The West Virginia University wrestling team suffered a tough defeat in their last road dual to the Edinboro Fighting Scots, 21-15.
When the match began at 125, WVU veteran Zeke Moisey (19-7) was simply outmatched against the Fighting Scots’ Sean Russell (24-5). Moisey and Russell battled through two takedowns and three escapes to find themselves tied at four going into sudden death.
In sudden victory fashion, Russell earned a takedown to propel Edinboro (7-5) to a 3-0 lead right out of the gate.
In 133, Mountaineer Matthew Schmitt (17-9) faced 17th-ranked Korbin Myers. Myers, after a scoreless first period, a four point near fall and a 6-0 decision, added his 23rd win of the season.
Heading into 141, Edinboro led West Virginia 6-0. Fortunately, Christian Monserrat closed the gap with a 2-1 decision over familiar foe Nate Hagan.
Monserrat beat Hagan at the Midland Championship individual tournament in December.
The Mountaineers’ second win of the night came in the form of freshman Kyler Rea at 149, beating Jenson Lorea in a 4-1 decision after a takedown, an escape, and a point for riding time. WVU had energetically closed the gap and tied the match at 6.
With the tempo high, Mountaineer Hunter Jones (10-12) stepped onto the mat opposite 20th-ranked Andrew Shomers (25-5). Right out of the gate, Shomers showed why he deserved the ranking. In the first period, Shomers added a takedown and three separate near falls. The score was 14-0 going into only the second period.
In the second, Shomers tacked on another takedown and ended the match with a technical fall in under three minutes and 26 seconds. This gave Edinboro an 11-6 advantage.
After that, the Mountaineers lost the next two bouts. Nick Kiussis (12-11), who prior to Edinboro, had won 4 of the last 5 matches, fell in a 6-4 decision to Fritz Hoehn in a see-saw battle that extended the Fighting Scots' lead to 14-6.
At 174, WVU's Parker VonEgidy (14-10) met Ty Schoffstall (17-2). This match wasn’t particularly exciting until the third period when Schoffstall held a 5-1 lead. In a span of two minutes that concluded in a 12-4 major decision, there were a total of three takedowns and three escapes. VonEgidy simply couldn’t hang on as Schoffstall advanced the Edinboro team score to 18-6.
A Mountaineer silver lining came in the form of freshman Brenden McRill. Sporting an 8-13 record going into the bout, McRill shutout Edinboro's Zach Ancewicz, 5-0, in a match bookended by takedowns. The win closed the Fighting Scot lead to 18-9.
In 197, Jake Smith won via forfeit to boost the Mountaineers to within striking distance. Edinboro only led by three points, 18-15, with one match left.
In heavyweight, statistically WVU’s poorest weight class, Brandon Ngati (3-17) stepped onto the mat to meet 14th-ranked Billy Miller (13-4).
Despite the records, Ngati kept Miller from adding a single point in the first period, and the match progressed into the second scoreless.
An EU escape and takedown later, Edinboro was up 3-0. One more Miller escape, in the third, and Ngati fell in a 4-0 decision to clinch the Mountaineers' seventh loss of the season.
Looking forward, the WVU wrestling team will play co-host with gymnastics on Sunday for the Beauty and the Beast event on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Coliseum. The wrestlers will face another former EWL rival in Clarion and the gymnastics team will host a tri-meet with Maryland and Pitt.