Mountaineers Defend EWL Regular Season Title

WVU's seniors had a memorable Senior Night at the WVU Coliseum as the Mountaineers downed Cleveland State 25-16 to wrap up the regular season dual meet EWL title.

At 133 pounds, West Virginia's Brandon Lauer fell behind early and lost a 7-3 decision to Phil Mansueto, giving the Vikings an early 3-0 lead.

Shane Cunanan didn't waste any time getting the Mountaineers back on track at 141, as he scored two early takedown against Matt DePolo, maintained pressure throughout the match, then pinned DePolo early in the third period for six big WVU points.

With the Mountaineers now leading 6-3, Billy Smith took the mat against the Vikings' Anthony Coleman in the 149 pound weight class.

A scoreless first period was followed by an Anthony Coleman escape late in the second period for a 1-0 lead, but Smith did manage to pile up more than a minute of riding time in the period.

Smith escaped to start the third and then took Coleman to the mat, and although Coleman was able to escape, was unable to mount any more offensive threats as Smith carried the action in the third period for a 6-3 win and a 9-3 lead overall.

A pair of Matts, Lebe for West Virginia and Shultz for Cleveland State, squared off at pounds. Lebe scored a quartet of first period takedowns and piled up riding time to take control of the match early on, then continued to dominate for a 22-7 technical fall and a 13-3 Mountaineer lead.

At 165 Tom McMath, kept the momentum going with yet another early takedown against Cleveland State's Jason Effner, then wrestled his usualy methodical style on the way to a 7-4 win and a 16-3 Mountaineer match lead.

Greg Jones extended the Mountaineer lead with a pin just 1:34 into the first period over Ron Howard. Jones slammed Howard to the mat and quickly put Howard's shoulder to the mat for six more team points and a 22-3 WVU lead.

At 184, number four ranked Gerald Harris stemmed the WVU onslaught with a first period takedown that proved the difference in a 3-2 victory over Ryan Wilman. Wilman battled Harris throughout but was unable to come up with the takedown he needed to get the upset victory.

Stipe Miocic continued the Viking roll with a quick takedown and a near fall against WVU's Adrian Thompson, then repeated the maneuver for an early 8-1 lead. Thompson rallied to cut the lead to 12-10 on a near fall of his own, but Miocic pushed the lead back out to 21-12 and narrowly missed a technical fall with a 27-14 win. Micoic's major decision at 197 closed the gap in the match to 22-10.

Needing a pair of pins to get back into the match, Cleveland State's Russ Davie did his part by gettin a late takedown of West Virginia's Brent Miller that led to a fall with four seconds to go in the match. Davie's pin cut the Mountaineer lead to 22-16.

The evening's final match at 125 pounds paired Rocco Mansueto against WVU's Seth Lisa in a battle of top twenty wrestlers. Mansueto, needing a pin, was unable to mount any offense against the active Lisa, who notched takedowns in the second and third periods for a 7-3 win.

WVU took the match by a 25-16 count, giving them their second consecutive EWL regular season title. The Mountaineers will host the EWL championships on March 8-9.

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