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March 22, 2019 at 9:29 am #87037
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – After two sessions of wrestling, four West Virginia University grapplers are alive in the consolation bracket of the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held at PPG Paints Arena, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.
No. 16-seed Matthew Schmitt, a redshirt sophomore, won a 9-1 major decision in his first-round match against No. 17-seed Sean Nickell of CSU Bakersfield to advance to the championship second round at 133 pounds. However, a Thursday evening loss to No. 1-seed Daton Fix of Oklahoma State pushed him into Friday morning’s wrestle-backs, where he will face No. 18-seed Gary Wayne Harding of North Carolina.
Redshirt senior Christian Monserrat (149), sophomore Nick Kiussis (165) and redshirt freshman Noah Adams (197) each dropped their first-round bouts, but bounced back with wins in the first round of wrestle-backs on Thursday evening. Monserrat will face No. 15-seed Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa, Kiussis is slated to meet No. 14-seed Jesse Dellavecchia of Rider and Adams will wrestle No. 14-seed Eric Schultz of Nebraska on Friday morning.
The second and third round of wrestle-backs (Session III) will begin at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, followed by the fourth round of wrestle-backs (Session IV) at 8 p.m. ET that evening. Medal rounds (Session V) will take place at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, with the championship finals (Session VI) set for 7 p.m. ET Saturday night.
Early sessions will be broadcasted on ESPNU, while second-round matches will be shown live on ESPN. Saturday’s championship finals also will be broadcasted on ESPN. Live stats for all matches are available on TrackWrestling. Additionally, all matches will be shown on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app. Direct links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the wrestling schedule page on WVUsports.com.
“We wrestled pretty well today,” said first-year coach Tim Flynn. “It was such a roller coaster, but we got four through to the second day of the national tournament. That’s a good thing.”
With Schmitt’s first-round victory, he avenged his 2-1 loss to Nickell on Jan. 25. The Platte City, Missouri, native used a first-period takedown to take a 2-0 lead into the final frame. The two wrestlers started the third on their feet, with Schmitt scoring a pair of takedowns to dominate the period and lock up the riding time point for the 9-1 major decision. Schmitt later dropped his second match of the day, suffering a 9-3 setback to Fix in the round of 16, to move into Friday’s consolation bracket. Schmitt and Pengilly will meet for the first time in his career on Friday morning.
Monserrat dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to No. 16-seed Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma in the first round of the 149-pound bracket. The Methuen, Massachusetts, native then bounced back to win a decision of his own over Michigan’s Malik Amine in his first consolation bout. Monserrat and Amine exchanged points in the first, as the two grapplers entered the second period tied at two apiece. However, Monserrat used a reversal to take a 4-2 lead into the final frame and never looked back. Amine started the third on bottom, earning an escape, but it was Monserrat who posted another takedown to tack on the riding time point for the 7-3 decision. He will face Thomsen in his second wrestle-back bout on Friday morning. Though Thomsen is a Big 12 Conference foe, the two grapplers have not met this season.
Kiussis also moved on to the 165-pound wrestle-backs after dropping a 10-2 major decision to No. 4-seed Evan Wick of Wisconsin. Despite the loss, the Brunswick, Ohio, native rebounded with a win in the consolation bracket, taking down Gardner-Webb’s Tyler Marinelli in sudden victory for the 3-1 decision. Kiussis scored the two-point takedown with 33 seconds left on the clock to advance to Friday morning’s wrestle-backs. Kiussis will go head-to-head with Dellavecchia for the first time in his career.
Despite dropping an 8-3 decision to No. 13-seed Malik McDonald of NC State in the first round of the 197-pound pool, Adams bounced back to win an 8-3 decision over No. 29-seed Brandon Whitman of North Carolina in his first consolation bout. Adams, a native of Coal City, West Virginia, took a 3-2 lead into the final two minutes of action, as he chose to start the third on bottom. Adams came out firing on all cylinders, scoring a reversal and a takedown to add on the riding time point at the end of regulation for the 8-3 decision. Adams will meet Schultz for the first time this season in Friday morning’s wrestle-backs.
Additionally, junior Brandon Ngati completed his run at the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Thursday. The Gaithersburg, Maryland, native started the day with a 1-0 mark, claiming a 6-1 decision over Purdue’s Jacob Aven in a first-round pigtail matchup in Thursday’s morning heavyweight division. However, he later dropped back-to-back major decisions to No. 1-seed Derek White of Oklahoma State in the first round of the championship bracket and No. 17-seed David Jensen of Nebraska in the first round of the consolations to cap his first-ever NCAA Tournament.
Of note, wrestlers in the consolation brackets remain in contention for third place and All-America honors.
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUWrestling on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
HWT: Brandon Ngati (WVU) dec. Jacob Aven (Purdue), 6-1
Championship Round 1
133: Matthew Schmitt (WVU) major dec. Sean Nickell (CSU Bakersfield), 9-1
149: Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma) dec. Christian Monserrat (WVU), 2-1
165: Evan Wick (Wisconsin) major dec. Nick Kiussis (WVU), 10-2
197: Malik McDonald (NC State) dec. Noah Adams (WVU), 8-3
HWT: Derek White (Oklahoma State) major dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 10-3
Championship Round of 16
133: Daton Fix (Oklahoma State) dec. Matthew Schmitt (WVU), 9-3
Consolation Round 1
149: Christian Monserrat (WVU) dec. Malik Amine (Michigan), 7-3
165: Nick Kiussis (WVU) dec. Tyler Marinelli (Gardner-Webb), 3-1
197: Noah Adams (WVU) dec. Brandon Whitman (North Carolina), 8-3
HWT: David Jensen (Nebraska) major dec. Brandon Ngati (WVU), 10-0
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