WVU Upsets No. 18 Oklahoma in Big 12 Home Opener


By Amy Salvatore
January 04, 2018

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Earning its second Big 12 Conference win in program history, the West Virginia University wrestling team upset No. 18 Oklahoma in a thrilling 24-12 contest on Thursday evening at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (2-3, 1-1 Big 12) never trailed in the match, winning seven of 10 bouts to defeat the Sooners (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) for the first time in Big 12 action. The last time West Virginia topped Oklahoma was in 1986 at a neutral site, which was when the two squads first met in the all-time series.

"I have a history with Oklahoma, so it is very exciting for me," said fourth-year coach Sammie Henson. "Tonight's victory also was a huge win for our program and a huge win for our guys. It's special because it was a total team effort. We have another dual on Sunday, so we want to keep the momentum going."

Redshirt junior Zeke Moisey, ranked 19th nationally, set the tone for West Virginia in the first bout of the evening, winning by fall over No. 17 Christian Moody in 1 minute, 11 seconds at 125 pounds. The Northampton, Pennsylvania, native avenged a loss to Moody at the Lindenwood Open on Nov. 18, as he collected his third straight dual-match win of the season.

The Mountaineers went on to claim the next two matches for the 12-0 advantage, as redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt (133) and junior Christian Monserrat (141) each won by decision in their respective bouts. Schmitt is now 2-0 in Big 12 action, while Monserrat collected his first Big 12 victory of the season.

Davion Jeffries was the first Sooner to add points on the scoreboard in favor of Oklahoma, as he picked up a 4-1 decision over redshirt freshman Kyler Rea at 149 pounds.

Redshirt sophomore Zachary Moore got the Mountaineers back on track with a 12-5 decision over Justin Thomas, who appears at No. 17 via FloWrestling, at 157 pounds. Moore notched a pair of takedowns and four nearfall points in the first period to take an 8-1 lead. He chose bottom to start the second, using an escape and another takedown to maintain the lead in the final stanza. Thomas was then called twice for stalling, as Moore secured the 12-5 decision in the third period to put WVU back on the board, ahead 15-3.

Oklahoma cut its deficit to three following a 10-minute intermission, as the Sooners collected back-to-back victories at 165 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively. Freshman Nick Kiussis fell to DaWaylon Barnes at 165 pounds, while redshirt senior Parker VonEgidy dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision to No. 13 Yoanse Mejias at 174 pounds.

West Virginia did not back down, though, capturing wins in the final three bouts for the 24-12 victory over the Sooners.

Freshman Brenden McRill won his first Big 12 match of his young career, taking down Matthew Waddell in a 7-4 decision at 184 pounds. Tied at three-all, McRill started in the defensive position in the third, collecting an escape early on for the one-point advantage. McRill then used a takedown and secured the riding point for the 7-4 decision over Waddell.

Additionally, redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith and sophomore Brandon Ngati each notched their first Big 12 wins of the season at 197 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively, to cap the night in favor of the Mountaineers.

West Virginia's last Dollar Day of the season will follow in three days, as the team takes on No. 25 North Dakota State in a 7 p.m. match on Sunday, Jan. 7. Sunday's match also is known as Back-to-School night, and there will be a $50 giveaway to the WVU Book Exchange. Additionally, high school teams can receive free admission to any home match this season. A registration form can be found at WVUsports.com/promotions.

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUWrestling on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

West Virginia 24, No. 18 Oklahoma 12
125: No. 20/19/- Zeke Moisey (WVU) wins by fall No. 19/17/19 Christian Moody (OU), F 1:11
133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) dec. Jake Rubio (OU), 4-2
141: Christian Monserrat (WVU) dec. No. -/-/19 Mike Longo (OU), 8-2
149: Davion Jeffries (OU) dec. Kyler Rea (WVU), 4-1
157: Zachary Moore (WVU) dec. 17/-/- Justin Thomas (OU), 12-5
165: Dawaylon Barnes (OU) wins by fall Nick Kiussis (WVU), F 5:30
174: No. 13/13/11 Yoanse Mejias (OU) dec. Parker VonEgidy (WVU), 6-4
184: Brenden McRill (WVU) dec. Matthew Waddell (OU), 7-4
197: No. 5/5/10 Jake Smith (WVU) dec. Andrew Dixon (OU), 3-1
285: Brandon Ngati (WVU) dec. Conner Webb (OU), 3-2

*Rankings are listed as followed: FloWrestling/Intermat/The Open Mat*


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