this week and the guys are ready to battle.”

The NIU Huskies hold a 1-0 series lead over the Mountaineers entering Saturday’s match-up. The lone prior meeting between the two came in 1958, and the two teams have not met in head-to-head action since then. NIU is 4-5 on the season, boasting wins over Clarion and Tiffin.

Saturday marks the first ever meeting between the Big Red and the Mountaineers. Cornell finished seventh at last season’s NCAA Championships, and had a trio of All-Americans in 2014: Nahshon Garrett (125), Brian Realbuto (157) and Gabe Dean (184). Cornell is 1-0 in duals this season, winning a 21-13 tilt over Oklahoma.

The Mountaineers and the Scarlet Knights enter the dual with the all-time series tied 2-2. The squads last met in 2013, when Rutgers earned a 26-10 victory over West Virginia. The Scarlet Knights are 4-0 on the season.

The Mountaineers have garnered attention on FloWrestling’s “What 2 Watch 4” list this weekend. West Virginia’s match vs. Rutgers at the Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals makes this list, with the 141-pound bout of Michael Morales vs. Anthony Ashnault and the HWT match of A.J. Vizcarrondo and Billy Smith mentioned in particular. The Mountaineers’ tilt with Cornell is also something to watch, with Zeke Moisey and Nahson Garrett at 125 and Morales and Mark Grey at 141 highlighted.

Soon after shedding his redshirt, freshman Moisey has earned a top-20 national ranking by a pair of wrestling publications. Both Flo Wrestling and Intermat have Moisey ranked 19th in the nation at 125 pounds. The freshman from Northampton, Pa., is 11-4 overall and 7-1 in varsity action for WVU. He went 1-1 against No. 18 Ben Willeford at the Navy Classic last week.

A senior from Brick, New Jersey, Morales took home the championship at 141 pounds at the 2014 Navy Classic last weekend. Morales opened the tournament with a 12-5 decision over Princeton’s Coy Ozias before pinning Anthony Finocchiaro of Brown in the second period (3:35). He followed that with a 17-4 major decision over Chattanooga’s Mike Pongracz in the quarterfinals. An 11-2 major decision over Navy’s Patrick Prada put Morales into the championship bout, where he defeated Princeton’s Jordan Laster with a sudden victory takedown in the second overtime for the 8-6 win. For his efforts, he earned WVU Student-Athlete of the Week accolades.

Moisey joined Morales on the podium at the Navy Classic, taking third at 125. Moisey earned a 19-5 major decision over Navy’s Brant Leadbeter to start things off. He followed that up by sending Joaquin Marquez of The Citadel to the mat in just 36 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals, where he dropped a 7-3 decision to Cleveland State’s Ben Willeford, who is ranked 19th at 125. Dropping into the consolation bracket, Moisey defeated Brown’s Michael Russo in a 4-1 decision before taking a 9-2 decision from Anthony Tutolo of Kent State for third place.

Highlighted by Moisey and Morales, the Mountaineers improved four spots from their 2013 showing at the Navy Classic by taking fifth overall behind a trio of ranked teams at the 2014 tournament. Amongst the solid performances, Bubba Scheffel took fourth place at 184 pounds, winning three straight before dropping his semifinal match while Jake A. Smith (197) Jake A. Smith took home fifth place with a 5-0 decision over Bucknell’s Tyler Luster. At 149, James Dekrone also registered a fifth-place finish, going 6-2.

West Virginia will hit the road once again next week, traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the 33rd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on December 5 and 6.

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