MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Three members of the West Virginia University wrestling team earned a win over a ranked opponent as the Mountaineers knocked off Wyoming, 17-16, at University High School in Morgantown on Saturday.
Freshman Scott Joll, redshirt freshman Alex Hornfeck and redshirt sophomore Noah Adams each scored an individual victory over a ranked opponent in the match. Hornfeck and sophomore Caleb Rea registered a major decision against the Cowboys, while Adams, Joll and redshirt sophomore Joey Thomas earned a decision to help WVU to the win.
The victory marks the first conference win of the 2019-20 campaign for the Mountaineers and the first win over Wyoming in program history.
"The guys wrestled well today, I'm really proud of how hard they fought," WVU coach Tim Flynn said. "We're starting to wrestle a little bit better and it's a great time of the year to do that."
Thomas gave WVU (4-11, 1-6) a 3-0 lead after he battled to a 3-2 decision over Jacob Svihel. Thomas, a native of Mount Airy, Maryland, used a first-period takedown and an escape in the third period to earn the win. He moved to 14-14 this season as a result.
The Cowboys (8-10, 4-4 Big 12) took a 4-3 lead after Lucas Seibert surrendered a 16-3 major decision to No. 9 Montorie Bridges.
The back-and-forth continued as Rea gave WVU its own major decision with an 11-1 victory over Wyoming's Trevor Jefferies at 141. Rea registered a pair of takedowns and two near-falls in the match while allowing just one escape in the win.
Wyoming then tied the match at seven as freshman Liam Lusher dropped a decision to Jaron Jensen at 149.
At 157, Hornfeck would retake the lead for the Mountaineers recording a 9-1 major decision over No. 33 Dewey Krueger. The Mars, Pennsylvania, native controlled the match throughout as he tallied three takedowns, an escape and a penalty point while allowing just one escape from Krueger. He also gained 2:28 of riding time to earn the riding time point and the major decision.
The win improved Hornfeck's winning streak to three matches and moved him to 15-13 this season and 4-3 in conferences matches.
The relentless Cowboys once again responded with a win of their own, this time at 165, as junior Nick Kiussis suffered a tough, 7-5, decision to Wyoming's Cole Moody to cut the lead to 11-10.
At 174, Joll fought to earn the best win of his young career as he registered a 9-7 decision over No. 12 Hayden Hastings. Joll jumped out to an early lead with a first-period takedown and a second-period escape. Joll nearly lost the match in the second period as Hastings put him on his back and earned a two-point near-fall followed by a four-point near-fall to take a 6-3 lead heading into the third period.
Hastings then chose to start the third period from the bottom and earned a quick escape to extend his lead to 7-3. With time running out in the match, Joll secured a takedown and put Hastings on his back to register four nearfall points and give him the victory. The win marks Joll's first career win over a ranked opponent and his second victory in Big 12 duals.
Wyoming trimmed the lead to 14-13 after sophomore Jackson Moomau dropped an 8-4 decision to No. 31 Tate Samuelson at 184.
Adams, who is ranked No. 2 nationally in the NCAA Coaches Poll, gave WVU its eventual match-clinching victory when he battled to a hard-fought 9-8 win over No. 24 Stephen Buchanan at 197.
Adams struck first in the match with a first period takedown, before allowing an escape to take a 2-1 lead into the second period. After electing to start the second from the bottom, Adams earned an escape, before Buchanan registered a takedown to tie the match at three. Buchanan was then assessed a one-point technical violation for locking his hands to give Adams a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
After Buchanan took a 7-6 lead with a pair of escapes and a takedown, Adams tied the match for the third time with an escape. With just 17 seconds remaining, Adams secured the match-winning takedown.
The win improved Adams to 28-0 in the campaign and marked his 10th win over a ranked opponent this season.
The Cowboys wrapped up the match with a 3-2 decision win at 285, but it was not enough as West Virginia earned a 17-16 victory.
WVU wrap up the regular season tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 23, with a match against Big 12-foe Utah Valley. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
WVU will host its fourth Beauty and the Beast event on Sunday, as the WVU wrestling and gymnastics teams compete at the same time inside the WVU Coliseum. The second-ever Mountaineer Fan Festival will be held prior to the start of competition, with the Coliseum Gold Gate opening at noon. A fan meet-and-greet on the Coliseum concourse will cap the day's events. Additionally, the first 500 Mountaineer Maniac students in attendance will receive free pizza and a giveaway item.
Sunday also features special appearances by Mr. Twister, the face-painting and balloon animal artist, and Musket, the Mountaineer Kids Club's mascot. MKC members can pick up their t-shirts on the day of the event. One ticket gains fans admittance into Mountaineer Fan Fest and the Beauty and the Beast competition. Tickets are on sale now at WVUGAME.com and also will be available for purchase at the WVU Coliseum Gold Gate Ticket Office.
125: Joey Thomas (WVU) dec. Jake Svihel (WYO), 3-2
133: No. 9 Montorie Bridges (WYO) MD Lucas Seibert (WVU), 16-3
141: Caleb Rea (WVU) MD Trevor Jefferies (WYO), 11-1
149: Jaron Jensen (WYO) dec. Liam Lusher (WVU) 7-4
157: Alex Hornfeck (WVU) MD No. 33 Dewey Krueger (WYO), 9-1
165: Cole Moody (WYO) dec. No. 27 Nick Kiussis (WVU), 7-5
174: Scott Joll (WVU) dec. No. 12 Hayden Hastings (WYO), 9-7
184: No. 31 Tate Samuelson (WYO) dec. Jackson Moomau (WVU), 8-4
197: No. 2 Noah Adams (WVU) dec. No. 24 Stephen Buchanan (WYO), 9-8
285: No. 20 Brian Andrews (WYO) dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 3-2