West Virginia Wrestling

No. 25 WVU Heads to Southern Scuffle

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (December 31, 2015) – The No. 25 West Virginia University wrestling team will ring in the new year with a return to the mat, as the Mountaineers travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to compete in the 2016 Defense Soap and Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena from Jan. 1-2.

“We had a great Christmas break with our training,” said coach Sammie Henson. “It is time for these men to prove to themselves that all the hard work and sacrifice has been worth it. This tournament is without a doubt a true test and the best prep for NCAAs. Every match will be a battle.”

The tournament will be broadcast live on Flo Wrestling and Track Wrestling will carry live stats. Complete brackets, which will be available late Thursday afternoon, as well as ticket information can be found at TheSouthernScuffle.com.

West Virginia will be one of 29 teams competing at this year's Southern Scuffle. In addition to the No. 25 Mountaineers, nine teams ranked in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll highlight the field. No. 1 Penn State leads the way, while No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Lehigh are top-10 programs competing this weekend. No. 13 Michigan, No. 14 Cornell, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 16 Central Michigan, No. 17 Virginia and No. 23 Minnesota are also in the field. WVU and OU will be joined by Big 12 foes Air Force, Utah Valley and Wyoming. The Mountaineers will also get their first look at Stanford, who they face in a dual later this month. Two national champions and 28 All-Americans, including Moisey, are in the 2016 field.

Four WVU wrestlers earned preseeds ahead of the Southern Scuffle. No. 11/12 Zeke Moisey earns the highest preseed for a Mountaineers, entering as the No. 2 seed at 125 pounds behind Penn State's Nico Megaludis. In just his second official tournament in a WVU singlet, Keegan Moore has earned the No. 10 seed at 133 pounds. No. 10/11 Dylan Cottrell is the No. 5 seed at 157 pounds and No. 8 Jacob A. Smith will be the No. 4 seed at 197 pounds.

Cottrell continues to lead the way in his first year in Morgantown. The Spencer, West Virginia, native boasts a 17-2 mark entering the event and is 7-0 in duals. Cottrell also has a team-best 27 dual takedowns and has a team-high six major decisions. He is tied with Moisey for a team-leading eight bonus-point victories.

The Mountaineers most recently posted a 30-3 win over Lock Haven at the WVU Coliseum on Dec. 12. Nine of 10 wrestlers earned wins, with rookies Zachary Moore and Connor Flynn claiming their first official collegiate victories after Henson pulled their redshirts earlier this month. Moore won a 13-4 major decision against Cody Wheeler at 149 pounds, while Flynn grabbed an 8-1 decision over Cody Cordes at 165 pounds.

One of the highlights of the victory Tony DeAngelo's win over All-American Dan Neff in a tiebreaker at 141 pounds. Both DeAngelo and Neff scored escapes in regulation to head to sudden victory tied 1-1. Neither wrestler earned a takedown, forcing the bout into a tiebreaker period. DeAngelo rode Neff in the first 30 seconds of the tiebreaker, then went to the defensive positon for the second 30 seconds of the first tiebreaker period. He scored a reversal on Neff midway through for the win.

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