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University wrestling rallies to earn decisive team victory over Maryland state champ

MORGANTOWN — The University High School wrestling team welcomed defending Maryland state champion Northern Garrett to Baker’s Ridge on Friday night in a dual of two top programs.

After falling behind early 16-6 after the first few matches, the Hawks earned favorable results in each of the remaining bouts to outscore the Huskies 61-16 in an impressive win for head coach Ken Maisel and his team.

“I just told my team afterward that I don’t get too excited win, lose, or whatever but that was a great dual win for us,” Maisel said. “That’s a very good team and, on paper, I thought the score could’ve gone either way. For us to win like that and get pins like that in the dual meet becomes contagious. If we wrestle them again like that and it could be a completely different result.”

UHS junior Pepper Martin got the Hawks on the board first with a pin in the first period over Jacob Fullerton of NG in the 103-pound match, giving his team a 6-0 advantage.

The Huskies would then earn wins in the next three matches. NG junior Matthew Beitzel pinned UHS sophomore Kaiden Nieman in the 113-pound bout to knot the match a six each. Followed by another Huskies win by way of a 14-5 decision by NG freshman Mason Glotfelty over Brodie Emery at 120.

Leading 10-6, the Huskies earned another pinfall as senior Nate Wilhelm defeated UHS sophomore Colton Gillespie in the second period. NG took a 16-6 lead and seemed to have captured momentum. However, that would be the final point for the visitors in the dual.

Carter Pauley got the ball rolling for the Hawks, as the junior improved his record to 30-2 with a 6-3 victory over 18-1 sophomore Devon Opel of NG at 132.

Pauley was followed by Cameron Angus at 138, who earned a 9-0 decision to cut the deficit to 16-13 in the dual. Then, UHS freshman Max Vitale defeated Lucas Wolf in the 144-pound match. He started the theme of pinfall victories for the rest of the dual for UHS, as the hosts fired off eight straight match wins by way of a mat slap in their favor.

“We had an attitude, we had an edge, we had confidence, and if we can continue to do that we are going to win matches,” Maisel said. “It wasn’t us outwrestling them, they have a great program, we just had that little extra something tonight and want to hold on to that going forward.”

Rider Ludrosky (150), Jay Mckenzie (157), Luca Felix (165), Emerson Murphy (175), Jackson Pate (190), Ryder Hastings (215), and Brock Kehler (285), all earned six-point pinfall victories to round out the evening and help their team to the final score of 61-16.

In the 150-pound match, Ludrosky defeated Huskie junior Caleb Brenneman, who was 19-0 on the season coming into the dual.

The Hawks will now look ahead to next week’s OVAC tournament before the WSAZ tournament in Huntington a week later.