Moc Wrestlers Open SoCon Schedule With 22-20 Win Over Citadel

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team opened the Southern Conference portion of its 2013 schedule with 22-20 win over The Citadel Sunday. The Mocs treated the Legends Weekend crowd to a hard-fought battle over a talented Bulldog team, improving to 5-6 overall and 1-0 in league action.

Nearly 600 fans filled Maclellan Gym to see the Mocs honor the Jim Morgan era of UTC wrestling. And just like so many of Coach Morgan's championship squads, it took a full team effort to pull out the win today.

"It was a good win," stated UTC head coachHeath Eslinger. "They are a good team and we knew we had our hands full. We had to wrestle well in every weight class. I think we left some on the table. I think there are a couple more weight classes we can win in that dual meet. We have to figure out how to do that because those are the matches that are going to get us to the national tournament."

The Mocs started strong behind a 12-3 major decision win from sophomoreNick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.). Ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation at 125, Soto defeated Joaquin Marquez to improve to 18-6 overall and give the Mocs a 4-0 lead.

UTC handed the lead right back at 133 when freshmanMarvin Lopez (Cleveland, Tenn.) surrendered an 8-0 major decision to Aaron Hansen. The Bulldogs took the lead when No. 8 Ugi Khishignuam posted an 8-1 win over seniorDean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) at 141.

JuniorAlex Hudson (Marietta, Ga.) evened the team score again with a 9-3 victory against Jordan Dix at 149. He posted a takedown at the buzzer in the first period to grab a 4-1 lead that he would not let go.

The Citadel went back up 11-7 after a major decision win at 157, but that would be the last lead for the Bulldogs on the day. It may have been the intermission session that sparked the Mocs the rest of the way. Coach Morgan and dozens of his wrestlers were honored on the mat following the 157-pound match

"Having those guys back here is awesome," said Eslinger. "Without those guys we would not be wrestling today. We would be among the 200+ programs that dropped wrestling. Without that era and those guys who were on that mat today, we would not have wrestling at this institution. What we owe them...we can't thank them enough. We need to honor them every year, because they bring a lot to the table. Coach Morgan developed a culture, environment and family-like atmosphere that people want to stay connected to for a long time. I need to be working hard to duplicate exactly what he did."

When action resumed, seniorJosh Condon (Powder Springs, Ga.) dominated his match at 165 with Vincent Bellaran. He was up 12-4 when he put Bellaran on his back at the 5:52 mark to give UTC a 13-11 lead.

"Josh Condon is a senior and he is supposed to do that," said Eslinger. "He is one of the best kids in the country and he needs to believe he can go out and do that every time."

FreshmanJohn Lampe (Fairdale, Ky.) had a huge win at 174. He moved up a weight and scored a 3-2 victory over Jack Duane, giving the Mocs some breathing room with a 16-11 lead.

After losing a decision at 184, Chattanooga had a 16-14 advantage with two matches left. No. 18Niko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) clinched the win with his pin against Marshall Haas at the 5:44 mark. It was Brown's team-high 21st win of the season, as well as his team-best seventh pin of the year.

"When you are a senior and you are doing the right things, that is what you are supposed to do," added Eslinger. "You go out and you control the match and you do what your team needs and you get the job done. Some kids have it and some don't. Niko has found it and he has to hold on to it and keep getting better."

It was a good thing Brown scored the fall, because The Citadel's 14th ranked heavyweight Odie Delaney pinned freshmanKevin Malone (Carrollton, Ohio) to make the final score 22-20.

"It was a good team effort, but I am not completely satisfied," said Eslinger. "You want to keep making improvements. We did at some weights, but we did not at others."

Chattanooga is now the lone team in the SoCon without a loss. Appalachian State (3-1), Campbell (2-1) and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (1-1) each have one loss, while The Citadel drops to 2-2 in league action and 3-5 overall.

UTC hits the road for two matches this weekend. The Mocs visit Gardner-Webb on Friday, Feb. 1, for a 7:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) match against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Chattanooga then travels to Appalachian State for a 2:00 p.m. bout against the Mountaineers on Sunday, Feb. 3. The next home dual is set for Sunday, Feb. 10, against Davidson. Match time is 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym and tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or at the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).

Chattanooga 22 - The Citadel 20
125: Nick Soto (UTC) - MD 12-3 - Joaquin Marquez (CIT) - UTC 4-0
133: Aaron Hansen (CIT) - MD 8-0 - Marvin Lopez (UTC) - 4-4
141: Ugi Khishignyam (CIT) - Dec. 8-1 - Dean Pavlou (UTC) - The Citadel 7-4
149: Alex Hudson (UTC) - Dec. 9-3 - Jordan Dix (CIT) - 7-7
157: Matthew Frisch (CIT) - MD 10-2 - Trey Stavrum (UTC) - The Citadel 11-7
165: Josh Condon (UTC) - Fall 5:52 - Vincent Bellaran (CIT) - UTC 13-11
174: John Lampe (UTC) - Dec. 3-2 - John Duane (CIT) - UTC 16-11
184: Josh Tuck (CIT) - Dec. 10-3 - Robert Prigmore (UTC) - UTC 16-14
197: Niko Brown (UTC) - Fall 5:44 - Marshall Haas (CIT) - UTC 22-14
285: Odie Delaney (CIT) - Fall 3:53 - Kevin Malone (UTC) - UTC 22-20


UTC Women Edge Morgan State

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team used a 17-0 run in the second half to pull away from Morgan State and grabbed a 55-40 win on Day One of the Chattanooga Christmas Classic. Sunday at Home at 2 p.m . The Mocs improve to 8-3 overall and will host North Carolina A&T Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.) while Morgan State drops to 2-9 on the year and will ... (click for more)

Summit Defends Title At Charger Invitational Wrestling Tournament

The Summit Spartans made school history a year ago when they claimed first place in the Charger Invitational   for their first-ever wrestling tournament championship. The AAA team from Spring Hill proved the first time wasn’t a fluke as they outlasted Red Bank and 19 other teams in the field as they won this year’s tournament at Chattanooga Christian School on Saturday ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Manger Scene Stays!

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation struck the tiny town of Jay, Fla., earlier this month, the town mayor had a life-sized Nativity scene that had been displayed every Christmas for the past 40 years taken down and sold as “city surplus.” But in Alabama, things are different. When the foundation tried the same thing in Rainbow City, Ala., more people than all those who live ... (click for more)