CLEVELAND, Ohio — After two sessions of wrestling March 15, all three WVU grapplers are alive in the consolation bracket of the NCAA championships.
Zeke Moisey, a redshirt junior, won a 10-7 decision in his first-round match-up, against Virginia Tech’s Kyle Norstrem, to advance to the championship second round at 125 pounds.
However, a loss to No. 4 seed Nick Suriano, of Rutgers, pushed him into today’s wrestle-backs, where he will face Big 12 foe Conner Brown, of South Dakota State.
Redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt (133) and redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith (197) lost their first-round bouts, but bounced back with wins in the first round of wrestle-backs. Schmitt will face Anthony Tutolo, of Kent, and Smith is slated to meet Patrick Brucki, of Princeton.
“We showed a lot of fight in this round,” fourth-year WVU coach Sammie Henson said. “Both Schmitt and Jake had huge wins in their wrestle-backs. You have to commit to riding tough and grinding it out in this tournament. Our men are fighting and leaving it all on the mat. We need to keep it going one match at a time and be ready to come out and attack in tomorrow morning’s session.”
Championship Round 1
125: Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. Kyle Norstrem (Virginia Tech), 10-7
133: Seth Gross (SDSU) major dec. Matthew Schmitt (WVU), 15-2
197: Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) dec. Jacob A. Smith (WVU), 3-0
Championship Round of 16
125: Nick Suriano (Rutgers) wins by fall Zeke Moisey (WVU), 2:57
Consolation Round 1
133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) major dec. Josh Finesilver (Duke), 19-8
197: Jacob A. Smith (WVU) wins by fall Jordan Atienza (Central Michigan), 2:54
The Mountaineers host their home-opening series this weekend, against Canisius, at Monongalia County Ballpark. Today’s game starts at 3 p.m., with Saturday’s contest at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s at 1 p.m.
Tickets are available at WVUgame.com, 1-800-988-4263 or at the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the WVU Coliseum, or on game day at the ballpark. Today is a Dollar Day, with tickets and some concessions $1.
The Mountaineers (7-8) went 14-8 at home a year ago.
WVU leads the Big 12 and is No. 14 in the NCAA with 22 home runs, while its .458 slugging percentage, 20 stolen bases and 10 sacrifice bunts are No. 4 in the conference. Kevin Brophy leads the Big 12 and is No. 9 nationally with 0.46 home runs per game.
The Golden Griffins (10-4) conclude their season-opening, 17-game roadtrip this weekend.
Senior right-hander B.J. Myers (0-0, 4.64 ERA) will pitch today for WVU against Canisius junior left-hander Jared Kennedy (1-0, 1.47).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sophomore Morgan Bullock opened the NCAA championships in the 200 individual medley and finished 40th overall, swimming 1:58.44 in preliminaries.
Bullock swims the 100 butterfly today, and junior Emma Harris will compete in the 100 breaststroke.
Saturday, Bullock competes in the 200 butterfly and Harris in the 200 breaststroke.
ATLANTA — The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the WBCA Thirty Under 30 honorees. They include WVU assistant coach Christal Caldwell.
The program was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game.
The Mountaineers open Big 12 conference play this weekend with a swing through the Sooner State. They play Oklahoma today and Oklahoma State on Sunday.
WVU’s Lyn Yuen Choo and Giovanna Caputo are tied for the team lead with five singles wins. The doubles pair of Christina Jordan and Sofía Duran paces the team with five wins.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Mountaineers open the outdoor season at the 49er Classic, in Charlotte, N.C., today and Saturday.
WVU features 21 returnees and seven newcomers and returns five regional qualifiers, as well as two NCAA qualifiers in Amy Cashin (3,000-meter steeplechase) and Shamoya McNeil (triple jump).