Feb. 11, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Three timely pins lifted the University of Wyoming wrestling team to its fourth victory of the season Tuesday night, as the Cowboys beat league foe Air Force 28-14.
UW(4-6 overall, 2-1 Western Wrestling Conference) recovered from a 3-0 deficit to begin the night thanks to a pin from redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh, who had his fourth fall in his last five matches at 184. Decisions from junior Shane Woods (197) and junior Leland Pfeifer at heavyweight gave UW a 12-3 cushion after four matches, and UW added three more wins to end the night.
"We've put together a couple of wins after a rough start to our season, so it's nice to continue to build confidence in these individuals and conference matches are very important," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "We've got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, but you see progress in this team as these young kids start to wrestle better."
Falls from redshirt freshman Cole Mendenhall (141) and junior Andy McCulley (157) and a major decision from junior Dakota Friesth at 165 wrapped up the action for UW, which has won three-consecutive duals. With three more pins on the night, UW has racked up eight falls in its last three dual meets.
"Seeing some pins and back points today is good," Branch said. "That instills confidence in the guys, when they know what we're working on in practice is translating to the mat."
In the marquee matchup of the evening, UW's eighth-ranked Tyler Cox lost a hard-fought 2-1 decision to No. 4 Josh Martinez at 125 pounds.
The Pokes will hit the mats for the home finale Saturday versus Utah Valley. Action begins at 7 p.m. from the UniWyo Sports Complex.
174: Konner Witt (AF) dec. Brent Havlik, 4-0 / Air Force 3, Wyoming
184: #18/16/17 Benjamin Stroh fall (0:36) Devin Hightower (AF) / Wyoming 6, Air Force 3
197: #NR/NR/24 Shane Woods dec. Robert Isley (AF), 6-3 / Wyoming 9, Air Force 3
285: Leland Pfeifer dec. Cody Davis (AF), 5-1 / Wyoming 12, Air Force 3
125: #4/4/4 Josh Martinez (AF) dec. #8/8/10 Tyler Cox, 2-1 / Wyoming 12, Air Force 6
133: Greg Rinker (AF) maj. dec. Gunnar Woodburn, 8-0 / Wyoming 12, Air Force 10
141: Cole Mendenhall fall (3:33) Carter McElhany (AF) / Wyoming 18, Air Force 10
149: Natrelle Demison (AF) maj. dec. Austin Breckenridge, 21-7 / Wyoming 18, Air Force 14
157: Andy McCulley fall (1:28) Jerry McGinity (AF) / Wyoming 24, Air Force 14
165: #NR/NR/18 Dakota Friesth maj. dec. Connor Hedash (AF), 10-1 / Wyoming 28, Air Force 14