MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Trailing 19-17 entering the final match and fourth-ranked heavyweight Tate Orndorff sitting out the contest, freshman Chase Trussell delivered a 4-3 overtime win over 2019 NCAA qualifier Brandon Ngati to propel Utah Valley to a 20-19 Big 12 Conference win over West Virginia in the regular season finale on Sunday afternoon at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.
All tied at 2-2 after regulation and a scoreless sudden victory period, the tiebreaker periods were needed to determine a winner in the final match of the dual. After Ngati and Trussell both scored an escape point in the first set of tiebreakers, the contest then headed to the second sudden victory period. After another scoreless sudden victory period, Trussell then notched a decisive escape and managed to follow that up by riding the 30th-ranked Ngati out to earn the upset victory and help UVU seal the dual meet win.
Both Trussell and sophomore Ashton Seely (184 pounds) recorded clutch wins down the stretch to help the Wolverines (3-11, 2-7 Big 12) pull out the dual. Eleventh-ranked Taylor LaMont (133), Cameron Hunsaker (149) and No. 8 Kimball Bastian (174) also picked up wins on the day for UVU. LaMont and Hunsaker pulled out respective wins for UVU by technical fall and fall, as bonus points again proved to be the difference in the dual meet as UVU and WVU (4-12, 1-7 Big 12) split the dual at five wins apiece.
"This was a nice win for us. We had a number of big individual performances on the day and both Ashton and Chase's wins were huge," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "Ashton was behind for the majority of his match and came through with a late takedown and ride out. Then against a top-33 ranked guy, Chase stepped up for us and outsmarted his opponent in overtime to help win the dual for us.
"We also had some great wins from Taylor and Cameron, and I was pleased with both of them for picking up extra points for us. Kimball also again looked good in his match. Overall, it was a nice win for us and I'm proud of how the team performed."
With WVU holding to a 3-0 lead with a 5-3 decision victory from Joey Thomas at 125, the 11th-ranked junior LaMont responded with a dominant 26-11 technical fall win over Lucas Seibert to give the Wolverines a 5-3 advantage on the scoreboard. Holding to a 6-2 lead after the first period, the 2018 UVU NCAA qualifier LaMont went to work by racking up four takedowns in the second and six more in the third on his way to earning the bonus-point win for UVU. LaMont recorded an impressive tally of 13 takedowns in the bout on his way to improving to 14-5 on the year.
The two teams then traded falls at 141 and 149 to extend UVU's lead to 11-9. WVU's Caleb Rea started the spurt by pinning UVU freshman Kainalu Estrella in the third period (6:10), but the Wolverines answered right back with a first period fall from the freshman Hunsaker over Liam Lusher at 149 pounds. Following an early takedown, Hunsaker managed to work the fall in 2:32 seconds to give UVU six big team points.
West Virginia then pulled out back-to-back wins at 157 and 165 to regain the lead at 16-11. Alex Hornfeck started the WVU rally with a 4-1 decision over Jed Loveless and No. 27 and 2019 NCAA qualifier Nick Kiussis followed with a 20-10 major decision over Koy Wilkinson.
Trailing 16-11, eighth-ranked Bastian answered back for UVU with a 14-7 decision over Scott Joll to make it a two-point contest at 16-14. With Bastian controlling the bout and holding to a late major decision advantage, Joll responded for WVU with a late takedown with just seconds remaining in the final stanza to erase the bonus-point victory and make it just a seven-point margin for Bastian. With the win, Bastian caps his 2019-20 regular season with a 14-6 record and having won seven straight matches.
In a tightly contested 184-pound bout between UVU sophomore Seely and WVU's Jackson Moomau, Seely picked up a big 4-3 come-from-behind decision victory to give the Wolverines a late 17-16 lead in the team score. Down 3-1 in the third, Seely earned an escape point to make it 3-2 and followed with a late takedown and ride out to record the 4-3 victory.
At 197 pounds, 2019 NCAA qualifier and second-ranked Noah Adams capped his regular season with an undefeated record at 29-0 with a 9-4 decision over three-time UVU NCAA qualifier and 19th-ranked Tanner Orndorff to give WVU a 19-17 lead heading into the final bout.
With fourth-ranked UVU sophomore Tate Orndorff not weighing in on the day, the dual came down to a battle between UVU redshirt freshman Trussell and 30th-ranked Mountaineer and 2019 NCAA qualifier Brandon Ngati. With the contest all tied up at 2-2 with a takedown by Ngati and a pair of escapes by Trussell, the bout headed to overtime. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Ngati managed to earn a late escape in the first tiebreaker period to take a 3-2 lead. Trussell then responded with an escape of his own in the second ride out period to tie it again at 3-3. After another scoreless sudden victory period, Trussell recorded another escape in the second set of tiebreakers to take a 4-3 lead. On top in the final tiebreaker, Trussell then managed to ride the 2019 NCAA qualifier out to win the bout and the dual.
Sunday's finale was part of the Beauty of the Beast event at WVU, as it coincided with the Mountaineer women's gymnastics' meet.
Despite having NCAA qualifiers Matt Findlay (149) and Demetrius Romero (165) out of the season with injuries, UVU caps it 2019-20 campaign having won two of its final three duals with Big 12 wins over WVU and Northern Colorado during the stretch.
The Wolverines will now prepare for the 2020 Big 12 Championships that will be held March 7-8 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, UVU will look to qualify as many grapplers as it can for the 2020 NCAA Championships. A season ago, Utah Valley crowned its first Big 12 champion in program history in 165-pounder Romero and sent a program record six wrestlers to nationals.
125: Joey Thomas (WVU) DEC Will Edelblute (UVU), 5-3
133: #11 Taylor LaMont (UVU) TF Lucas Seibert (WVU), 26-11 (6:51)
141: Caleb Rea (WVU) FALL Kainalu Estrella (UVU), 6:10
149: Cameron Hunsaker (UVU) FALL Liam Lusher (WVU), 2:32
157: Alex Hornfeck (WVU) DEC Jed Loveless (UVU), 4-1
165: #27 Nick Kiussis (WVU) MD Koy Wilkinson (UVU), 20-10
174: #8 Kimball Bastian (UVU) DEC Scott Joll (WVU), 14-7
184: Ashton Seely (UVU) DEC Jackson Moomau (WVU), 4-3
197: #2 Noah Adams (WVU) DEC #19 Tanner Orndorff (UVU), 9-4
285: Chase Trussell (UVU) DEC #30 Brandon Ngati (WVU), 4-3 (TB-2)