West Virginia Caps Big 12 Road Trip with a Win

By Amy Salvatore
February 03, 2018

GREELEY, Colo. Redshirt freshman Kyler Rea earned his first pin of the season at 149 pounds, as the West Virginia University wrestling team completed its five-day road trip with a 24-16 win over Northern Colorado Saturday evening, at the Bank of Colorado Arena, in Greeley, Colorado.

The Mountaineers collected their second straight Big 12 road win on Saturday, moving to 4-3 in league action and 5-5 overall. With the win, West Virginia holds a 2-0 lead in the all-time series. The Mountaineers previously rolled to a 35-4 victory over the Bears (2-8, 1-4 Big 12) at the Hoosier Duals in Bloomington, Indiana, in its first-ever meeting five years ago.

"I feel great," said fourth-year coach Sammie Henson. "It was our second straight road win in the Big 12. It's also the most Big 12 wins we have ever had as a program. I've said this before, I'm proud of the way everyone came together tonight. On the bench, we were together as a team. When something happens and it doesn't go our way, we all hurt. We're coming home with two Big 12 victories, and I can't wait to go out in front of our home crowd next Sunday."

In the fourth match of the evening, Rea pushed the Mountaineers lead to double digits at 15-3, pinning UNC's Jimmy Fate in 1 minute, 32 seconds at 149 pounds. The victory also marked the Neosho, Missouri, native's first-ever Big 12 victory of his career.

"He's been on a slump," Henson said. "We just told him to wrestle like he was eight years old again. We told him to have fun. He committed to the takedown and good things happened. He stuck with it."

Redshirt junior Zeke Moisey started things off for the Mountaineers once again, earning his third tech. fall of the season over Sean Cannon at 125 pounds a team-best mark. Moisey, who is ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation by The Open Mat, owns a 7-2 mark in the Big 12 thus far and has now won six of his last seven duals. Overall, Moisey sports an 18-7 record on the year.

With West Virginia holding a 5-0 match lead, redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt dropped an 8-5 decision to Rico Montoya in the 133-pound bout.

Despite the loss at 133, junior Christian Monserrat tacked on four more match points for the Mountaineers with a 9-1 major decision over Ben Polkowske at 141 pounds. Monserrat notched a takedown and two nearfall points in the first for the 4-0 lead into the second stanza. He then chose to start in the defensive position, using a reversal to go up 6-0 on Polkowske at the end of the frame. It didn't take long for Monserrat to find a takedown in the third, giving him the major and the Mountaineers a 9-3 lead in team scoring.

Rea's pin at 149 pounds put West Virginia at a 12-point advantage on the scoreboard. Northern Colorado continued to fight, though, collecting a 16-6 major decision at 157 pounds to come within eight at the break.

Following a 10-minute intermission, the Bears used a pin of their own at 165 pounds to make it a two-point match at 15-13. However, the Mountaineers collected three straight decisions at 174, 184 and 197 pounds, respectively, to secure the team victory heading into the final bout of the evening.

Freshman Brenden McRill had a huge victory at 184 pounds, topping Dylan Gabel, who is ranked as high as No. 18 via The Open Mat, in a 3-1 decision. McRill started on bottom following a scoreless first period and used an escape for the 1-0 lead heading into the final period. Gabel also notched an escape in the third, but it was McRill that landed the takedown in the final minutes for his first victory over a ranked opponent this season.

Sophomore Brandon Ngati capped the night for the Mountaineers, as he dropped a hard-fought 3-1 decision in sudden victory to Robert Winters.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers return home for a match against South Dakota State on Sunday, Feb. 11. West Virginia will host its annual Cradles for Cancer event against the Jack Rabbits for the second straight year. The match was started by Henson in 2015 in honor of his wife, Stephanie, a breast cancer survivor, as a way to raise awareness for cancer.

WVU Medicine will be sponsoring the match and collecting donations to the WVU Cancer Institute. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match and can get the WVU sports official "pink" t-shirt with a donation of $10 or more to WVU Medicine.

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

West Virginia 24, Northern Colorado 16
125: No. 16/15/13 Zeke Moisey (WVU) tech. fall Sean Cannon (UNC), 15-0 [TF-7:00]
133: Rico Montoya (UNC) dec. Matthew Schmitt (WVU), 8-5
141: Christian Monserrat (WVU) major dec. Ben Polkowske (UNC), 9-1
149: Kyler Rea (WVU) wins by fall Jimmy Fate (UNC), F 1:32
157: Tyler Kinn (UNC) major dec. Hunter Jones (WVU), 16-6
165: No. -/17/20 Keilan Torres (UNC) wins by fall Nick Kiussis (WVU), F 2:58
174: Parker VonEgidy (WVU) dec. Seth Bogulski (UNC), 6-4
184: Brenden McRill (WVU) dec. No. 19/-/18 Dylan Gabel (UNC), 3-1
197: No. -/18/- Jacob A. Smith (WVU) dec. Tanner Davis (UNC), 3-1
285: Robert Winters (UNC) dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 3-1 [SV-1]

*Rankings are listed as followed: FloWrestling/Intermat/The Open Mat*

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