WVU Caps Big 12 Championship with Four Podium Finishes

By Amy Salvatore
March 4, 2018

Final Brackets

TULSA, Okla. Four Mountaineers finished on the podium, including two runner-up finishes from redshirt junior Zeke Moisey (125) and redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith (197), as the West Virginia University wrestling team completed the 2018 Big 12 Wrestling Championship Sunday evening, held at the BOK Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In addition, redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt placed fourth in the 133-pound bracket, while redshirt senior Parker VonEgidy took sixth in the 174-pound pool.

Smith, a native of Charleston, West Virginia, dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to South Dakota State's Nate Rotert. Despite the loss, he automatically qualifies for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship.

The two wrestlers traded escapes in regulation time, with Smith scoring in the second period and Rotert getting the equalizer in the third to send the match into overtime tied at 1-1. Neither wrestler scored in the first sudden-victory period or ensuing 30-second tiebreakers. A second sudden victory-period also was scoreless before each wrestler managed an escape in the second set of tiebreakers, but because Rotert had an advantage of one second of riding time on the clock with overtime exhausted, he was awarded the final point of the bout for the 3-2 victory.

In the 125-pound match, Moisey fell to Oklahoma State's Nick Piccininni in 1 minute, 11 seconds. Despite the loss, Moisey will return to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2015, when he finished as the NCAA Runner-Up as a true freshman.

In earlier action, Schmitt took fourth place at 133 pounds after dropping a 2-1 decision to Wyoming's Montorie Bridges in the third-place match. He defeated North Dakota State's Cam Sykora in a 6-2 decision in the consolation semifinals.

Schmitt, seeded No. 5, maneuvered his way through a competitive 12-team field, registering a 3-2 mark at the two-day event. With a top-five finish, Schmitt punched his ticket to the national tournament for the first time in his young career.

At 174 pounds, VonEgidy just missed his automatic bid to nationals, as he suffered a 9-1 setback to Utah Valley's Kimball Bastian in the fifth-place match. Despite the loss, VonEgidy capped his senior campaign with a podium finish at the conference tournament.

West Virginia finished the championship in ninth place with 50 points. Oklahoma State took home the team title with 137 points. Northern Iowa finished second with 96.5 points, followed by South Dakota State in third with 94 points.

The 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, slated for March 15-17, will take place at Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wrestlers who did not earn a bid at their qualifying tournament may still be eligible for one of 47 at-large bids, which will be announced on March 6. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition, quality wins, coaches' panel rankings, results against common opponents, RPI, qualifying event placement and winning percentage.

125: Nick Piccininni (OSU) wins by fall Zeke Moisey (WVU), F 1:11
197: Nate Rotert (SDSU) dec. Jacob A. Smith (WVU), 3-2 [TB-2]

133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) dec. Cam Sykora (NDSU), 6-2
133: Montorie Bridges (WYO) dec. Matthew Schmitt (WVU), 2-1
174: Jacobe Smith (OSU) wins by fall Parker VonEgidy (WVU), F 1:59
174: Kimball Bastian (UVU) major dec. Parker VonEgidy (WVU), 9-1

Team Results
Oklahoma State- 137 points
UNI- 96.5 points
South Dakota State- 94 points
Wyoming- 82.5 points
North Dakota State- 57 points
Oklahoma- 52 points
Iowa State- 51 points
Utah Valley- 50.5 points
West Virginia- 50 points
Northern Colorado- 30.5 points
Fresno State- 26.5 points
Air Force- 22.5 points

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