Cowboys Suffer Setback At National Duals

Feb. 17, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Three University of Wyoming wrestlers combined to go 6-0, but the Cowboys suffered two dual losses to finish fourth in their region of the NWCA National Duals on Sunday in Columbia, Mo.

UW took fourth out of four teams, falling victim to 16th-ranked Purdue (20-16) and Maryland (20-12). Host Missouri, ranked sixth in the nation, went 2-0 to win the automatic bid to the finals next week.

No. 20 Wyoming (8-6 overall, 3-1 Western Wrestling Conference) lost to Purdue in a closely contested battle. Trailing 17-16, the Pokes needed a win in the heavyweight bout, but Purdue's big man came out victorious to seal it. Later on, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, UW held a 12-6 lead over Maryland after six bouts, but the Terrapins won the final four matches to secure the victory.

"Those were tough losses against two tough teams," Wyoming head coach Mark Branch said. "It came down to missed opportunities. We have lacked team consistency against quality opponents and we need all 10 guys out there scratching and clawing for every point.

"This is the time to lay it on the line and we better understand what it's going to take to prolong our season."

The performances of sophomores Tyler Cox, Andy McCulley and Dakota Friesth were the highlight of the day for UW. Each of the grapplers went 2-0 in competition.

Cox earned his third win over a ranked opponent this season as he outworked Purdue's Camden Eppert, ranked 18th, in a dominant 19-7 major decision at 125 pounds to start the action off. Cox then secured the winning takedown with one second remaining in the sudden-victory period versus Shane Gentry of Maryland to win 13-11. Cox has reeled off nine-straight wins since Jan. 6.

McCulley finished Sunday off with two tough performances, as he beat Purdue's Tommy Churchard in a 6-2 decision, and got an 8-1 win over Maryland's Danny Orem. The 12th-ranked 157-pounder now has won five bouts in a row and 26 for the season.

Friesth, the winner of three-straight bouts, beat Purdue's Pat Robinson (7-3) and Domenic DeRobertis of Maryland, 6-3, in his 165-pound matchups.

Senior Alfonso Hernandez overcame a four-point deficit with less than a minute left to tie things up with Purdue's Braden Atwood, ranked 17th, at 197 pounds. Fourth-ranked Hernandez then worked for his fifth win over a ranked opponent, using a takedown in overtime to win his 28th match of the season. He is just one win shy of moving into a tie for ninth place on UW's all-time wins list. He has 113 for his career. Hernandez did not wrestle versus Maryland due to a coach's decision to hold him out for health reasons.

The Cowboys are back at it for the final regular-season dual of 2013 when they host WWC rival Air Force on Thursday in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Match results
Purdue 20, Wyoming 16
125: Tyler Cox maj. dec. No. 18 Camden Eppert (Purdue), 19-7 / Wyoming 4, Purdue 0
133: No. 16 Cashé Quiroga (Purdue) maj. dec. Kasey Garnhart, 12-4 / Wyoming 4, Purdue 4
141: Brandon Nelsen (Purdue) fall (6:15) Zach Zehner / Purdue 10, Wyoming 4
149: No. 8 Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) dec. Brandon Richardson, 4-1 / Purdue 13, Wyoming 4
157: No. 12 Andy McCulley dec. Tommy Churchard (Purdue), 6-2 / Purdue 13, Wyoming 7
165: Dakota Friesth dec. Pat Robinson (Purdue), 7-3 / Purdue 13, Wyoming 10
174: Chad Welch (Purdue) maj. dec. L.J. Helbig, 13-1 / Purdue 17, Wyoming 10
184: Shane Woods dec. Patrick Kissel (Purdue), 3 -2 / Purdue 17, Wyoming 13
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez dec. No. 17 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 9-7 SV1 / Purdue 17, Wyoming 16
285: Alex White (Purdue) dec. Leland Pfeifer, 4-1 / Purdue 20, Wyoming 16

Maryland 20, Wyoming 12
125: Tyler Cox dec. Shane Gentry (Maryland), 13-11 SV1 / Wyoming 3, Maryland 0
133: No. 15 Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland) dec. Kasey Garnhart, 11-7 / Wyoming 3, Maryland 3
141: McCade Ford dec. Shane Arechiga (Maryland), 5-4 / Wyoming 6, Maryland 3
149: Lou Mascola (Maryland) dec. Brandon Richardson, 4-2 / Wyoming 6, Maryland 6
157: No. 12 Andy McCulley dec. Danny Orem (Maryland), 8-1 / Wyoming 9, Maryland 6
165: Dakota Friesth dec. Domenic DeRobertis (Maryland), 6-3 / Wyoming 12, Maryland 6
174: No. 5 Josh Asper (Maryland) dec. L.J. Helbig, 9-5 / Wyoming 12, Maryland 9
184: No. 6 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) maj. dec. Shane Woods, 13-2 / Maryland 13, Wyoming 12
197: No. 13 Christian Boley (Maryland) maj. dec. Michael Poulos, 13-3 / Maryland 17, Wyoming 12
285: Dallas Brown (Maryland) Leland Pfeifer, 8-5 / Maryland 20, Wyoming 12