4-1 at Penn State Mont Alto

November 1, 2014

MONT ALTO, Pa - The 2014-2015 wrestling season kicked off for WVU Tech at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Duals hosted by Penn State Mont Alto Saturday. The Golden Bears are coming off a record setting 10-4 season and have high hopes for the coming season.

In the first match of the day Tech defeated Penn State Fayette's squad by a score of 28-16. Wins by Denis Robles-Gomez, Robbie McNeill, Conrad Lacey and Terry Nance coupled with a forfeit received by Aaron Wallace allowed the Golden Bears to score the team win.

In the day's second match the Golden Bears went up against a tough foe but out matched the Penn State Greater Alleghany squad. Robles and Curtis Cox earned forfeits before McNeill took the mat for the second time in his career. The physical match ended in controversy and confusion after a clash of heads rendered both athletes in pain but McNeill's arm was raised for the win. Bluefield's own Christian Oster took the mat and scored the first dual meet win, at 149, of his career and the first Tech points at that weight class since the 2013 calendar year. Lacey scored a fall at 157, Dirk Ponchak was awarded a forfeit at 165, as was Colton Rowe at 174 and Wallace at 184. Nance at 197 scored a fall in just over a minute to continue the onslaught. Tola Morakinyo jumped up two weights from the 184 weight class of his freshman year to fill in the USCAA weight class 235 lbs with no ill effects and scored a pin off a thunderous double leg, lift and throw. Final score was 60-3 in favor of the Golden Bears.

In the premier match of the day the Golden Bears went up against defending USCAA National Wrestling Invitational Champions, Newport News Apprentice School. In a match that would be determined by bonus points the two teams split the 10 matches 5-5. Apprentice won the first four matches and scored bonus points in three of them to jump out to a 19-0 lead. Tech began their comeback with a conservative 5-1 victory by Lacey at 157. Ponchak continued his assault on the Tech record books with a thrilling 7-6 decision at 165, followed by Rowe's high flying and throw happy 9-5 victory at 174. Wallace was involved in a high paced match, trailing 3-2 early when he reversed his opponent and turned him to his back for the fall at 184 lbs.

In the premier match-up of the dual the USCAA Champion at 184 faced off against last year's USCAA runner-up at 197 lbs., and it did not disappoint. Morakinyo prevailed 9-5 on the strength of several takedowns and a beautiful neck wrench counter throw. This five match rally was not enough and the Golden Bears fell to Apprentice 25-18.

Against host school Penn State Mont Alto, the Tech wrestlers started strong at 125 and 133 with forfeits and after a pair of losses, Lacey continued his strong return to the mat from a year off of school with a solid 6-2 decision victory. Ponchak scored his first fall of the year at 165 in 1:10 of the first period. At 184, Wallace avoided a near takedown to convert on his own into a throw directly to his opponent's back to jump out to a 5-0 lead and continued to bring heavy pressure with a strong half nelson ride, driving his opponent over onto his back for the fall. Morakinyo was awarded a forfeit at 197 and Nance moved up to 235 lbs. where he rolled to a dominant 6-0 victory. The final score at the match's end favored the Golden Bears 36-19.

The University of Pittsburgh sent their "B" squad to compete and the Golden Bears rose to the occasion to win 48-17. Tech was able to generate some really good momentum scoring seven bonus point victories in a row to finish the 11-match bout. Robles opened the scoring with a first period fall at 125. Lacey moved to 5-0 on the season with a forfeit and Ponchak moved to 4-0 with a forfeit as well. Rowe moved to 3-0 on the young season when he converted a slick snap down and go behind into a takedown and then locked up a nearside cradle to score the fall in 1:31. At 184, Wallace went the distance for the first time this season but used four takedowns to cruise to a 10-1 win. Morakinyo scored his second first period fall of the year with a cowcatcher at the 1:54 mark to move to 4-0 on the day. Nance used several spin behinds to bolt out to a solid lead at 235 then changing tactics and shooting a double leg, picking his opponent up and planting him on his back to earn his second fall of the day. In the day's final bout Andy Reininger took on much a larger foe, but converted his head outside single into a takedown and followed it up with a leg ride and power half to earn the first fall of his career.

The 4-1 Golden Bears are off next week for the USCAA Soccer Tournament, but are slated to return to the mats for Homecoming Weekend, where they will compete both Friday evening before the Hall of Fame Dinner as well as Saturday afternoon.

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