WVU Drops Big 12 Opener to Utah Valley

By Amy Salvatore
November 03, 2017

CLARION, Pa. Redshirt senior Parker VonEgidy downed a top-20 foe, as the West Virginia University wrestling team opened its 2017-18 season with a 24-9 loss to Utah Valley Friday evening. The neutral-site match was held at Clarion Area Senior High located in Clarion, Pennsylvania, with both squads going head-to-head for the first time in program history.

Wolverine Taylor LaMont earned the fall in overtime over returning All-American Zeke Moisey at 125 to start with a 6-0 lead. At 133, Matthew Schmitt scored an early takedown on UVU's Durbin Lloren for the 2-0 advantage. Lloren then selected to start the second frame in the defensive position, earning the escape to cut his deficit to one heading into the third. Schmitt did not back down, though, as he registered two more escapes in the final period for the 4-3 advantage.

Down 6-3, WVU then dropped back-to-back bouts before Zachary Moore earned a 4-3 decision over Utah Valley's Raider Lofthouse at 157 to bring the Mountaineers within six, 12-6.

Up next at 165 pounds, true freshman Nick Kiussis donned the Gold and Blue singlet for the first time in his young career, dropping a 10-8 thriller to UVU's Demetrius Romero. Kiussis notched two takedowns in the first for the 4-0 lead, but Romero bounced back in the final period, scoring back-to-back escapes and three straight takedowns for the 10-8 win.

VonEgidy cut the Mountaineers deficit to six once again, as he earned a 6-2 decision over No. 18 Kimball Bastian at 174. A first-period takedown gave VonEgidy the 2-1 lead before Bastian notched a late escape in the second to make it 2-2 through five minutes of action. VonEgidy then added an escape and another takedown in the third to close out the match, taking the point for riding time at the end for the 6-2 victory.

The Mountaineers entered the final three bouts down 15-9, as freshmen Brenden McRill and Hunter DeLong earned their first collegiate start at 184 and 197, respectively. McRill dropped a 6-5 decision to UVU's Gary Jentzer, while DeLong suffered a 7-1 loss to UVU's No. 21 Tanner Orndorff to push the Wolverines ahead 18-9.

Sophomore Brandon Ngati collected a pair of escapes in the final match of the evening, but it wasn't enough, as UVU's No. 16 Dustin Dennison notched the Wolverines' final three points in the heavyweight bout to cap the evening.

Of note, Friday's match marked the first-ever meeting between the two squads. Utah Valley previously competed in the Western Wrestling Conference, but joined five other schools as affiliate members of the Big 12 during the 2015-16 academic year.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers will compete in the Clarion Open on Sunday, Nov. 5. Live action is set to begin at 8 a.m., as wrestlers from Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Kent State, Lock Haven, Utah Valley and West Virginia are all expected to take part in the open tournament. The event will be streamed live on FloWrestling (for free).

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUWrestling on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Utah Valley 24, West Virginia 9

125: Taylor LaMont (UVU) fall No. 7/8/8* Zeke Moisey (WVU), 6-4 (7:26 SV-1)
133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) dec. Durbin Lloren (UVU), 4-3
141: Jarod Maynes (UVU) dec. Joe Wheeling (WVU), 7-4
149: Grant LaMont (UVU) dec. Kyler Rea (WVU), 3-1
157: Zachary Moore (WVU) dec. Raider Lofthouse (UVU), 4-3
165: Demetrius Romero (UVU) dec. Nick Kiussis (WVU), 10-8
174: Parker VonEgidy (WVU) dec. No. 18* Kimball Bastian (UVU), 6-2
184: Gary Jantzer (UVU) dec. Brenden McRill (WVU), 6-5
197: No. 21 Tanner Orndorff* (UVU) dec. Hunter DeLong (WVU), 7-1
HWT: No. 16 Dustin Dennison* (UVU) dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 4-2

*Moisey's rankings are FloWrestling/Intermat/The Open Mat
*Bastian's ranking is from FloWrestling, while Orndorff and Dennison's are from TrackWrestling


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