The West Virginia wrestling team shrugged off back-to-back lopsided defeats at the hands No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Missouri by getting back in the win column on Sunday afternoon, claiming a 40-3 victory over Morgan State at Talmadge Hill Field House in Baltimore, Maryland.
West Virginia compiled four technical falls and two major decision wins to improve to 9-3 on the season, while increasing its record to 4-0 on the road. Four wrestlers also recorded shutout victories, as the team grabbed wins in nine of the 10 matches.
The Mountaineers are now victorious in all four matchups against Morgan State all-time. Sunday was the first time the two teams had met since a run of three consecutive years from 1974-76.
The squad also competed yet again without three of its normal starters — Jett Strickenberger (125 pounds), Caleb Dowling (157) and Brody Conley (174). Dowling has not wrestled since the Mountaineers’ dual meet victory over Fairmont State on Dec. 19. Conley has also been out of action since the Midlands Championship tournament on Dec. 29-30.
Strickenberger was slated to return to the lineup after being on a weight deficit plan and missing the last two dual meets, but did not appear on Sunday.
Instead, Jace Schafer filled in at 125 pounds and began the match with an 18-1 technical fall victory over Julian Dawson. After 133-pound reserve Garhett Dickenson fell to Morgan State’s Makhare Rogers 7-3, West Virginia ran off eight consecutive wins to close the meet.
Jordan Titus and Ty Watters posted back-to-back 15-0 technical fall wins at 141 and 149 pounds. Alex Hornfeck defeated Joshua Greenwood 4-0 at 157 and Peyton Hall was victorious with a 20-10 major decision win over Jake Marsh at 165.
Conley’s back-up at 174 pounds, Jack Blumer, then defeated Cortilius Vann via a 4-0 decision. Dennis Robin took down Kyle Grey with an 11-2 major decision at 184 and Austin Cooley followed with a 19-4 technical fall victory over Nathanic Kendricks Jr. at 197.
Mountaineers heavyweight Michael Wolfgram was awarded a forfeit victory to close the meet.
West Virginia will be back in action this coming weekend, when the Mountaineers will make a two-match road trip to No. 4 Iowa State on Friday night and No. 22 Northern Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
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