After falling behind 9-0 in the opening two matches, the West Virginia University wrestling team battled back to secure a 20-18 victory over Air Force to conclude its Big 12 schedule in front of 756 passionate fans inside the WVU Coliseum on Friday night.
“We had some guys in who hadn’t been in the lineup at 125 and 133, and knew that they were really tough at heavyweight, so we had to get some wins in that middle stretch there,” fifth-year WVU coach Tim Flynn said. “It was crazy because it wasn’t like we were killing them, but we got the win, which is important.”
Air Force (7-4, 3-4 Big 12), who received two votes in this week’s NWCA Division I Coaches’ Poll, started strong with wins at 125 and 133 pounds, before West Virginia (8-5, 2-5 Big 12) went on a 20-0, highlighted by a pair of major decisions from junior Peyton Hall (165) and senior Scott Joll (174).
Prior to Hall and Joll, junior Caleb Dowling took down Air Force’s Jack Ganos as time expired to tie the dual up at 9-9.
Three bouts later, redshirt junior Anthony Carman won a defensive battle over the Falcons’ Noah Blake to give the Mountaineers a cushion heading into the final two bouts of the night.
Up next, the Mountaineers conclude its four-dual homestand against Clarion on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. ET. Friday’s dual marks the final home contest of the season, where the wrestling program will recognize its seniors as part of Senior Night.
125: Tucker Owens (AF) major dec. Colton Drousias (WVU), 9-1
133: No. 21 Cody Phippen (AF) tech. fall Ryan Yriart (WVU), 18-0 [T – 2:48]
141: HM Jordan Titus (WVU) dec. Garrett Kuchan (AF), 6-3
149: No. 20 Sam Hillegas (WVU) dec. Dylan Martinez (AF), 5-4
157: Caleb Dowling (WVU) dec. Jack Ganos (AF), 4-3
165: No. 12 Peyton Hall (WVU) major dec. Seamus Casey (AF), 20-7
174: Scott Joll (WVU) major dec. Gage Musser (AF), 10-2
184: HM Anthony Carman (WVU) dec. Noah Blake (AF), 2-0
197: Calvin Sund (AF) dec. HM Austin Cooley (WVU), 4-0
HWT: No. 6 Wyatt Hendrickson (AF) won by fall over No. 15 Michael Wolfgram (WVU), [T – 0.37]