Cowboys Finish In Top Five At Virginia Duals

Jan. 8, 2011

HAMPTON, Va. - The University of Wyoming wrestling team went unbeaten in three duals Saturday in the 31st annual Virginia Duals and finished in fifth place among some of the top teams in the nation.

After going 1-1 on Friday, with a win over Bucknell and a loss versus Lehigh, the Cowboys came out Saturday with something to prove. They did that, beating Old Dominion, Buffalo and a Virginia team that was ranked as high as ninth in the country.

"There were no easy teams here," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "Every match was a dogfight. We started off (Friday) pretty slowly and I was extremely disappointed. We showed improvement as the day went on Saturday, and our third dual was the best we've wrestled all year, putting away a good Virginia team."

Branch had to be impressed with the work of some of his wrestlers on the second day of the event, including redshirt freshman Tyler Cox, who wrestled up to 133 pounds against Virginia and took home a 5-2 decision over Joe Spisak. Jimmy Belleville, a 157-pound sophomore, recovered from a tough day Friday to win three straight matches Saturday. Junior Joe LeBlanc suffered his first loss of the season Friday at the 184-pound level, but went on to win three straight matches Saturday, and junior Shane Onufer went 5-0 in the 165-pound ranks.

"We didn't know what to expect (coming in),"Branch said. "We had a lot of questions to be answered and we still do. ... It's part of the learning process. Wrestling is a reality sport and we don't want to be fooled. We know what we have to work on and how we need to get better. We've taken some bumps and bruises because of it, but we've also learned a lot."

Saturday's Results:

Versus Old Dominion (Wyoming 20, Old Dominion 16)
125 pounds: No. 19 Cox lost to No. 4 James Nicholson in a 16-8 major decision.
133: Kasey Garnhart lost to No. 13 Kyle Hutter in a 4-0 decision.
141: Chase Smith lost to Brennan Brumley in a 2-1 decision.
149: No. 20 Cole Dallaserra defeated Scott Festejo in a 17-3 major decision.
157: Belleville defeated Chad Lowman with a pin at the 2:03 mark.
165: No. 6 Onufer defeated Dan Rivera in a 6-0 decision.
174: Dallas Hintz defeated Tristan Warner in a 7-4 decision.
184: No. 2 LeBlanc defeated Joe Budi in a 14-2 major decision.
197: Lee Helbig lost to Jacob Henderson in a 4-2 decision.
Heavyweight: Joe O'Farrell lost to Grant Chapman in an 8-3 decision.

Versus Buffalo (Wyoming 23, Buffalo 12)
125: Michael Martinez defeated Sean Walton in a 14-6 major decision.
133: Jake Eitzen lost to Kevin Smith by a pin at the 5:36 mark.
141: Chase Smith lost to Andrew Schutt in an 8-5 decision.
149: No. 20 Dallaserra lost to Desi Green in a 5-3 decision.
157: Belleville defeated Mark Lewandowski in an 8-2 decision.
165: No. 6 Onufer defeated John-Martin Cannon in a 4-0 decision.
174: Patrick Martinez defeated Brian Sheehan in a 5-0 decision.
184: No. 2 LeBlanc defeated Jimmy Hamel in a 10-0 major decision.
197: Helbig defeated Tyler Peter in a 9-7 decision.
Heavyweight: Jack Tennant defeated Brett Correll in a 12-10 decision.

Versus Virginia (Wyoming 24, Virginia 11)
125: Michael Martinez defeated No. 20 Matt Snyder in an 8-4 decision.
133: No. 19 Cox defeated Joe Spisak in a 5-2 decision.
141: Smith defeated Gus Sako in a 4-3 decision.
149: No. 20 Dallaserra defeated Derek Valenti in an 8-2 decision.
157: Belleville defeated Nicky Gordon in an 8-6 decision.
165: No. 6 Onufer defeated Conner Miller with a pin at the 1:46 mark.
174: Hintz lost to No. 4 Chris Henrich by an 18-3 technical fall.
184: No. 2 LeBlanc defeated No. 18 Jon Fausey in a 9-6 decision.
197: Helbig lost to Stephen Doty in a 3-2 decision.
Heavyweight: O`Farrell lost to Jack Danilkowicz in a 5-2 decision.