Four WVU wrestlers remain in contention for third

Gold and Blue Nation

Photo courtesy WVU Athletics

TULSA, Okla. – After two sessions of wrestling, six West Virginia University grapplers are alive in the consolation bracket of the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship held at the BOK Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.

Redshirt juniors Killian Cardinale (125) and Noah Adams (197), redshirt sophomore Alex Hornfeck (157) and freshman Peyton Hall (165) remain in contention for third place at their respective weights, while redshirt freshmen Anthony Carman (184) and Michael Wolfgram (HWT) prepare to wrestle for seventh place in their respective brackets. 

“Today was up and down,” third-year coach Tim Flynn said. “One second you think you are doing alright, and then the next second, you think you are doing terrible. These tournaments can be exhausting.

“We have another big day tomorrow, so we just have to wrestle clean and hard. We have to want to be here, and I know these kids do. They came back strong in the wrestle-backs tonight. I thought they wrestled well. We may not be where we want to be, and a lot of the kids are disappointed, but we already scored more points than last year without 133 and 149. We just have to keep doing what we are doing and compete hard in order to be successful tomorrow.”

The consolation semifinals, as well as the third- and fifth-place matches will start at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, with the championship matches set for 6 p.m. ET.

The first three sessions of the championship will be distributed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, the conference’s digital platform, while the championship matches will be televised live on ESPN2. All matches from the championship also will be available on the ESPN App.

Direct links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the wrestling schedule page on WVUsports.com.

Adams, the No. 3 seed at 197 pounds, dropped a hard-fought, 3-2 decision to Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan in the semifinals. Hall, seeded No. 2 in his weight class, also suffered a 5-4 setback to Wyoming’s Cole Moody in the 165-pound semifinal match.

“They both had opportunities to win, that’s the gut-wrenching part,” Flynn said. “I think we gave two matches away, but credit to the kids. You’re just like ‘wow, we are so close to finishing shots.’ It’s almost better sometimes when you get beat soundly because when you let one slip away, those hurt.”

Adams will take on No. 5-seed Jake Woodley of Oklahoma in the consolation semifinals, while Hall faces Oklahoma’s Troy Mantanona for the first time this season in the 165-pound consolation semis. 

Adams and Woodley will square off for the fifth time overall and the second time this season, as Adams evened the all-time series between the two with a 3-2 victory in Morgantown on Jan. 17. The last time Woodley captured a win over Adams was at the 2019 Big 12 Wrestling Championship.

Cardinale bounced back in the second session to register a 3-1 mark on the day, as he topped Fresno State’s Anthony Molton in a 9-1 major decision and Northern Colorado’s Jace Koelzer in a 7-3 decision to advance to the 125-pound consolation semifinals. The Bristow, Virginia, native, who is seeded fourth in his bracket, will take on No. 3-seed Trevor Mastrogiovanni of Oklahoma State on Sunday. 

Hornfeck bounced back from a first-round loss in the 157-pound pool, with two big wins over Oklahoma State’s Wyatt Sheets and Utah Valley’s Danny Snediker. Hornfeck posted a 6-3 decision in the first round of consolations to upset Sheets. The Mars, Pennsylvania, native then earned an 18-0 tech. fall victory over Snediker, pushing him into Sunday morning’s wrestle-backs, where he will face No. 4-seed Cade DeVos of South Dakota State.

Carman (184) and Wolfgram (HWT) each claimed a win in the first round of consolations. The duo will wrestle for seventh place in their respective weight classes on Sunday. Carman, who is seeded at No. 6 in his weight class, will square off with South Dakota State’s Jacob Schoon, while Wolfgram takes on Northern Colorado’s Dalton Robertson.

Additionally, sophomore Scott Joll (174) and redshirt freshman Jeffrey Boyd (141) completed their runs at the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship with first-round losses in their respective consolation brackets. Redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan also was pulled from the 133-pound pool due to injury in his first match of the day.

Of note, Adams, Cardinale, Hall and Hornfeck will look to earn an automatic qualifying spot in their respective weight classes on Sunday.

As a whole, West Virginia sits in 10th place after two sessions with 43.5 points. Oklahoma leads the team race with 107 points, followed by Wyoming in second with 97 points. Oklahoma State is currently in third with 96 points.

Semifinals:

165: Cole Moody (Wyoming) dec. Peyton Hall (West Virginia), 5-4
197: 
Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming) dec. Noah Adams (West Virginia), 3-2

Consolations:

125: Killian Cardinale (WVU) major dec. Anthony Molton (Fresno State), 9-1

125: Killian Cardinale (WVU) dec. Jace Koelzer (Northern Colorado), 7-3

133: Ty Smith (Utah Valley) won by forfeit Ryan Sullivan (West Virginia), For.

141: Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State) major dec. Jeffrey Boyd (West Virginia), 12-3

157: Alex Hornfeck (West Virginia) dec. Wyatt Sheets (Oklahoma State), 6-3

157: Alex Hornfeck (West Virginia) tech. fall Danny Snediker (Utah Valley), 18-0 [TF-5:40]

174: Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) dec. Scott Joll (West Virginia), 5-1

184: Anthony Carman (West Virginia) wins by fall Jake Thompson (Air Force), F 7:25 [SV-1]

184: Darrien Roberts (Oklahoma) wins by fall Anthony Carman (West Virginia), F 5:43

HWT: Michael Wolfgram (WVU) dec. Blake Wolters (South Dakota State), 8-3

HWT: Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force) dec. Michael Wolfgram (WVU), 9-5

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUWrestling on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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