UTC dominates Davidson in wrestling

UTC dominates Davidson in wrestling

January 30th, 2015 by Jay Greeson in Sports - College

UTC 36, Davidson 3

125 — Sean Boyle (C) won by forfeit; 133 — Nick Soto (C) dec. Anthony Elias, 8-3; 141 — Michael Pongracz (C) maj. dec. Dustin Runzo, 14-3; 149 — Jacob Murphy (C) maj. dec. James McCord, 14-0; 157 — Austin Sams (C) dec. Alex Palinsky, 8-2. 165 — Justin Lampe (C) tech. fall over Patric Devlin, 23-8; 174 — Sean Mappes (C) dec. Nathaniel Powers, 8-3; 184 — Scott Patrick (D) dec. John Lampe, 3-2; 197 — Scottie Boykin (C) dec. Ian Solcz, 9-3; 285 — Jared Johnson (C) tech. fall, Will Cooley, 17-0.

On the wrestling block that is the Southern Conference, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the baddest bunch around.

UTC manhandled visiting Davidson 36-3 Friday afternoon at Maclellan Gym. The win improved the Mocs to 34-1 in the SoCon under wrestling coach Heath Eslinger.

"The word I like to use is consistent," Eslinger said after his Mocs improved to 10-5 overall and 5-0 in the league. "I really don't like the word 'rebuild.' I want to make sure we are taking the steps to consistently grow as a program."

The Mocs started quickly against the Wildcats (4-10, 0-3) sprinting to a 28-0 lead with seven consecutive wins. It's a familiar pattern for UTC, which is blessed with the nationally ranked seniors Sean Boyle and Nick Soto atop the lineup.

After Boyle received a forfeit, Soto notched an 8-3 win. It was the 23rd win of the season for each wrestler.

"Our goal is to put 10 good guys on the mat everytime we go out," Eslinger said.

Sophomore Sean Mappes capped the avalanche with an 8-3 win at 174 pounds. Mappes is filling in for injured Levi Campbell and improved his conference record to 4-0 with the win.

"We're both really competitive, but we're always in each other's corner," Mappes said of Campbell, who won the SoCon title last year as a junior. "Every starter on our team expects to be a conference champion really and our goal is to shutout every Southern Conference team we face."

Davidson's Scott Patrick collected a narrow 3-2 win over John Lampe at 184 to deny the Mocs the whitewash on Friday.

But impressive finishes by Scottie Boykin and Jared Johnson, who notched a 16-0 technical fall over Will Cooley at 285, put the exclamation point on what has become the definition of a one-sided rivalry.

UTC is 23-0 all-time against Davidson, a fact that Eslinger points to when discussing the next step for the Mocs and his program.

"We keep looking to take that next step, and that next step is a hard one," Eslinger said. "We want to be the best mid-major wrestling program in the country, and that transititon of going from good to great is tough."

UTC will wrestle at Appalachian State on Feb. 8 and will return home Feb. 15 against Oklahoma to close out the regular season. The Southern Conference tournament is March 7.