Mocs Split SoCon Action in McKenzie Arena

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team spilt a pair of matches to close out the dual season in McKenzie Arena today. The Mocs dropped the first match to Campbell 17-15, but came back to score a 38-3 win over Bellarmine in Southern Conference action.

A share of the SoCon dual title was on the line when the Mocs faced the Camels. Campbell was 5-0 in league action, while the Mocs entered the day with a 5-1 SoCon tally.

UTC came out hot, running out to a 15-3 lead. Senior Fabian Gutierrez opened with a 5-3 decision over Zurich Storm at 125, followed by junior Colton Lander’s 4-0 win over Gabe Hixenbaugh at 133. Junior Franco Valdes made it three in a row with an overtime win over Spencer Loenhardt at 141.

The Camels got on the board at 149, but UTC came right back with a big win at 157. Freshman Weston Wichman defeated Campbell senior Benjamin Barton 7-3. Barton came into the dual with an 8-0 overall record, including a 5-0 mark in league bouts.

Junior Drew Nicholson kept the pressure on with another overtime win over Bilal Bailey at 165. The Mocs had some chances late, including a close loss at 197. UTC led 15-14 going into heavyweight, but could not take the deciding match.

After posting a 47-3 win over Bellarmine to open the day, Campbell won its 16th-straight SoCon dual and its third-straight SoCon regular season title. The Camels finish the regular season 8-1 overall and 7-0 in league action.

“For the last two weekends in a row we have been in it until the final match against the top teams in our conference,” stated head coach Kyle Ruschell. “We have been close but we have to get over the hump. We will keep working hard and be ready for the conference tournament.”

There was drama early in the Bellarmine bout when Gutierrez gave up back points and quickly four himself in a 6-0 hole. He made up for it with a second period fall over Brandon Lucas to avoid the letdown.

Landers won his sixth in a row with a pin at 133, while Valdes wrapped up an undefeated campaign with a major decision (11-2) over Chase Yost. Valdes enters the SoCon Tournament with a 9-0 record and an 8-0 mark in league duals.

Wichman and Nicholson also won their second matches of the day. Nicholson had a nice 8-2 decision over Eric Beck who enter the match with a 5-2 league mark. Junior Matthew Waddell (184), freshman Logan Andrew (197) and junior Grayson Walthall (285) all had bonus points to close out dual.

The loss dropped the Knights to 1-9 overall and 1-7 in league duals. UTC closes out the year with an 8-4 record and a 6-2 mark in SoCon matches. Up next is the SoCon Tournament, set for Feb. 28 in Boone, N.C.

Campbell 17 – Chattanooga 15
125: No. 21 Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) over Zurich Storm (CAMP) (Dec 5-3)
133: Colton Landers (UTC) over Gabe Hixenbaugh (CAMP) (Dec 4-0)
141: Franco Valdes (UTC) over Spencer Leonhardt (CAMP) (SV-1 4-2)
149: No. 17 Joshua Heil (CAMP) over Aidan Murphy (UTC) (Dec 4-0)
157: Weston Wichman (UTC) over Benjamin Barton (CAMP) (Dec 7-3)
165: Andrew Nicholson (UTC) over Bilal Bailey (CAMP) (SV-1 2-1)
174: No. 12 Austin Murphy (CAMP) over Carial Tarter (UTC) (Fall 1:22)
184: Caleb Hopkins (CAMP) over No. 12 Matthew Waddell (UTC) (Dec 5-2)
197: Chris Kober (CAMP) over Logan Andrew (UTC) (Dec 4-3)
285: Taye Ghadiali (CAMP) over Grayson Walthall (UTC) (Dec 4-1)
(CAMP unsportsman like conduct -1.0)

Extra Matches
141: Chris Rivera (CAMP) over Matthew Williams (UTC) (Dec 5-1)
149: Jason Kraisser (CAMP) over George Coleman (UTC) (Fall 3:59)
157: Troy Nation (CAMP) over Grant Lundy (UTC) (MD 16-2)

Chattanooga 38 – Bellarmine 3
125: Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) over Brandon Lucas (BU) (Fall 3:45)
133: Colton Landers (UTC) over Max Dansereau (BU) (Fall 2:38)
141: Franco Valdes (UTC) over Chase Yost (BU) (MD 11-2)
149: Aidan Murphy (UTC) over Logan Hoskins (BU) (Dec 4-1)
157: Weston Wichman (UTC) over Alex Rhine (BU) (Dec 11-5)
165: Andrew Nicholson (UTC) over Eric Beck (BU) (Dec 8-2)
174: Devan Hendricks (BU) over Carial Tarter (UTC) (Dec 6-2)
184: Matthew Waddell (UTC) over Sam Schroeder (BU) (MD 20-6)
197: Logan Andrew (UTC) over Samuel Woolf (BU) (TF 20-5 7:00)
285: Grayson Walthall (UTC) over Charlie Cadell (BU) (MD 9-0)

Extra Matches
140: Mitch Collica (BU) over George Coleman (UTC) (Dec 9-2)
157: Grant Lundy (UTC) over Clayton Catanzarite (BU) (Dec 9-4)