Wrestlers roll to lopsided wins over W.Va. Tech, Southern Va.
December 9, 2017 | Beckley, W.Va.
Liberty University's men's wrestling team used dominant performances from its upperweights to sweep West Virginia Tech 39-11 and Southern Virginia 38-12 in a tri-match on Saturday in Beckley, W.Va.
"The was the beginning of our dual-meet season so it was a good way to start," Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro said of the dominating performances over the Golden Bears and Knights. "We knew going in they weren't going to be our toughest competition, but (West Virginia Tech is) an NAIA school and offers scholarships, so we knew they would be competitive, and wrestling an NCAA Division III school (Southern Virginia) is always good."
Liberty won its last five weight classes in each match, from junior heavyweight Dominick Johnson and senior 197-pounder Taylor Westlake all the way down to 165-pound sophomore Joe Scott, a transfer from NCAA Division III Washington & Lee who pinned WVT's Caleb Barley in 1 minute, 55 seconds, and SVU's Matthew Rohrdanz in 3:25.
"They're solid and wrestled well for us," Castro said of Johnson and Westlake, two of his three team captains. "(Scott) was pretty impressive, too. He's added good experience coming in."
At 174 pounds, the Flames platooned sophomores Sam Karel, who pinned Corey Palmer in 2:50, and Luke Ely, who decisioned Keaton Gomez, 8-6.
Similarly, at 184, Castro rotated senior Josh McIlhenny, who pinned the Golden Bears' Micah Ortiz in 1:47, and sophomore Cody Richmond, who decked the Knights' Gordon Whitaker in 4:46.
"Both of them stepped up to the plate and did a good job," Castro said.
Liberty's coaching staff designated 149-pound sophomore Ashton Robinson the team's outstanding wrestler of the meet after he edged West Virginia Tech's Robert Pritt, 7-5, and pinned Southern Virginia's Blaine Phillips in 3:03.
"He really wrestled well, showed some good improvement and indication that he's implementing some of the things that we've been working on," Castro said. "He was wrestling well on his feet and developing his game on top as well and turned both of his opponents for back points. He's developing and making good gains."
The Flames have three weeks to prepare for their annual trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where they will compete in the Dec. 29-30 Citrus Classic, an open invitational, before returning to a dual meet format at the Jan. 12-13 Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va.
Liberty 39, West Virginia Tech 11
125 — Paul Gonzales (WVT) p. Keegan Smith, 3:34
133 — Blake Justis (L) d. Tristan Bean, 9-8
141 — Reid Stewart (L) d. Devin Wilhelm, 2-0
149 — Ashton Robinson (L) d. Robert Pritt, 7-5
157 — Leeland Swafford (WVT) by Forfeit
165 — Joe Scott (L) p. Caleb Barley, 1:55
174 — Sam Karel (L) p. Corey Palmer, 2:50
184 — Josh McIlhenny (L) p. Micah Ortiz, 1:47
197—Taylor Westlake (L), by forfeit
HWT — Dominick Johnson (L) p. Noah Julian, 2:56
Records: Liberty 1-0, West Virginia Tech 2-3
Liberty 38, Southern Virginia 12
125 — Keegan Smith (L) m.d. Aaron Freidhof, 16-6
133 — Jayson Cody (SV) p. Blake Justis, 1:31
141 — Reid Stewart (L), by forfeit
149 — Ashton Robinson (L) p. Blaine Phillips, 3:03
157 — Zachary Davidson (SV) by forfeit
165 — Joe Scott (L) p. Matthew Rohrdanz, 3:25
174 — Luke Ely (L) d. Keaton Gomez, 8-6
184 — Cody Richmond (L) p. Gordan Whitaker, 4:46
197 — Taylor Westlake (L) m.d. Quigley Whitaker, 10-0
HWT — Dominick Johnson (L) d. Alex Brunner, 4-1
Records: Liberty 2-0, Southern Virginia 3-3