`Pokes Top Bison, Go 2-0 in the WWC

Jan. 31, 2009


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For the second straight night, the University of Wyoming wrestlers won seven matches en route to a Western Wrestling Conference dual victory in the UniWyo Sports Complex. The Cowboys defeated the North Dakota State Bison on Saturday, 31-6.

Wyoming's season dual record is now 9-2, 2-0 in the WWC. North Dakota State falls to 3-8-1, 1-2 in the WWC.

As a whole, UW's matches were more closely contested than they were the previous evening against South Dakota State, but even so, three of the Cowboys' seven wins against the Bison came with bonus points attached and UW received a forfeit from NDSU at heavyweight.

No. 7-ranked Joe LeBlanc scored a technical fall for the `Pokes at 184 pounds, while fellow redshirt freshmen Michael Martinez (125) and No. 19 Shane Onufer (174) got major decision wins. Junior Cory VomBaur (133), sophomore Cole Dallaserra (141), senior Eric Coxbill (157) and freshman Alfonso Hernandez (197) all notched decisions in favor of Wyoming.

"The competition level was up tonight and you could tell that they (NDSU) had been in some battles," said Wyoming head coach Mark Branch. "I'm pleased to get a dual win, but our youth showed in some spots and we have a lot of room to still improve as a team.

"We have got to start chain wrestling, meaning stringing two or three things together during our matches. Tonight everything was in bursts. Guys are holding back because they don't want to get tired. This team just needs to trust in their conditioning."

Martinez got things off on the right foot for UW to begin the dual when he wore down NDSU's Justin Solberg at 125 pounds and earned a 17-7 major decision. Wyoming's lightweight got better as the match went on, scoring three, third period takedowns, on the way to his ninth straight win. He is now 29-7 this season.

Next, VomBaur rode a first period takedown to a 3-0 win at the 133-pound weight class, and Dallaserra got a deciding takedown 16 seconds into the match in his 4-1 win at 141. UW led 10-0 after three matches.

In a grinding match that was scoreless through two periods, Wyoming's Chase Smith lost at 149 pounds due to a third period nearfall by NDSU's Ryan Adams. Adams' 3-0 victory got the Bison on the board, down 10-3.

The 157-pound match was a back-and-forth affair between the Cowboys' Coxbill and the Bison's Vince Salminen. There were three ties and two lead changes, before Coxbill prevailed 13-10, thanks to five takedowns. The deciding takedown came with 12 seconds remaining in the match and Coxbill clinging to a 10-9 lead.

NDSU would then pull to within 13-6 of UW, after Bison freshman Tyler Johnson beat Wyoming junior Alex Rieder at 165 pounds in a one-minute, sudden-victory overtime decision by a score of 6-4.

Onufer completely dominated Adam Aho at 174 pounds and earned a 15-2 major decision victory. That win bumped Onufer's team-best season record to 33-8. Wyoming led 17-6 and never looked back.

The Cowboys' LeBlanc was the winner at 184 pounds by a long shot, getting a technical fall over Kenny Moenkedick, 20-4 at 5:18 in the third period. Leading 14-4 heading into that period and needing five points for the technical fall, LeBlanc would seal the win and score six points in just 18 seconds by virtue of an escape, takedown, nearfall and riding time. He now has a season record of 32-5.

The final match wrestled on the evening saw UW's Hernandez overcome an early takedown at 197 pounds, get a late, third period takedown of his own, and hang on to win a 5-4 decision. NDSU's forfeit at heavyweight finalized the team score at 31-6 in favor of Wyoming.

The Cowboys will head back on the road this coming Thursday and Friday, Feb. 5 and 6, for a pair of dual matches against Simon Fraser (B.C., Canada) and Portland State, respectively. The Simon Fraser match will take place in Auburn, Wash., and the Portland State dual will be in Portland, Ore.

Wyoming (WYO) 31, North Dakota State (NDSU) 6

*125 pounds - Michael Martinez (WYO) by major decision over Justin Solberg (NDSU), 17-7, 4-0 WYO
133 pounds - Cory VomBaur (WYO) by decision over Trent Sprenkle (NDSU), 3-0, 7-0 WYO
141 pounds - Cole Dallaserra (WYO) by decision over Gabriel Mooney (NDSU), 4-1, 10-0 WYO
149 pounds - Ryan Adams (NDSU) by decision over Chase Smith (WYO), 3-0, 10-3 WYO
157 pounds - Eric Coxbill (WYO) by decision over Vince Salminen (NDSU), 13-10, 13-3 WYO
165 pounds - Tyler Johnson (NDSU) by SV decision over Alex Rieder (WYO), 6-4, 13-6 WYO
174 pounds - No. 19 Shane Onufer (WYO) by major decision over Adam Aho (NDSU), 15-2, 17-6 WYO
184 pounds - No. 7 Joe LeBlanc (WYO) by technical fall (5) over Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU), 20-4, 5:18, 22-6 WYO
197 pounds - Alfonso Hernandez (WYO) by decision over Drew Ross (NDSU), 5-4, 25-6 WYO
Heavyweight - Jacob Scharbrough (WYO) by forfeit, 31-6 WYO

* beginning match-up of the evening