MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVU wrestling team was able to kick off its 2023-24 dual meet season by turning in three strong performances in the Mountaineer Quad on Sunday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers claimed three lopsided victories, defeating Kent State 44-3, Cleveland State 33-9 and Duke 40-6 to sweep the Mountaineer Quad for the second consecutive year. West Virginia increased its winning streak over Kent State to four matches while taking down Duke in the first ever meeting between the two teams.
CUE COUNTRY ROADS!
285 | R-Sr. Michael Wolfgram seals the match with 21-6 tech fall over Connor Barket (Duke) to help the Mountaineers go 3-0 on the day!
— WVU Wrestling (@WVUWrestling) November 12, 2023
Six different Mountaineers posted 3-0 records on the day as WVU wrestling compiled six pins, nine technical falls and six major decisions over the three matches. In total, the Mountaineers were victorious in 25 of the 30 matches.
“I was happy with the way we were going out and scoring points,” West Virginia head coach Tim Flynn said. “If you can throw it on someone, throw it on them. We definitely did a good job of that.”
Sunday also marked the dual meet debuts of junior transfer Jett Strickenberger (125 pounds) and true freshman Ty Watters (149). Both were victorious in all three of their matchups. Strickenberger recorded a technical fall, a major decision and a pin. Watters pinned all three of his opponents, with the longest going just 38 seconds into the second period.
Strickenberger began the Mountaineers’ first match against Kent State with a 20-4 technical fall victory over Nico Calello at 125 pounds. After Davin Rhoads fell via a 6-2 decision at 133, West Virginia rattled off eight wins in a row to close the match.
Watters and Brody Conley (174) each recorded pinfall victories, while Jordan Titus, Caleb Dowling, Dennis Robin and Michael Wolfgram each also won by technical fall. Peyton Hall grabbed a 15-5 major decision victory at 165.
The Mountaineers followed by again taking seven of the first eight matches against Cleveland State to build an insurmountable lead in the match. Unlike Kent State, the Cougars ended on a high note by claiming victories at 197 and 285 pounds.
Cleveland State’s Ben Smith earned a comeback 8-7 decision victory over Austin Cooley after grabbing five points in the final five seconds. Trailing 7-2, Smith recorded a takedown near the outside of the circle before receiving two back points as time expired to earn the win.
Daniel Bucknavich then defeated Michael Wolfgram by a 4-1 sudden victory decision at 285. Both wrestlers recorded an escape to force a 1-1 tie through regulation. Bucknavich tallied a takedown just over a minute into the sudden victory period.
The Mountaineers capped off the day by claiming nine of 10 matches against the Blue Devils. West Virginia built a 23-0 lead through five matches before Duke’s Gaetano Console scored an upset victory via pinfall over Mountaineers frontrunner Hall at 165 pounds for the Blue Devils’ lone points of the meet.
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