Mountaineers Fall to No. 13 Cornhuskers

By Amy Salvatore

November 25, 2017

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The West Virginia University wrestling team suffered a 28-13 defeat at the hands of No. 13 Nebraska at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (0-2, 0-1 Big 12) picked up three decisions over the Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at 157, 174 and 125 pounds, respectively. Redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt, ranked No. 20 by The Open Mat, wrapped up the match at 133 pounds with a major decision over Nebraska's Brian Peska to move to 10-2 on the year.

"All we asked them to do was to come out and compete hard, and I think they did just that," said fourth-year coach Sammie Henson. "We didn't come up with the wins we needed, but we fought hard and wrestled hard. We did what we needed to do for ourselves, and we can walk away from today and build on that. If you have a hard performance and you give everything you have, what more can you ask for?"

Starting at 141 pounds, the Mountaineers were forced to forfeit the weight after junior Joe Wheeling suffered a minor injury prior to the match. No. 7/5/5 Colton McCrystal then claimed a 6-4 decision over redshirt freshman Kyler Rea at 157 pounds, giving the Huskers an early 9-0 lead over the Mountaineers.

Redshirt sophomore Zachary Moore cut the Mountaineers' deficit to six, claiming an 8-6 decision in sudden victory over Nebraska's Collin Purinton. Purinton used two takedowns in the first period for a 4-2 lead into the second. Starting on top, Moore scored two takedowns of his own to tie the bout at 6-6 entering the third. Following a scoreless third period, Moore then notched an early takedown in sudden victory for the 8-6 win.

After Moore's win by decision at 157, Nebraska's No. 11/11/12 Isaiah White won by major decision over sophomore Ryan Lopez, pushing the Cornhuskers lead to 13-3.

Freshman Nick Kiussis fought a tough battle at 165, defeating Nebraska's Eric Engler by decision. Kiussis added a first-period takedown, followed by two reversals in the final two frames for a 6-1 advantage. Kiussis then added a point for riding time in taking the 7-1 decision.

Down 13-6, the Mountaineers then dropped the next three bouts. Nebraska won by major decision at 184 and by tech. fall at 197. Nebraska's David Jensen also won by fall over sophomore Brandon Ngati (3:17) in the heavyweight bout.

West Virginia bounced back in the final two bouts, notching back-to-back wins at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively, but it wasn't enough, as Nebraska took home the 28-13 win in Morgantown.

Looking ahead, West Virginia will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the fourth straight year, as the Mountaineers set to compete in the 2017 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational held on Dec. 1-2. Both days of competition are slated to begin at 11 a.m. ET.

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No. 13 Nebraska 28, West Virginia 13
141: No. 6/7/6 Chad Red (NEB) wins by forfeit
149: No. 7/5/5 Colton McCrystal (NEB) dec. Kyler Rea (WVU), 6-4
157: Zachary Moore (WVU) dec. Collin Purinton (NEB), 8-6 [SV-1]
165: No. 11/11/12 Isaiah White (NEB) major dec. Ryan Lopez (WVU), 17-7
174: Nick Kiussis (WVU) dec. Eric Engler (NEB), 7-1
184: No. 19/-/17 Taylor Venz (NEB) major dec. Brenden McRill (WVU), 17-5
197: Eric Schultz (NEB) tech. fall Hunter DeLong (WVU), 22-5 [TF-5:36]
285: David Jensen (NEB) wins by fall Brandon Ngati (WVU), F 3:17
125: Devin Brown (WVU) dec. Mitchell Maginnis (NEB), 9-5
133: NO. -/-/20 Matthew Schmitt (WVU) major dec. Brian Peska (NEB), 10-2

Rankings are listed as follows: FloWrestling/Intermat/The Open Mat

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