Two Close Dual Wins for Wyoming Wrestlers in California

Jan. 4, 2009

FULLERTON, Calif. -

The Wyoming Cowboy wrestlers leaned on the extra points from big individual victories on Sunday afternoon and recorded dual victories over Cal State Fullerton and Columbia in the three-team Sunshine Wrestling Duals at Cal State Fullerton.

In their first match-up, the Cowboys beat the host Titans 20-15, then held on to beat the Lions 21-18. Fullerton later beat Columbia, 24-10.

In each dual, Wyoming split matches with their opponents, winning five bouts apiece. However, the difference in the duals came from decisive Cowboy victories, a technical fall (five points) and pin (six) against Fullerton, and a pin (six) and injury default win (six) against Columbia.

Wyoming is now 3-0 in dual meets while Fullerton is 5-3 and Columbia is 0-5.

"We had some nice individual wins today, but also some bad losses," said Wyoming head coach Mark Branch. "Both duals were really up and down. I am pleased that we came away with two dual wins, but that is not our focus. Our focus is to get better every day and we did show progress in some of our matches, but in others we struggled with the same issues we've had all year. I really have mixed feelings about our results today.

"Both duals came down to (Alex) Rieder's match and in his first time this year down at 165 pounds he really made an important adjustment for this team. It worked to our advantage to start the duals at 174 pounds, so I was pleased that Shane (Onufer) was more aggressive in his second match and Joe (LeBlanc) had two dominating performances. Cory's (VomBaur) matches were the best that I have seen him wrestle since I've been here."

In the Fullerton dual, the 165-pound bout proved decisive when Cowboy junior Alex Rieder pinned senior Devin Velasquez at the 2:14 mark. The final match of the dual and with the team result hanging in the balance, Fullerton leading 15-14, Rieder earned a first period reversal, then worked hard on top to get the fall and hand UW a team win.

Wyoming's No. 9 ranked Joe LeBlanc scored 11 team points at 184 pounds with a technical fall victory, 17-1, over the Titan's Alan Reynel and a win by injury default over the Lion's Cary Aldrich. LeBlanc jumped out to an early lead before Aldrich dislocated his right elbow in the first period.

To begin each dual, the `Pokes also got wins from redshirt freshman Shane Onufer at 174 pounds. The No. 17 ranked Onufer beat Fullerton's Todd Noel by a score of 10-3 and then pinned Columbia's Mike Wolfer in the second period.

A key bout in the Wyoming-Fullerton match occurred at 197 pounds. The Titans' John Drake held a 3-1 lead and riding time advantage with about 30 seconds remaining. As Drake and Wyoming true freshman Alfonso Hernandez were about to go out of bounds, Hernandez got a takedown and a near fall to pull out a 6-3 victory. That gave UW an 11-0 lead. After losses at heavyweight and 125 pounds, Cowboy junior Cory VomBaur scored a huge upset at 133 pounds when he beat two-time NCAA qualifier and No. 16 ranked T.J. Dillashaw by a score of 4-2. Wyoming would then lose three straight (141, 149, 157) before Rieder's pin settled the dual in favor of the Cowboys.

Again Wyoming jumped out to an early lead against Columbia, a 12-0 lead after Onufer and LeBlanc's wins. The teams split the next six matches to leave the score 21-9 going into the last two matches. The Lions would take the final two weight classes, by pin and decision, but UW had built a big enough lead to win by three points. Michael Martinez (125), VomBaur and Cole Dallaserra (141) all earned victories by decision for the Cowboys in that match.

The dual wins on Sunday avenged two losses from last season for the `Pokes. During the 2007-08 season, UW lost to Cal State Fullerton in Laramie, 33-10. The Cowboys also lost to Columbia last season, 26-13 at the Lone Star Duals.

Wyoming's next competition will be on a grand national scene as they travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, this coming Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 10-11, to wrestle in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals. Full brackets and UW's first round opponent will be announced early this next week. The 16-team, double-elimination event is widely regarded as the head-to-head dual national championship in collegiate wrestling.

Wyoming 20, Cal State Fullerton 15
174 pounds - No. 17 Shane Onufer (Wyo) dec. Todd Noel (Full), 10-3
184 pounds - No. 9 Joe LeBlanc (Wyo) tech fall Alan Reynel (Full), 17-1, 5:24
197 pounds - Alfonso Hernandez (Wyo) dec. John Drake (Full), 6-3
Heavyweight - Kurt Klimek (Full) dec. Jacob Scharborough (Wyo), 10-4
125 pounds - Andre Gonzalez (Full) dec. Mike Martinez (Wyo), 7-2
133 pounds - Cory VomBaur (Wyo) dec. No. 16 T. J. Dillashaw (Full), 4-2
141 pounds - Adin Duenas (Full) dec. Cole Dallasera (Wyo), 10-3
149 pounds - Matt Lopez (Full) dec. Chase Smith (Wyo), 6-5
157 pounds - Steven DeLaFuente (Full) dec. Tyler Davis (Wyo), 7-2
165 pounds - Alex Rieder (Wyo) pinned Devin Velasquez (Full), 2:14

Wyoming 21, Columbia 18
174 pounds - No. 17 Shane Onufer (Wyo) pinned Mike Wolfer (Col), 4:03
184 pounds - No. 9 Joe LeBlanc (Wyo) over Cary Aldrich (Col), injury default at 0:31
197 pounds - Lou Miller (Col) dec. Alfonso Hernandez (Wyo), 5-2
Heavyweight - No. 13 Ryan Flores (Col) dec. Jacob Scharbrough (Wyo), 5-2
125 pounds - Mike Martinez (Wyo) dec. Kyle Gilchrist (Col), 10-4
133 pounds - Cory VomBaur (Wyo) dec. Andrew Grabfelder (Col), 7-2
141 pounds - Cole Dallaserra (Wyo) dec. Shane Strumwasser (Col), 4-1
149 pounds - Matt Dunn (Col) dec. Chase Smith (Wyo), 7-2
157 pounds - Derek Sickles (Col) pinned Tyler Davis (Wyo), 1:57
165 pounds - Eren Civan (Col) dec. Alex Rieder (Wyo), 13-7