Mat Mocs rout Campbell to clinch outright SoCon title - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mat Mocs rout Campbell to clinch outright SoCon title

CHATTANOOGA (UTC) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team grabbed the outright 2013 Southern Conference regular season Championship with a 30-4 rout of visiting Campbell Monday night in Maclellan Gym.

The Mocs won the dual's first six matches and never looked back, building a quick 21-0 lead before Campbell's first points en route to a perfect 7-0 league record.

Chattanooga (11-6) had clinched at least a share of its 27th league wrestling championship with a doubleheader sweep of SIU-Edwardsville and VMI on Saturday, but secured sole possession of it by beating the Camels.

"I don't think it's the championship that is special, I think it's the people represented with those championships that are special," said head coach Heath Eslinger. "This is a great group of seniors and the fact that they got to go out in their last home match and get a win and a SoCon championship is important to us.

"They embody what Chattanooga Strong is all about and I'm excited for them."

All three UTC seniors won their final home match: Niko Brown at 197 pounds, Dean Pavlou at 140 and Josh Condon at 165.

The match started at 197, where Brown, who entered a perfect 14-0 in dual matches this season, was pushed by the Camel's John Merickel. The senior pulled out a 7-3 decision to up his overall record to 27-3, including a perfect 7-0 in league matches, and give the Mat Mocs a quick 3-0 lead.

Sophomore Kevin Malone followed that with a double-overtime win against Joe Nolan at heavyweight. Malone scored a takedown in the second sudden-victory period for his 16th win of the year.

Sophomore Nick Soto had a tough challenge in Campbell's Eric Montoya. Both were undefeated in SoCon matches, with Soto ranked No. 17 at 125 and Montoya listed at No. 27. Soto posted an impressive 7-1 decision to improve to 24-6 overall and give UTC a 9-0 lead.

Freshman Alex Ward continued to show his improvement with a 5-0 shutout over Tanner Bidelspach at 133. Pavlou put UTC up 16-0 with his major decision (13-2) win over Michael Dahlstrom. For Pavlou, it was his career-best 22nd win of the season.

Junior Alex Hudson scored a tech fall at 149 before Campbell got its only win at 157. Senior Josh Condon clinched the match with his 12-7 decision over Paul Duggan at 165. Condon improved to 6-0 in SoCon matches this season. He finishes his career with a 14-0 record in SoCon regular season matches.

Freshman John Lampe got the crowd on its feet with a 3-1 decision over Taylor McGiffen. He scored a takedown at the buzzer to improve to 5-0 in SoCon matches.

Senior Robert Prigmore close out the match with a comeback win at 184. He fell behind early to James Cook after a takedown and two back points in the first period. Prigmore wore Cook down over the next five minutes, scoring five unanswered points to take the win.

"What I liked about tonight is that it was dominating," said Eslinger. "We won the close matches and we dominated the matches we were ahead. That's the momentum that we needed going into the SoCon and the national tournaments."

The Mocs will now begin training for the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament. The event is scheduled to Saturday, March 9, at VMI in Lexington, Va., before the season-ending NCAA Championships two weeks later.

Chattanooga 30 - Campbell 4
(Maclellan Gym - Chattanooga)
197: Nikolas Brown (UTC) - Dec. 7-3 - John Merickel (Campbell) - UTC 3-0
285: Kevin Malone (UTC) - 4-2 (2OT) - Joe Nolan (Campbell) - UTC 6-0
125: Nick Soto (UTC) - Dec. 7-1 - Eric Montoya (Campbell) - UTC 9-0
133: Alex Ward (UTC) - Dec. 5-0 - Tanner Bidelspach (Campbell) - UTC 12-0
141: Dean Pavlou (UTC) - MD 13-2 - Michael Dahlstrom (Campbell) - UTC 16-0
149: Alex Hudson (UTC) - TF 17-2 (7:00) - Cory Wagner (Campbell) - UTC 21-0
157: Nick Rex (Campbell) - MD 8-0 - Trey Stavrum (UTC) - UTC 21-4
165: Josh Condon (UTC) - Dec. 12-7 - Paul Duggan (Campbell) - UTC 24-4
174: John Lampe (UTC) - Dec. 3-1 - Taylor McGiffen (Campbell) - UTC 27-4
184: Robert Prigmore (UTC) - Dec. 5-4 - James Cook (Campbell) - UTC 30-4

Information provided by UTC Sports Media Relations and

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