The Mountaineer wrestling team (3-4, 2-2) took a hard loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys last night, although the 26-6 final score is not indicative.
The Cowboys (7-1, 4-0), ranked fifth nationally, came out swinging early. Oklahoma State had eight wrestlers in the national rankings, and to put this Mountaineer loss in perspective, seven wrestled.
Starting at 125, Zeke Moisey the contest off against seventh-ranked Nick Piccininni and lost 4-0 in a match that consisted almost solely of riding time points and escapes. Immediately, the Mountaineers were working from a deficit.
In 133, Matthew Schmitt faced another ranked Cowboys opponent in Kaid Brock, who has ranked as high as third nationally. Brock scored early and won in a 6-1 decision to add to the Cowboys’ score.
Losses also came at 141, 149, and 157, as Oklahoma State dominated the middle classes in easy succession. At 141, Dean Heil of OSU, ranked third by Track Wrestling, won an 11-5 decision over Christian Monserrat. At 149, Boo Lewallen, ranked twelfth by WIN Magazine, won a 12-4 major decision against Kyler Rea. In 157, Jonce Blaylock won a major decision against Zach Moore, 13-5.
By the time the Mountaineers began the sixth match, the score had been bolstered to 17-0, and WVU was tasting a shutout until 165, when freshman Nick Kiussis stepped onto the mat. Kiussis won via fall in two minutes and four seconds to Dalton Moran, who had started instead of the Cowboys’ last ranked wrestler, Chandler Rogers. This was Kiussis’ fourth pin of the season, and it decreased the Mountaineers’ deficit to 17-6.
Following the brief spike in momentum, WVU lost the next four classes in straight decisions. A 9-4 decision in 174 from Cowboy Jacobe Smith, ranked tenth by The Open Mat, over Parker VonEgidy began the spiral. In 184, Cowboy Keegan Moore defeated Brenden McRill in a 3-1 decision that was tied at one escape each, going into overtime. In 197, the matchup that both Jake Smith, ranked twelfth by FloWrestling, and Preston Weigel had been waiting for since the Big 12 Championship last season, Weigel, ranked second by WIN Magazine, was down entering the second period. With a late takedown and a point for an escape, Weigel took back control and won by 5-2 decision.
To conclude the trip to Stillwater, Brandon Ngati lost in a 10-4 heavyweight decision to Derek White, ranked eighth by Amateur Wrestling News.
The Mountaineers will continue their Big 12 trip in Iowa. The match with the Cyclones will begin at 3 p.m. Statistics can be found on TrackWrestling.com.