BLACKSBURG, VA (GoMocs.com)---The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team had six individuals place at the Hokie Open today. The Mocs kicked off the 2014-15 season with the annual tournament in Blacksburg, Va.
“I thought we wrestled well today,” stated head coach Heath Eslinger. “We competed hard and I was happy with our results. We are now ready to turn our attention to next weekend and team competition at the Eastern Michigan Duals.”
Boyle went 2-1 in his Chattanooga debut. The senior transfer from Michigan enters the season No. 16 in the Intermat rankings at 125. He opened with a 12-0 major decision over Gardner-Webb's Cortez Starkes. He followed that with an 11-4 decision over Virginia's Nick Herrmann.
He went up against Virginia Tech's fifth-ranked sophomore Joey Dance in the finals. He was leading 3-2 in the first when he got caught on his back and pinned. Regardless, a second place showing is a strong start to the season for Boyle.
Soto went 3-1 during his runner-up outing. He opened with a pin against Newberry's Austin Williams (2:37) and followed that with a 10-6 decision over Campbell's Tyler Walker. He slid by No. 18 Kevin Norstrem (Va. Tech) 2-1 in the semifinals, tweaking an injury in the match. That forced him to default in the finals against Virginia's No. 10 George DiCamillo.
Mappes opened with back-to-back wins at 174, including a 12-6 decision over Gardner-Webb's Aaron Rabin and a 3-1 win over The Citadel's Kenneth Radford. He lost to Virginia Tech's No. 13 Zach Epperly in the semis (13-2), but rebounded with a 6-2 win over Duke's Brian Dorsey in the third place match.
Sharder also made it to the semifinals at 184. He scored wins over The Citadel's Jared Hemmings (Fall 5:05), Virginia's Will Schany (8-2) and Williams Coggins (Forfeit). He lost to the Cavalier's Tyler Askey (5-3) before defeating UVA's James Suvak (3-2) to take third place.
Mappes and Shrader's finishes are encouraging since they missed all or most of last season with injuries. Mappes was out all of last season, while Shrader competed early in the year before getting hurt.
Boykins nearly missed the upset of the day on his way to finishing third at 197. After wins over Virginia's Dustin Floyd (10-3) and North Carolina's Chip Ness (10-6), he went up against Duke's top-seeded and No. 5-ranked Conner Hartman. Boykin put up a great fight, falling in a nail-biter 2-0. He took third place when UVA's No. 14 Zachary Nye forfeited.
Sophomore Jared Johnson battled his way through the backdraw for a fifth place finish at heavyweight. His last match of the day was an impressive 13-5 major decision over VMI's Juan Adams. Adams was the preseason pick to win the Southern Conference title at heavyweight.
A number of Mocs also competed in the Freshman-Sophomore draws. Highlights from those matches include Jordan Davis's runner-up at 197 and Jared Browning's third place finish at 133.
Up next for Chattanooga is a trip to the Eastern Michigan Duals on Nov. 15. UTC will face Michigan State, Northern Illinois and Kent State in Ypsilanti, Mich., beginning at 11:30 a.m. The first home match is Dec. 12 against Purdue. Season and single-match tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
Hokie Open Results 125 – Open No. 16 Sean Boyle – 2nd Place Cortez Starkes (GWU) – W-MD, 12-0 Nick Herrmann (UVA) – W-D, 11-4 No. 5 Joey Dance (VTU) – L-Fall (2:58)
133 – Open No. 12 Nick Soto – 2nd Place Austin Williams (Newberry) – W-Fall (2:37) Tyler Walker (Campbell) – W-D, 10-6 No. 18 Kevin Norstrem (VTU) – W-D, 2-1 No. 10 George DiCamillo (UVA) – L-Inj. Def.
133 – Freshman/Sophomore Jared Browning – 3rd Place Louie Altamirano (Newberry) – W-TF, 19-3 Brayden Hartley (GWU) – W-D, 12-6 Jacob Grigg (Appalachian State) – L-D, 2-3 Phillip Anderson (GWU) – W-Inj. Def.
141 – Open Michael Pongracz Evan Botwin (Duke) – L-D, 1-3 Nate Harper (Citadel) – W-MD, 13-1 Andrew Bannister (NDC) – W-D, 7-4 Grant Leeth (Duke) – L-D, 4-10
141 – Freshman-Sophomore Jacob Murphy – 6th Place Kevin Jack (NCSU) – L-MD, 0-8 Benjamin Hutchins (UVA) – W-Forfeit Madison Martin (King) – W-MD, 16-4 Chandler Pyke (NCSU) – W-D, 6-1 Cameron Perry (UVA) – L-D, 0-6
Hunter Manley Nick Lankford (Newberry) – L-D, 0-2 (OT) Billy Leeper – W-Forfeit Chandler Pyke (NCSU) – L-Fall (1:14)