The No. 21 WVU wrestling team officially kicked off its 2021 campaign Sunday with the WVU Quad, a four-team dual meet featuring Kent State and Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference and No. 8 Virginia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Mountaineers went 2-1 on the day with a 22-9 win over Kent in their opening match, a 36-3 demolishing of Ohio in their second match, before dropping their final bout of the day – a 24-10 decision to No. 8 Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers are now 2-1, 0-0 Big 12 on the year.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” West Virginia head coach Tim Flynn said of his team’s season-opening performance. “The first match [against Kent] I thought we were flat. We are a lot better (than that), we just looked flat. The second match [against Ohio] I thought we looked a lot better. In the third match [against Virginia Tech], we ran into a team that is, quite frankly a bit better than we are right now.”
After Kent’s Jake Ferri was able to earn an 4-3 upset victory over redshirt junior No. 12 Killian Cardinale in the first match of the day, WVU responded with wins in the next five matches to create an insurmountable lead, one that WVU would never relinquish.
Over those next five decisions, all of which saw WVU came out on top, two Mountaineers, both top-50 recruits in last years recruiting class, looked strong in their NCAA wrestling debuts. At 149 pounds Brayden Roberts delivered a narrow 4-3 decision for his first career win in a gold and blue singlet.
149 | Roberts earns a 4-3 victory over Komara in his collegiate debut, pushing WVU’s lead to six!
— WVU Wrestling (@WVUWrestling) January 10, 2021
Two bouts later, fellow true freshman Peyton Hall, a Chester, West Virginia native, recorded a dominant 9-3 decision in his own collegiate debut to further extend the Mountaineers’ lead.
165 | Hall dons a Gold and Blue singlet for the first time in his career, picking up a 9-3 decision over Limongi!
— WVU Wrestling (@WVUWrestling) January 10, 2021
Kent State got back in the win column with back-to-back wins in the upper-weights. First the Golden Flashes recorded an 8-3 victory at 174 pounds over WVU sophomore Scott Joll. Then, the MAC school followed up the 174-pound W with a gutsy sudden-victory decision at 184, winning 6-4. Kent’s Tyler Bates secured a last-second takedown in overtime to earn the third (and final) win of the meet for the Golden Flashes.
The Mountaineers responded well after the defeats at 174 and 184. Noah Adams, a Coal City, West Virginia native and the nation’s No. 1 wrestler at 197 pounds, delivered a dominant 11-5 decision in his opening match of the season.
Heavyweight Michael Wolfgram put on quite the offensive showcase in the bout’s final match, scoring in double-digits during his 12-6 decision. The win gave WVU a 22-9 dual meet win, their first of 2021.
Also of note, sophomore Alex Hornfeck delivered the most complete individual performance for the home team, winning by a commanding 11-1 decision (with more than five minutes of riding time). The victory was the lone major decision for West Virginia during match one.
Results: No. WVU 36, Kent 9:
- 125 | Jake Ferri (Kent) dec. Killian Cadinale (WVU), 4-3 (Kent leads, 3-0)
- 133 | Joey Thomas dec. Pat Gould (Kent), 4-3 (Tied 3-3)
- 141 | Jeffrey Boyd (WVU) dec. Avry Mutcshler (Kent), 9-5 (WVU leads 6-3)
- 149 | Brayden Roberts (WVU) dec. Kody Kamara (Kent), 4-3 (WVU leads, 9-3)
- 157 | Alex Hornfeck (WVU) maj. dec. Ian Senz (Kent), 11-1 (WVU leads 13-3)
- 165 | Peyton Hall (WVU) dec. James Limongi (Kent), 9-3 (WVU leads, 16-3)
- 174 | Andrew McNally (Kent) dec. Scott Joll (WVU), 8-3 (WVU leads, 16-6)
- 184 | Tyler Bates (Kent) dec. Anthony Carman (WVU), 6-4, SV1 (WVU leads, 16-9)
- 197 | Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Colin McCracken (Lehigh), 11-5 (WVU leads, 19-9)
- HWT | Michael Wolfgram (WVU) dec. Jacob Cover (Kent), 12-6 (WVU wins, 22-9)
The second match of the day got off to a fast albeit anti-climactic start for the Mountaineers in the team race as Ohio had to forfeit to WVU’s Cardinale for a quick 6-0 team lead after one bout.
Ohio’s Mario Guillen cut into the six-point deficit for the Bobcats with a dominant 8-3 decision over WVU’s Joey Thomas, who fell to 1-1 on the day.
With the team score currently sitting at 6-3 in favor of WVU, the Mountaineers strung together a four-match winning-steak at 141, 149, 157, and 165 pounds.
A strong 4-0 win for true freshman and Parkersburg, WV native, Brayden Roberts allowed the Mountaineer grappler to improve to 2-0 on the day.
At 157 pounds, Hornfeck picked up exactly where he left off against Kent. With a 10-4 decision over Ohio’s Kamal Adewumi, Hornfeck improves to 2-0 on the day. He scored a total of 21 points in his first two matches.
Following Hornfeck’s lead, teammate Hall got the second win of his WVU career in as many matches at 165 pounds. This time the freshman recorded an impressive 9-0 decision over a talented Colt Yinger. The win included more than two minutes of riding time accrued for Hall.
At 174, Joll removed the shoulder brace he wore for his first match, and it proved beneficial. Joll improved to 1-1 with a decisive 11-2 win against Ohio’s Logan Stanley.
Stanley was just one of two Bobcats to earn an individual win in their 39-6 thrashing against the Hokies earlier today. The other individual win for Ohio was Carson Brewer (184).
In the 184-pound match, Jackson Moomau got his first action of the season against Ohio’s Brewer. Moomau, filling in for redshirt freshman Anthony Carman, handed Brewer his first loss of the day, a close 3-1 match were Moomau secured a takedown in sudden victory to widen the WVU lead.
At 197, Ohio was forced to hand No. 1 Noah Adams a forfeit. For Ohio, this is their second forfeit of the bout, a result of COVID-19 issues in the Bobcats’ wrestling room.
Wolfgram added the cherry on top of the “Sunday” with a major decision victory. Wolfgram looked strong in his second match of the day, a 13-4 decision. In both matches today, the redshirt freshman out of York, Pa. put up more than nine points – a rarity for heavyweight wrestlers.
The WVU win avenges a 20-13 defeat from last year wrestled at Parkersburg High School . Despite the Mountaineer lost in 2019-20, WVU holds a (36-19-1) all-time record against the Bobcats after Sunday’s win in favor of the Big-12 team.
Results: WVU 36, Ohio 3
- 125 | Killian Cardinale (WVU) forfeit victory, (WVU leads, 6-0)
- 133 | Mario Guillen (Ohio) dec. Joey Thomas (WVU), 8-3 (WVU leads 6-3)
- 141 | Jeffrey Boyd (WVU) dec. Conor McCrone (Ohio), 8-3(WVU leads 9-3)
- 149 | Brayden Roberts (WVU) dec. Alex Mosconi (Ohio), 4-0 (WVU leads, 12-3)
- 157 | Alex Hornfeck (WVU) dec. Kamal Adewumi (Ohio), 10-4 (WVU leads 15-3)
- 165 | Peyton Hall (WVU) dec. Colt Yinger (Kent), 9-0 (WVU leads, 19-3)
- 174 | Scott Joll (WVU) maj. dec. Logan Stanley (Ohio), 11-2 (WVU leads, 23-3)
- 184 | Jackson Moomau dec. Carson Brewer (WVU), 3-1, SV1 (WVU leads, 26-3)
- 197 | Noah Adams (WVU) forfeit victory, (WVU leads, 32-3)
- HWT | Michael Wolfgram (WVU) maj. dec. Jordan Earnest (Ohio), 13-4 (WVU wins, 36-3)
The third and final bout of the day for the Mountaineers (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) was against the No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies who are (4-0, 0-0 ACC) on the season, including (2-0) here at the WVU Quad.
The final bout featured a combined eight ranked grapplers – two of them wearing Blue and Gold in Cardinale and Adams. The Hokies however boast six ranked wrestlers in Sam Latona, Korbin Meyers, Bryce Andonian, former NCAA champ Mekhi Lewis, Hunter Bolen, and John Borst.
The lone team top-25 matchup of the day did not favor the home team in the end. WVU fell to the Hokies 24-10 in their first dual meet loss of the season. The Hokies were able to take seven of the 10 bouts, including five in a row to begin the match.
The Hokies came out firing on all cylinders, handing the Mountaineers, Roberts and Hornfeck their first losses of both the day and the season. Over that five-match span, Virginia Tech jumped out to a 16-0 lead.
WVU got off the snide during the 165-pound bout as WVU freshman Hall produced a 13-4 major decision over Tech’s Jordan Florence – who was filling in for Tech’s 2019 NCAA Champion and current No. 1 Mekhi Lewis.
With the win, Hall remains perfect on the day, winning his first three collegiate bouts by a combined total of 31-7 to become the first WVU grappler to go reach (3-0) on the year.
“He’s an energy ball,” Flynn said of his freshman 165-pounder. “The kid from Ohio (Colt Yinger) was ranked, so that’s a really, really solid win. We are pretty pleased with (his first meet).”
Three bouts later, the nation’s No. 1 at 197 pounds, Adams, added his third win of the day (including his forfeit win in the dual against Ohio). Adams’ day ended with a 7-4 decision over Andy Smith of Tech. With the win, Adams extends his individual win streak to 35 matches, which dates back to last season.
Hokies’ backup Hunter Catka earned a win in the final match of the evening to bring the WVU Quad to a close.
Tech is the only team to go undefeated at (3-0) today and (4-0) on the season. Both WVU and Kent ended today’s action at (2-1). Ohio finished the day at (0-3). Both MAC member schools have dealt with COVID-19 issues within their respective programs.
“I like where we are at. I think we can get a lot better, so It was a good start,” Flynn said postgame when asked to evaluate the Mountaineers’ day.
In addition two their two undefeated wrestlers, redshirt sophomore Hornfeck (157), sophomore Joll (174) and redshirt freshmen Boyd (141) and Wolfgram (HWT) each tallied a 2-1 record to start the year.
Several Mountaineers also participated in extra matches throughout the day, including true freshmen Colton Drousias (125), Caleb Dowling (157), Jace Bradbury (197) and Pitt transfer Ryan Sullivan (141).
2 up 1 down. Getting better for sure. Where we wanna be- no way!
— Timothy J. Flynn (@TFlynn134) January 11, 2021
Results: No. 8 Virginia Tech 24, No. 21 WVU 14
- 125 | Sam Latona (VT) dec. Killian Cadinale (WVU), 3-2 (VT leads, 3-0)
- 133 | Korbin Meyers (VT) dec. Joey Thomas (WVU), 8-2 (VT leads 6-0)
- 141 | Sam Hillegas VT) dec. Jeffrey Boyd (WVU), 7-4 (VT leads 9-0)
- 149 | Bryce Andonian (VT) maj. dec. Brayden Roberts (WVU), 11-3 (VT leads, 13-0)
- 157 | Connor Brady (VT) dec. Alex Hornfeck (WVU), 8-2 (VT leads 16-0)
- 165 | Peyton Hall (WVU) maj. dec. Jordan Florence (TV), 13-4 (VT leads, 16-4)
- 174 | Scott Joll (WVU) dec. Dakota Howard (VT), 13-8 (VT leads, 16-7)
- 184 | Hunter Bolen (VT) maj. dec. Anthony Carman (WVU), 18-6, (VT leads, 20-7)
- 197 | Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Andy Smith (VT), 7-4 (VT leads, 20-10)
- HWT | Hunter Catka (VT) maj. dec. Michael Wolfgram (WVU), 17-3 (VT wins, 24-10)
Additional Dual Results:
No. 8 Virginia Tech 39, Ohio 6
125: No. 18 Sam Latona wins via forfeit
133: No. 9 Korbin Myers (VT) dec. Mario Guillen (OHIO), 7-2
141: Collin Gerardi (VT) WBF Conor McCrone (OHIO), 5:37
149: No. 13 Bryce Andonian (VT) WBF Alex Mosconi (OHIO), 1:36
157: Clayton Ulrey (VT) TF Kamal Adewumi (OHIO), 18-2 (5:00)
165: No. 1 Mekhi Lewis (VT) MD Colt Yinger (OHIO), 12-2
174: Logan Stanley (OHIO) dec. Sam Fisher (VT), 8-5
184: Carson Brewer (OHIO) dec. Nathan Warden (VT), 4-3
197: Andy Smith (VT) wins via forfeit
285: Hunter Catka (VT) dec. Jordan Earnest (OHIO), 10-4
No. 8 Virginia Tech 32, Kent St. 9
125: No. 18 Sam Latona (VT) MD Jake Ferri (KENT), 10-2
133: Brendon Fenton (KENT) dec. Brandon Wittenberg (VT), 5-2
141: Sam Hillegas (VT) WBF Avry Mutschler (KENT), 1:49
149: Kody Komara (KENT) dec. Jake Hart (VT), 3-2
157: Connor Brady (VT) MD Ian Senz (KENT), 14-1
165: No. 1 Mekhi Lewis (VT) TF James Limongi (KENT), 17-2 (6:47)
174: No. 13 Andrew McNally (KENT) dec. Dakota Howard (VT), 13-8
184: No. 2 Hunter Bolen (VT) TF Tyler Bates (KENT), 17-2 (5:00)
197: Andy Smith (VT) dec. Colin McCracken (KENT), 6-4 (SV-1)
285: No. 16 John Borst (VT) TF Jacob Cover (KENT), 15-0 (7:00)
Ohio vs. Kent St.
No team score was kept during this match.
197: Stan Smeltzer (VT) WBF Jace Bradbury (WVU), 4:19
285: John Borst (VT) TF Jacob Padilla (OHIO), 17-0 (3:51)
125: Joey Prata (VT) MD Colton Drousias (WVU), 12-0
141: Collin Gerardi (VT) dec. Ryan Sullivan (WVU), 5-1
157: Clayton Ulrey (VT) dec. Caleb Dowling (WVU), 7-4
125: Joey Prata (VT) dec. Tomas Gutierrez (KENT), 6-1
197: Stan Smeltzer (VT) TF Ryan Boyle (KENT), 19-4 (7:00)
The Mountaineers will be back in action Sunday, Jan. 17 for second straight home dual at WVU Coliseum. The tri-meet will include matches with Bucknell (2 p.m.) and Big 12 foe No. 19 Oklahoma (5 p.m.). WVU’s second match will be their first against a conference opponent this season.