WVU Tops No. 25 North Dakota State

By Amy Salvatore
January 07, 2018

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Topping its third ranked opponent of the season, the West Virginia University wrestling team took down No. 25 North Dakota State (5-6, 0-4 Big 12) in a 19-12 contest for its second straight Big 12 victory inside the WVU Coliseum on Sunday evening.

The Mountaineers (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) never trailed in the match, winning six of 10 bouts to capture their third conference win in program history. West Virginia has now doubled its Big 12 win total from last season, as the Mountaineers claimed the program's first-ever victory in league play over Iowa State on Feb. 12, 2017.

Of note, West Virginia topped its second ranked opponent of the week, as the team defeated No. 18 Oklahoma in a 24-12 contest on Thursday evening. It also was the Mountaineers third straight victory at home over a ranked opponent.

"This was a great win for our program," said fourth-year coach Sammie Henson. "It was great to see our guys push through some tough matches tonight. North Dakota State is a tough team, and I'm glad we were able to come out on top and beat our second ranked opponent in just three days."

Redshirt junior Zeke Moisey won his fourth straight dual match of the year, picking up an 11-2 major decision at 125 pounds over Paul Bianchi. No. 19 Moisey notched four takedowns in seven minutes, as he continues to lead the team with 16 takedowns in dual-match play this season.

At 133 pounds, redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt claimed a thrilling 3-1 decision in sudden victory over Cam Sykora. Following a scoreless first period, Schmitt started in the defensive position and earned the escape for the 1-0 lead. Sykora eventually notched an escape of his own in the third frame, tying the match at one apiece heading into sudden victory. Schmitt did not falter, though, as he collected an early takedown to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 advantage in team scoring. Of note, Schmitt is now 3-0 in Big 12 dual matches on the year.

Junior Christian Monserrat pushed the Mountaineers lead to 12-0 with a 13-3 major decision over McGwire Midkiff at 141 pounds. Monserrat claimed an early 4-0 advantage, collecting a takedown and two neafall points in the first period. He then used a pair of reversals and four more nearfall points in the second for a 12-3 lead. The two wrestlers remained scoreless in the third, as Monserrat collected the riding point for the 13-3 victory over Midkiff. Of note, Monserrat is now 2-0 in Big 12 dual matches this season.

The Mountaineers then dropped back-to-back-to-back decisions at 149, 157 and 165 pounds, respectively, as the Bison added nine points to the scoreboard to cut their deficit to three at 12-9. WVU continued to put up a fight, though, as the squad won three straight matches for the 19-9 lead entering the final bout of the evening.

Redshirt senior Parker VonEgidy (174) and freshman Brenden McRill (184) each won by decision in their respective bouts. VonEgidy picked up a 5-4 decision over Charley Popp at 174 pounds, while McRill captured a 14-8 decision over Nick Knutson at 184 pounds.

McRill used a pair of takedowns to take a 4-2 lead over Knutson at the end of the first period. He was awarded another takedown in the second, but it was the final period that made Mountaineer Nation stand on their feet. McRill and Knutson started in the neutral position, as McRill collected an escape and a trio of takedowns for the 14-8 victory.

At 197 pounds, redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith captured his second Big 12 dual-match win of the season, taking down Cordell Eaton in a hard-fought 6-5 decision. Smith held a 5-0 lead into the final period, but it was Eaton who racked up four penalty points and an escape to tie the match at 5-5 with 10 seconds remaining. However, the riding time was in favor of Smith, as he walked away with the 6-5 victory over Eaton. Following Smith's match, the Mountaineers were deducted a team point when Smith was called for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the bout.

Sophomore Brandon Ngati capped the night for the Mountaineers, as he dropped a hard-fought 4-2 decision in sudden victory to Daniel Stibral.

Of note, West Virginia and North Dakota State went head-to-head for the first time in program history, as the Mountaineers now hold a 1-0 lead in the all-time series.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers will take a week off from competition before embarking on their first Big 12 road trip of the season. West Virginia will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for a match against No. 3 Oklahoma State on Friday, Jan. 19, followed by another Big 12 dual at Iowa State on Sunday, Jan. 21.

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

West Virginia 19, No. 25 North Dakota State 12
125: No. 20/19/- Zeke Moisey (WVU) major dec. Paul Bianchi (NDSU), 11-2
133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) dec. Cam Sykora (NDSU), 3-1 [SV-1]
141: Christian Monserrat (WVU) major dec. McGwire Midkiff (NDSU), 13-3
149: Kyle Gliva (NDSU) dec. Kyler Rea (WVU), 6-1
157: No. 13/14/11 Clayton Ream (NDSU) dec. Zachary Moore (WVU), 7-4
165: No. 19/18/18 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) dec. Nick Kiussis (WVU), 10-6
174: Parker VonEgidy (WVU) dec. Charley Popp (NDSU), 5-4
184: Brenden McRill (WVU) dec. Nick Knutson (NDSU), 14-8
197: No. 5/5/10 Jacob A. Smith (WVU) dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 6-5
285: Daniel Stibral (NDSU) dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 4-2 [SV-1]

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

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