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UTC 33, The Citadel 3

(Meet started at 125 pounds)
125--Sean Boyle (UTC) major dec. Joaquin Marquez, 10-2; 133--Nick Soto (UTC) dec. Aaron Hanson, 10-3; 141--Michael Pongracz (UTC) dec. Ty Buckiso, 2-1; 149--Shawn Greevy (UTC) dec. Matt Fritsch, 3-1; 157--Aaron Walker (Cit) dec. Austin Sams, 10-4; 165--Justin Lampe (UTC) pinned Andrew Lock, 2:12; 174--Sean Mappes (UTC) dec. Kenneth Radford, 7-3; 184--John Shrader (UTC) major dec. Jack Duane, 9-0; 197--Scottie Boykin (UTC) dec. Marshall Haas, 5-2; 285--Jared Johnson (UTC) major dec. Joe Bexley, 8-0.
Records: UTC 8-5, 3-0 SoCon; The Citadel 4-5, 2-2.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling Mocs made a statement Friday night: Knocking them off the Southern Conference perch will be a daunting task.

The Mocs ran away with a 33-3 home victory over The Citadel, the team that was picked to finish second in the conference.

"You always want to dominate. The goal is to win all 10 weight classes, but to win nine out of 10 is great, too," UTC coach Heath Eslinger said. "We're consistent, and we're going to come in and do the right things."

After Eslinger got the opportunity to rest some starters against short-handed Campbell last Sunday, the Mocs (8-5, 3-0) came out fresh and took the first four matches Friday.

Michael Pongracz and Shawn Greevy gave gritty performances at 141 and 149 pounds. Pongracz was locked in a scramble throughout but secured an escape with seven seconds to go and snatched a 2-1 decision over Ty Buckiso. Greevy scored a buzzer-beater of his own, a key takedown with two seconds left in the second period, on his way to beating Matt Frisch 3-1.

"I'm proud of Pongo and Greevy," Eslinger said. "That was a big win for (Pongracz), holding on to the scramble like that. For Greevy, that's an (NCAA tournament) qualifier who beat the No. 2 kid in the tournament last year."

The only loss for the Mocs came at the halfway mark, with Austin Sams dropping a 10-4 decision against Aaron Walker, the defending SoCon champ at 157.

The Mocs rolled the rest of the way, picking up bonus points from Justin Lampe (165), John Shrader (184) and Jared Johnson (285), while Sean Mappes (174) and Scottie Boykin (197) scored decisions . It was Lampe's second straight win, and first collegiate pin.

"Justin Lampe is going to show some people. He can wrestle," Eslinger said.

Johnson's win was his seventh in a row, bringing his team-leading record to 23-6. Eslinger said he credits the heavyweight for finding clarity in his wrestling, which has led to success.

Sean Boyle (125) and Nick Soto (133) also added to their 20-win seasons to start the match.

Contact Idris Garcia at sports@timesfreepress.com.

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