Mocs Wrestling Team Downs the Citadel 33-3

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team dominated The Citadel in a 33-3 win at Maclellan Gym tonight.  The Mocs won nine of 10 matches for their 18th consecutive Southern Conference victory, improving to 8-5 overall and 3-0 in league matches. 

“It was a good match,” stated UTC head coach Heath Eslinger.  The Mocs are now 32-1 in his six years with the Mocs.  “The goal is always to win all 10 matches, but winning nine of 10 is good.  We wrestled very consistent all of the way through.”

Coming into the season, The Citadel looked to be the top challenger to UTC’s consecutive regular season SoCon titles.  The Bulldogs were picked second in the preseason polls and returned a strong lineup. 

UTC challenged that notion early in tonight’s match with wins in the first four bouts.  Senior Sean Boyle opened with a major decision at 125, and senior Nick Soto followed with a three-point win at 133.  Both Mocs are ranked No. 12 at their respective weights, so those wins were expected. 

Chattanooga really put pressure on the Bulldogs with close wins in the next two matches.  Sophomore Michael Pongracz defeated Tyler Buckiso 2-1 at 141.  It was Buckiso’s first loss in four league matches.

Senior Shawn Greevy followed with a 3-1 win over two-time NCAA qualifier Matt Frisch.  It was Greevy’s second win over Frisch this season. 

“Super-proud of Pongo and Greevy,” continued Eslinger. “Pongo wins a close match. Big win for him.  Great job by Greevy.  He was a national qualifier last year and knocked off the No. 2 seed in the first round.  Greevy did exactly what we asked him to do.” 

The Citadel finally got on the board when Aaron Walker defeated Austin Sams 10-4.  Walker is also an NCAA qualifier who placed fifth at the Southern Scuffle earlier in the month.  He snapped Sams’ personal six-match winning streak. 

The surprise of the evening came at 165 when freshman Justin Lampe got his second win.  He set the tone early with an impressive takedown on the opening whistle.  Later in the opening period, he tossed Andrew Lock on his back and scored a pin.  That win put UTC up 19-3 with four matches left.

“I am telling you, Justin Lampe is going to shock some people,” explained Eslinger.  “That kid can wrestle.  Sports are a matter of confidence.  As his confidence goes up, he is going to turn some heads.”

Sophomores Sean Mappes and John Shrader had wins at 174 and 184, respectively.  Shrader scored a bonus point with his major decision over John Duane. 

The 197 bout between sophomore Scottie Boykin and Marshall Hass was a rematch of last year’s SoCon championship match.  Haas took that win, but Boykin was in control tonight.  Boykin scored two takedowns before posting a 5-2 decision. 

Sophomore Jared Johnson continued his winning ways with an 8-0 victory over Joe Bexley at heavyweight.  He is now a team-best 23-6 overall and on a seven-match winning streak.

“Jared just keeps on winning,” said Eslinger.  “Super-proud of him.  He weighed in light today.  He is undersized but he just keeps on wrestling.  Jared just keeps on winning.”

UTC is back in action on Sunday, hosting VMI.  Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) at Maclellan Gym.  

Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs

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