West Virginia Wrestling

WV Natives Lead Mountaineers at Cliff Keen

LAS VEGAS (December 5, 2015) – A pair of West Virginia natives represented the No. 24 West Virginia wrestling team on the podium at the 34th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Open, as No. 14/17 Dylan Cottrell took third at 157 pounds while No. 7/8 Jacob A. Smith placed fourth at 197 pounds at the Cashman Center on Saturday.

Cottrell, a native of Spencer, won a 5-3 decision over Virginia’s Andrew Atkinson in the third-place match to earn his place on the podium. Charleston native Smith dropped a 6-1 decision to Cal State Bakersfield’s Ruben Franklin in the third-place match. It marked Smith’s second straight year on the podium, as he took eighth in 2014.

The Mountaineers finished in 16th place at the tournament, tying No. 15 Wisconsin at 51.5 team points. No. 8 Missouri took home the team title with 154 points, while No. 14 Cornell took second with 113 points. West Virginia posted the second-best score amongst Big 12 schools, trailing Oklahoma (fourth, 102 points), and topping Iowa State (19th), North Dakota State (22nd), Utah Valley (25th), Northern Colorado (25th) and Air Force (29th).

“I’m proud of our team’s overall effort,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “This is something we can build on. I love having a pair of West Virginia natives finish strong today and place as high as they did.”

Cottrell faced No. 20 Brandon Kinglsey of Minnesota in Saturday morning’s consolation rounds. He got off to a quick start against the Golden Gopher, taking an 8-0 lead in the first period. Cottrell went on to secure a 14-2 major decision and advance to the consolation quarterfinals, where he faced No. 13 Aaron Walker of The Citadel. Cottrell defeated Walker, 3-1, before topping No. 19 Russell Parsons of Army in a 7-4 decision to move onto the third-place match.

Smith entered Saturday’s action as the lone undefeated Mountaineer in the championship round, but dropped a 9-3 decision to No. 2 J’Den Cox of Missouri to move to the consolation bracket. He faced No. 13 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech, taking a 2-0 decision in the consolation semifinals to earn his spot in the third-place bout.

No. 9/10 Zeke Moisey finished the tournament 4-2 after going 4-1 on the first day of action to qualify for the consolation round of eight. His run came to an end Saturday morning as he fell to Bucknell’s Paul Petrov, ranked No. 14 in the nation, in the second period.

“It was a tough loss for Zeke today,” said Henson. “We expect him to bounce back stronger than ever.”

The Mountaineers return home to host Lock Haven in a dual on Dec. 12. The Cradles for Cancer match is set for a 7 p.m. start at the WVU Coliseum.

2015 Cliff Keen

1 Missouri 154
2 Cornell 113
3 Minnesota 105
4 Oklahoma 102
5 Ohio State 96.5
6 Virginia Tech 91
7 Michigan 76
8 Kent State University 65
9 Csu Bakersfield 62.5
10 Bucknell 62
11 Virginia 61
12 American 54.5
12 Northern Iowa 54.5
14 Army West Point 53
15 Purdue 52
16 West Virginia 51.5
16 Wisconsin 51.5
18 Arizona State University 48
19 Harvard 46
19 Iowa State 46
21 Navy 44.5
22 North Dakota State University 37.5
23 Columbia 36
24 Oregon State 33.5
25 Northern Colorado 26.5
25 Utah Valley University 26.5
27 California Baptist University 24
28 Boise State 20
29 Air Force 19.5
30 Hofstra 18
31 Brown 17.5
31 Nebraska-Kearney 17.5
33 Binghamton University 16.5
34 Cal Poly 16
35 San Francisco State 9
35 The Citadel 9
37 North Idaho College 4
38 Newberry 3
39 Gateway Bible Institute 1.5
40 Western Wyoming College -

Smith, Moore Highlight CKLV Day One

LAS VEGAS (December 4, 2015) – No. 7/8 Jacob A. Smith advanced to the 197-pound semifinals while Keegan Moore pulled off a major upset in his collegiate debut as the No. 24 West Virginia University wrestling team completed day one of action at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Invitational, held at the Cashman Center on Friday.

The No. 24 Mountaineers sit 14th with 37.5 points. Fellow Big 12 member Oklahoma leads the pack with 85 points, followed by No. 8 Missouri in second with 81.5 points. No. 18 Minnesota is third with 78.5 points.

“This tournament is the toughest in the country, and our men wrestled hard today,” said coach Sammie Henson. “We have word to do and need to attack more but the effort is something we can build on. With Jake in the semis, he continues to prove he is one of the elite wrestlers in the country. Zeke and Dylan are also having a solid year. I’m for our potential the next few months.”

Both Smith and No. 14/17 Dylan Cottrell advanced to the quarterfinals on Friday. Smith won a 2-1 decision over Reuben Franklin of Cal State Bakersfield on riding time to advance to Saturday’s semifinals. Cottrell dropped an 8-3 decision to Bryce Steiert of Northern Iowa to move to the consolation bracket.

Earning a bye in the championship round of 64, Smith, seeded fourth at 197 pounds, won a 6-2 decision against Jeric Kasunic of American to open the day. He went on to take a 7-1 win over Air Force’s Parker Hines, a new Big 12 foe, to move to the quarterfinals. Smith will wrestle in Saturday’s semifinals, where he will face No. 2 J’Den Cox of Missouri. Cox, the 2014 NCAA National Champion, and Smith met on Nov. 21 in the finals of the Joe Parisi Open, with Cox winning a 2-0 decision.

Entering as the No. 4 seed, Cottrell won a 6-0 decision over Drew Daniels of Navy before taking a 6-2 decision from Abraham Rodriguez of Oregon State in their second meeting of the year. Following his quarterfinal win, he will face Brandon Kingsley of Minnesota in the consolation round of eight.

However, it was Moore who had the match of the day as Henson pulled his redshirt and entered him into the competition at 133 pounds. Moore went hard after No. 6 Rossi Bruno, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, jumping out to a 5-1 lead in his first period of collegiate action. Moore proceeded to stun the field, taking the 12-9 upset decision to advance to the round of 32. He won a 7-4 decision over Army’s Austin Harry, but lost a close 6-5 decision to No. 13 seed Esteban Gomez-Rivera of American to move to the consolation bracket. Moore bounced back with a 15-4 major decision over Carlos Herrera of Cal State Bakersfield to advance to the consolation round of 16 where he dropped a 14-5 major decision to No. 16 Josh Alber of Northern Iowa.

Zeke Moisey went 5-1 at 125, opening the championship round with a 53-second pin of Western Wyoming’s Cole Verner. He then won a 6-5 decision over Thierno Diallo of Binghamton in the round of 32 before dropping a 4-2 decision to Missouri’s Barlow McGhee, whom he faced in the finals of the Joe Parisi Open last weekend. The setback bounced Moisey into the consolation bracket, where he tech. falled Columbia’s Vince Pallone in the third period to advance to the consolation round of eight. Moisey then wrestled Rami Haddadin of Boise State. Despite trailing 7-4 late in the match, Moisey came back to pin Haddadin with less than 30 seconds to go. He will face Bucknell’s No. 14-ranked Paul Petrov on Saturday.

Bubba Scheffel went 3-2 at 184 pounds, advancing to the consolation round of eight. He started the day with a 4-2 win over Steven Schneider of Binghamton before winning an 8-0 major decision over Jesus Ambriz of Cal State Bakersfield. No. 2 seed Blake Stauffer medically forfeited in the consolation round of 16, pushing Scheffel into the consolation round of 16. Scheffel won 5-3 decision against Huston Evans of Newberry to move on, but dropped a heartbreaking 3-1 decision to Oregon State’s Corey Griego in the tiebreaker.

Moore was not the only redshirt to go, as Conner Flynn and Zachary Moore also made their collegiate debuts at 165 and 149 pounds, respectively.

Tomorrow’s consolation rounds start at Noon ET, while the championship round will begin at 1 p.m. ET. The championship finals, as well as the third and fourth-place matches will start at 6 p.m. ET at the Cashman Center.

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