The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team moved to 2-0 in Southern Conference action with a 34-5 win over Gardner-Webb in McKenzie Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Mocs won seven of the nine matches contended and benefited from a GWU forfeit at 149 pounds.
Sophomore Tyler Shilson was first on the mat at 157 pounds. He gave up an early takedown to Taylor Parks, but responded with a takedown and backpoints in the second period to secure a 10-4 decision.
GWU got on the board with a decision at 165, and nearly closed the gap with another win at 174. Sophomore Hunter Fortner gave up two takedowns to Sam Mora in the first two periods and found himself trailing 4-2 midway through the second period at 174.
An escape and a second stalling call against Mora helped tie the score at 4-4 going into the third period. Mora escaped, but Fortner got the winning takedown to earn a 6-5 decision.
"I think we came out a little bit slow as a team," stated head coach Kyle Ruschell. "As the match got going I think our guys wrestled pretty tough. We got to our leg attacks and scored a lot of points."
After the 174 match, Gardner-Webb was penalized one team point for two warnings for questioning the official.
Sophomore Matthew Waddell, ranked No. 20 in the latest FloWrestling rankings at 184, put UTC up 18-2 with a third-period pin over Christian Salter. Waddell improved to 12-7 overall and 2-0 in league matches with that win.
Senior Rodney Jones followed with an 8-4 decision against Roderick Davis at 197. Sophomore Grayson Walthall snapped a six-match slide with a tech fall over Gabriel Pickett at heavyweight. That put the Mocs up 26-2, clinching the team win. No. 20 Fabian Gutierrez added another tech fall at 125 for his 10th win of the season.
"The first thing I said to these guys was that we needed to start separating ourselves from competition," stated Ruschell. "That's what it's going to take to take these guys out of the match early, instead of letting them hang around. The guys did that for the most part."
Sophomore Colton Landers had a strong win over Trevon Majette in his first career start at 133. Majette is a recent transfer from Old Dominion who pinned defending SoCon Champion Codi Russell in the Runnin' Bulldogs dual against Appalachian State on Thursday.
After a scoreless opening period, Landers quickly escaped in the second and took the 1-0 lead into the third. He rode out Majette in the final two minutes, adding two backpoints late in the match. Couple this win with a 4-1 showing at the Southern Scuffle and Landers has improve his overall record to 6-3 on the year.
"Colton had a great win in his first start in a dual meet," added Ruschell. "He is pairing it up well with a good Scuffle. He's come into his own now."
Gardner-Webb won the 141 match to close out the day. UTC improves to 4-6 overall and 2-0 in SoCon action. The Runnin' Bulldogs dropped to 1-5 and 0-2 in league duals.
Up next for the Mocs is a Virginia road trip next weekend. The Mocs visit No. 23 Virginia on Friday, Jan. 17, before taking on VMI on Sunday, Jan. 19. Be sure to mark your calendars for the next home dual on Sunday, Feb. 2, against Appalachian State. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in McKenzie Arena and tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com.
149: No. 23 Tanner Smith (UTC) over (GWU) (For.)
157: Tyler Shilson (UTC) over Taylor Parks (GWU) (Dec 10-4)
165: Rodrick Mosley (GWU) over Drew Nicholson (UTC) (Dec 4-2)
174: Hunter Fortner (UTC) over Sam Mora (GWU) (Dec 6-5)
Gardner-Webb -1 for questioning official
184: No. 20 Matthew Waddell (UTC) over Christian Salter (GWU) (Fall 5:58)
197: Rodney Jones (UTC) over Roderick Davis (GWU) (Dec 8-4)
285: Grayson Walthall (UTC) over Gabriel Picket (GWU) (TF 15-0 5:27)
125: No. 20 Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) over Michael Pappaconstantinou (GWU) (TF 15-0 4:00)
133: Colton Landers (UTC) over Trevon Majette (GWU) (Dec 4-0)
141: Brandon Bright (GWU) over Aidan Murphy (UTC) (Dec 7-5)