MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The West Virginia University wrestling team overcame a 15-13 deficit to defeat Cleveland State, 18-15, on Saturday afternoon, at Woodling Gymnasium, in Cleveland, Ohio.
With two bouts remaining, WVU (4-2, 0-1) desperately needed a pair of decisions to claim the team victory over CSU (0-1). No. 1 Noah Adams, a redshirt junior out of Coal City, West Virginia, answered the call for the Mountaineers, as he grinded out an 8-2 decision over Ben Smith at 197 pounds for the one-point edge in team scoring. However, West Virginia was deducted a team point due to an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Adams for throwing his head gear.
With the match knotted at 15-all, redshirt freshman Michael Wolfgram turned it up in the heavyweight bout to claim a 6-3 win over John Kelby, as WVU walked away with the 18-15 team victory.
"Today made for a crazy, but exciting match," third-year coach Tim Flynn said. "We got a lot of valuable mat time, and it was huge for Michael to come through with a victory for the team win."
Redshirt junior Killian Cardinale, ranked No. 25 nationally via The Open Mat, started things off for the Mountaineers with a 9-1 major decision over Jake Manley at 125 pounds. Cardinale posted a trio of takedowns to put WVU on the board first en route to his first bonus victory of the season.
At 141 pounds, redshirt freshman Jeffrey Boyd got back into the win column with a 10-4 decision over Joseph Caprella. Boyd started on bottom to earn the escape, followed by a takedown for the 3-0 lead in the second period. Caprella eventually escaped, but Boyd tacked on another takedown, as well as a reversal, for the 7-3 advantage heading in the final frame. Caprella quickly escaped to cut his deficit to three, but Boyd tallied his third takedown of the match and added on the ride time point at the end of regulation for the 10-4 win, as WVU took a 7-3 lead in the contest.
However, CSU fought back and won two consecutive matches at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively, for the 12-7 advantage midway through the dual.
Freshman Peyton Hall, ranked No. 24 nationally by FloWrestling, cut the Mountaineers' deficit to two with an 8-2 decision over Riley Smucker at 165 pounds.
Sophomore Scott Joll followed suit with a hard-fought, 12-11 win over Anthony Rice. With the bout tied at 8-8 heading into the final frame, Rice decided to start in the defensive position and earn the escape. Joll registered a takedown to secure the ride time point, but Rice used a reversal with one second remaining to force sudden victory. However, Joll was awarded the win following a stall call on Rice in overtime, as WVU regained the lead at 13-12.
Cleveland State then scored an 8-6 decision in a tie breaker at 184 pounds for the 15-13 match lead. However, it was West Virginia that closed out the dual with a pair of decision wins for the overall team victory.
Looking ahead, WVU will return home to compete against Big 12 affiliate Northern Colorado (3-0, 2-0) on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 12 p.m. ET, inside the WVU Coliseum.
125: No. -/-/25 Killian Cardinale (WVU) major dec. Jake Manley (CSU), 9-1
133: Logan Heil (CSU) dec. Joey Thomas (WVU), 2-1
141: Jeffrey Boyd (WVU) dec. Joseph Caprella (CSU), 10-4
149: Marcus Robinson (CSU) dec. Brayden Roberts (WVU), 5-1
157: Daniel Patten (CSU) wins by fall Alex Hornfeck (WVU), F 4:56
165: No. -/24/25 Peyton Hall (WVU) dec. Riley Smucker (CSU), 8-2
174: Scott Joll (WVU) dec. Anthony Rice (CSU), 12-11 [SV-1]
184: DeAndre Nassar (CSU) dec. Anthony Carman (WVU), 8-6 [TB-1]
197: No. 1/1/1 Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Ben Smith (CSU), 8-2
HWT: Michael Wolfgram (WVU) dec. John Kelbly (CSU), 6-3
*WVU was deducted a team point due to an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Noah Adams (throwing headgear)*