West Virginia Wrestling

Trio Places at Cliff Keen Invitational

LAS VEGAS (December 6, 2014) –Michael Morales downed No. 8/9 Joe Spisak of Virginia as a trio of grapplers represented the West Virginia University wrestling team on the podium at the 33rd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday.

Morales led the way for the Mountaineers with a sixth-place finish at 141 pounds. Zeke Moisey took eighth place at 125, as did Jake A. Smith at 197. It marks the first time since at least 2006 that more than two Mountaineers have reached the podium.

West Virginia is currently in 16th place with 44 points. Minnesota is the overall leader with six active wrestlers and 137 points, followed by Virginia Tech in second with 110 points and three wrestlers alive in the championship bracket. Ohio State is in third place with four active wrestlers and 107 points. Should the Mountaineers hold on to their 16th-place finish, it would mark the best finish at the event since 2007 when they took 12th place.

“We started off the day with some big wins and finished with some inconsistencies,” said WVU head coach Sammie Henson. “I’m proud of the improvements we continue to make while knowing losing is unacceptable. We need to keep working on our ‘consistency wins’ philosophy.”

After defeating Harvard’s Todd Preston with a late takedown for a 6-3 decision, Morales faced No. 2 seed Spisak in advancing in the consolation bracket. He dominated Spisak, taking a 14-5 major decision, moving onto the consolation semifinals. Morales then dropped a 15-6 major decision to No. 3 seed Nick Dardanes of Minnesota, to move to the fifth-place match. He lost an 8-4 decision to Boise State’s Gio Martinez to take sixth place in the tournament.

No. 11 seed Zeke Moisey won his first match of the day, using a late takedown to earn a 14-10 decision over Chasen Tolbert of Utah Valley. He went on to lose a 6-2 decision to Trey Andrews of Northern Colorado, dropping to the seventh-place match. Moisey suffered a 12-6 setback to Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State to finish in eighth place at 125 pounds.

Jake A. Smith also advanced within the consolation bracket, winning a 10-4 decision over North Dakota State’s Thomas Petersen.

Bubba Scheffel finished out competition with a 4-0 loss to No. 9 seed Timothy Dudley of Nebraska.

“We beat some nationally ranked guys that should move us up in the individual rankings,” said Henson. “We come to these tournaments because the ups-and-downs are the best way we can simulate the NCAA Tournament.

Following a two-week hiatus, the Mountaineers will travel to Lock Haven on December 20 for a 7 p.m. dual with the Bald Eagles.

125 pounds
Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. Chasen Tolbert (UVU), 14-10
Trey Andrews (NC) dec. Zeke Moisey (WVU), 6-2
Ronnie Bresser (OSU) dec. Zeke Moisey, 12-6

141 pounds
Michael Morales (WVU) dec. Todd Preston (Harvard), 6-3
Michael Morales (WVU) major dec. No. 3 Joe Spisak (UVa), 14-5
No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minn) major dec. Michael Morales (WVU), 15-6
Geo Martinez (BSU) dec. Michael Morales (WVU), 8-4

184 pounds
No. 9 Timothy Dudley (NU) dec. Bubba Scheffel (WVU), 3-0

197 pounds
Jake A.Smith (WVU) dec. Thomas Petersen (NDSU), 10-4
Trent Noon (NC) dec. Jake A. Smith (WVU), 8-2
Lucas Sheridan (IU) pinned Jake A. Smith (WVU), 1:06

Day One Notes...

Scheffel Upsets No. 6/8 Courts at Cliff Keen

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (December 5, 2014) – Bubba Scheffel upset No. 6/8 Kenny Courts of Ohio State to highlight the West Virginia University wrestling team’s first day of action at the 33rd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday.

Wrestling at 184 pounds, Scheffel earned a 2-0 decision over Austin Wilding of Army in Round 1 before squaring off with No. 2-seeded Courts in Round 2. Trailing most of the bout, Scheffel used a late takedown along with nearfall points in scoring a 7-3 decision. He later suffered a setback against No. 7 Hayden Zillmer of North Dakota State University in the quarterfinals, dropping to the consolation bracket.

The Mountaineers are in 15th place with 29 points and four wrestlers alive in the consolation bracket after day one of action. Minnesota sits atop the leaderboard with 85.5 points, including five wrestlers active in the championship bracket. Big 12 rival Iowa State is second with 65 points and four wrestlers in the championships. Cornell sits third with 61 points and five active grapplers, including one in the championship bracket.

“It was a day of ups and downs,” said WVU head coach Sammie Henson. “We are making a lot of improvements each week. We have to be more consistent during matches and after big wins. We are looking for a big day tomorrow and need to finish strong.”

Michael Morales went 4-1 at 141 pounds to advance to day two of action. Morales tech. falled Leandro Arias of Nebraska-Kearney in a pigtail to start before earning another tech. fall win over Arizona State’s Jesse Calderon in 6:48. He then dropped a 17-7 major decision to No. 2 Devin Carter of Virginia Tech to drop to the consolation bracket. Morales rebounded with a 6-2 decision over Corbin Bennetts of Western State Colorado, matching him up with Anthony Abidin of Nebraska. Abidin was forced to medically forfeit prior to the bout, moving Morales into Saturday’s consolation round where he will face Harvard’s Todd Preston.

Despite dropping his first match of the day, Jake A. Smith came back to claim three straight at 197 pounds. Smith dropped a 12-4 major decision to No. 1 Scott Schiller of Minnesota before rebounding with a 14-2 major decision over Johnathen Dennis of North Idaho College in the consolation bracket. He went on to take a 7-0 win against Andrew Reggi of San Francisco State and claimed a 2-0 decision over Northern Iowa’s Jared Bartel. Smith is slated to take on North Dakota State’s Thomas Peterson in Saturday’s consolation round.

The No. 11 seed at 125 pounds, Zeke Moisey went 2-1 on the day, starting things off with a 10-5 decision over Western State Colorado’s Trenton Piatt. He then squared off with No. 6 seed Nathan Tomassello for the second time this season, dropping a 15-10 decision to move to the consolation bracket. Moisey rebounded with a 9-4 decision over N.C. State’s Joe DeAngelo to stay alive. He will face Utah Valley’s Chasen Tolbert in Saturday morning’s consolation rounds.

After dropping a close 5-4 decision to Aaron Henson of The Citadel in his opening match, Cory Stainbrook battled back for a pair of consolation wins at 133 pounds. Stainbrook earned a 6-4 decision against Godwin Nyoma of Grand Canyon, who the Mountaineers will face in January. He also earned a 10-5 decision over Angelo Amanta of Columbia before a late takedown cost him a 7-5 decision against Utah Valley’s Jade Rauser.

Ross Renzi dropped down to 165, wrestling to a 2-2 record while James Dekrone also went 2-2 at 149. Renzi won a 4-2 decision against Virginia Tech’s Chad Strube before a 4-0 loss to No. 2 Michael Moreno of Big 12 foe Iowa State knocked him to the consolation bracket. He picked up another win with a 13-5 major decision against Brad Matchnik of American before dropping a 9-1 major decision to Jesse Stafford of Air Force.

Dekrone pinned Zach Wittte of Northern Iowa in 2:38 in his first bout before dropping a close 4-3 decision to No. 1 Chris Villalonga of Cornell. He took a 6-4 decision from Columbia’s Connor Sutton in his first consolation match before falling to Oregon State’s Abraham Rodriquez in double overtime (9:27).

Scheffel, Moisey, Morales and Smith will compete in Saturday’s consolation matches. The action starts at noon (ET) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

125 pounds
Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. Trenton Piatt (WSC), 10-5
No. 6 Nathan Tomasello (OSU) dec. Zeke Moisey (WVU), 15-10
Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. Sean McCabe (RU), 4-2
Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. Joe DeAngelo (NCSU), 9-4

133 pounds
Aaron Hansen (Cit) dec. Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 5-4
Cory Stainbrook (WVU) dec. Godwin Nyama (GC), 6-4
Cory Stainbrook (WVU) dec. Angelo Amanta (Columbia), 10-5
Jade Rauser (UVU) dec. Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 7-5

141 pounds
Michael Morales (WVU) tech. fall Leandro Arias (UNK), (7:00)
Michael Morales (WVU) tech. fall Jesse Calderon (ASU), (6:48)
No. 2 Devin Carter (VT) major dec. Michael Morales (WVU), 17-7
Michael Morales (WVU) dec. Corbin Bennetts (WSC), 6-2
Michael Morales (WVU) wins by medical forfeit (Anthony Abidin (NU))

149 pounds
James Dekrone (WVU) pinned Zach Witte (NIU), 2:38
No. 1 Chris Villalonga (Cornell) dec. James Dekrone (WVU), 4-3
James Dekrone (WVU) dec. Connor Sutton (Columbia), 6-4
Abraham Rodriquez (OSU) pins James Dekrone (WVU), 9:27 (OTB)

157 pounds
Tim Wheeling (WVU) dec. Steve Keogh (NDSU), 4-3
No. 3 Anthony Perotti (RU) major dec. Tim Wheeling (WVU), 10-1
Steven Hernandez (BSU) dec. Tim Wheeeling (WVU), 11-5

165 pounds
Ross Renzi (WVU) dec. Chad Strube (VT), 4-2
No. 2 Michael Moreno (ISU) dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 4-0
Ross Renzi (WVU) major dec. Brad Mutchnik (AU), 13-5
Jesse Stafford (Air Force) major dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 9-1

174 pounds
No. 6 Zach Epperly (VT) tech. fall Christian Chirico (WVU), (3:29)
Colby Barlocker (WWC) dec. Christian Chirico (WVU)

184 pounds
Bubba Scheffel (WVU) dec. Austin Wilding (Army), 2-0
Bubba Scheffel (WVU) dec. No. 2 Kenny Courts (OSU), 7-3
No. 7 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) dec. Bubba Scheffel (WVU), 6-1

197 pounds
No. 1 Scott Schiller (MINN) major dec. Jake A. Smith (WVU), 12-4
Jake A. Smith (WVU) major dec. Johnathen Dennis (NIC), 14-2
Jake A. Smith (WVU) dec. Andrew Reggi (SFSU), 7-0
Jake A. Smith (WVU) dec. Jared Bartel (NIU), 2-0

No. 7 Collin Jensen (NU) dec. A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 5-3
A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU) dec. Dexter Bess (WWC), 7-3
Peter Anguiano (WSC) dec. A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 4-0

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