WVU tops CSU Bakersfield, Utah Valley

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Snapping a five-match losing streak, the West Virginia University wrestling team posted a 2-0 showing on Friday evening, at Lockhart Arena, in Orem, Utah.

The Mountaineers (4-11, 3-4 Big 12) picked up a 21-16 victory over CSU Bakersfield (4-7, 0-0 Pac-12) and claimed a 26-13 win over Big 12 foe Utah Valley (9-8, 0-2 Big 12). Of note, UVU is receiving votes in this week's USA Today/NWCA Coaches' Top-25 Poll, and WVU has already faced nine teams ranked inside the top 25 this season. The Mountaineers upset then-No. 20 North Dakota State earlier this year for their first win over a top-25 program.

"Our first match was ugly, but we got the win," said first-year coach Tim Flynn. "I thought we put forth good effort in our second match against Utah Valley. It was a great team win, and hopefully, we can carry that momentum into Sunday's match against Wyoming."

Redshirt freshman Joey Thomas (125), redshirt senior Christian Monserrat (149), redshirt junior Zachary Moore (157), sophomore Nick Kiussis (165) and redshirt freshman Noah Adams (197) each posted a 2-0 record on the evening. Kiussis has won nine of his last 10 duals for a team-leading 18 wins on the year, while Monserrat leads the team with 13 wins in dual action.

Thomas put the Mountaineers on the board first, picking up a 13-7 decision over Eddie Flores of CSU Bakersfield at 125 pounds. West Virginia then suffered back-to-back losses at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, as CSU Bakersfield took a 6-3 lead in the match. Monserrat, who checks in at No. 16 in Intermat's Top-20 Poll, got the Mountaineers back on track, as he topped Russell Rohlfing, who is ranked at No. 16 by The Open Mat, in a 6-1 decision at 149 pounds. Moore followed suit with an 11-6 decision over Wyatt Gerl at 157, as the Mountaineers reestablished their lead at 9-6 with five bouts remaining.

Kiussis, who sits at No. 19 in Intermat's Top-20 Poll, added six more points to the Mountaineers' total with a first-period pin at 165 pounds. However, the Roadrunners capitalized on a pair of bonus-point victories at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively, to take a slim 16-15 match advantage. Adams struck back with a 9-2 decision over Mark Penyacsek at 197, as the Mountaineers regained the lead, 18-16, with one bout remaining. Junior Brandon Ngati stepped up for the Mountaineers once again, as he grinded out a hard-fought 2-1 decision in the heavyweight bout to capture the 21-16 team victory over CSU Bakersfield.

Thomas also started the Mountaineers off with a win at 125 against Utah Valley. Thomas captured his fifth major decision of the year and seventh bonus-point victory of the season with a 13-5 win over Josh Jensen. Redshirt sophomore Matthew Schmitt, who is ranked at No. 15 by Intermat, followed in Thomas' footsteps, as he bounced back in his second match of the day to claim a 14-0 major decision over Dylan Gregerson at 133 pounds. West Virginia continued to roll, picking up wins by decision at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively, before Moore pinned Landon Knutzen in 37 seconds at 157 to increase the Mountaineers' lead to 20-0 at the break.

Kiussis used a takedown with 13 seconds left in his match against Koy Wilkinson to claim a 4-2 decision at 165. However, the Wolverines capitalized on a pair of bonus-point victories at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively, to cut their deficit to 13 at 23-10. Adams struck back with a 9-4 decision over Ashton Seely at 197, pushing the Mountaineers' lead to 26-10 with one bout remaining. Utah Valley capped the match with a 4-2 decision in the heavyweight bout, but it wasn't enough, as the Mountaineers walked away with the 26-13 team victory.

Looking ahead, WVU will close out the month of January with a Big 12 match at Wyoming on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. ET. Wyoming holds a 1-0 all-time series advantage, though the squads have not faced each other head-to-head since 2009.

West Virginia 21, CSU Bakersfield 16
125: Joey Thomas (WVU) dec. Eddie Flores (CSUB), 13-7
133: No. -/-/20 Sean Nickell (CSUB) dec. No. 14/16/15 Matthew Schmitt (WVU), 2-1
141: Carlos Herrera (CSUB) dec. Caleb Rea (WVU), 17-12
149: No. 20/-/16 Christian Monserrat (WVU) dec. No. 16/18/- Russell Rohlfing (CSUB), 6-1
157: Zachary Moore (WVU) dec. Wyatt Gerl (CSUB), 11-6
165: No. 19/19/19 Nick Kiussis (WVU) wins by fall Jacob Thalin (CSUB), F 3:38
174: Bryan Battisto (CSUB) major dec. James Wujek (WVU), 13-4
184: Dominic Ducharme (CSUB) wins by fall Jackson Moomau (WVU), F 1:24
197: Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Mark Penyacsek (CSUB), 9-2
HWT: Brandon Ngati (WVU) dec. Jarrod Snyder (CSUB), 2-1

West Virginia 26, Utah Valley 13
125: Joey Thomas (WVU) major dec. Josh Jensen (UVU), 13-5
133: No. 14/16/15 Matthew Schmitt (WVU) major dec. Dylan Gregerson (UVU), 14-0
141: Luke Martin (WVU) dec. Isaiah Delgado (UVU), 14-7
149: No. 20/-/16 Christian Monserrat (WVU) dec. Cameron Haddock (UVU), 10-5
157: Zachary Moore (WVU) wins by fall Landon Knutzen (UVU), F 0:37
165: No. 19/19/19 Nick Kiussis (WVU) dec. Koy Wilkinson (UVU), 4-2
174: No. 14/13/13 Kimball Bastian (UVU) major dec. James Wujek (WVU), 12-2
184: Will Sumner (UVU) wins by fall Jackson Moomau (WVU), F 1:26
197: Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Ashton Seely (UVU), 9-4
HWT: No. 12/16/12 Tate Orndorff (UVU) dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 4-2


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