CHATTANOOGA, TN (GoMocs.com)---The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team hosts a pair of Southern Conference matches this weekend. The Mocs welcome The Citadel on Friday, Jan. 23, and VMI on Sunday, Jan. 25.
UTC is 7-5 overall and a winner in four-straight outings. The Mocs are second in the SoCon with a 2-0 conference tally. Appalachian State leads the league with a 3-0 mark, 6-6 overall. The Citadel is third at 2-1 and 4-4 overall.
Sunday is Senior Day vs. VMI. Action begins at 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym. The Keydets are 1-1 in SoCon matches and 4-5 overall. This is not the final home match of the season, but the best opportunity to honor UTC seniors Sean Boyle, Levi Clemons, Shawn Greevy, Jared Presley and Nick Soto.
Live scoring and a free MocsVision video broadcast are available for both matches. Links are posted on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com. Fans can also follow results on twitter @UTCWrestling.
DAVIDSON MATCH TIME CHANGE The match time for the dual against Davidson on Jan. 30 has moved to 12:00 p.m. (Noon). Come join the Mocs for some great wrestling on your Friday lunch break. If you can't make it to Maclellan Gym, links for live scoring and the MocsVision broadcast are on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com
Chattanooga won its first two SoCon matches last weekend. UTC defeated Gardner-Webb 26-12 on the road and shut out a short-handed Campbell squad 46-0 at home.
MOCS VS. THE SOCON The Mocs are 31-1 in SoCon action in five seasons under current head coach Heath Eslinger. The lone loss was a 17-25 setback at home to Appalachian State on Feb. 5, 2012. Since then, UTC has won 17-straight league matches.
INDIVIDUALLY Seniors Sean Boyle and Nick Soto lead the team at 125 and 133, respectively. They are both No. 12 in this week's InterMat individual rankings and both have 20 wins on the year. A three-time SoCon Champion, Soto is 20-0 in his career against SoCon opponents.
Junior Austin Sams has won six in a row to push his record to 13-11 overall. Sophomore Jared Johnson earned his second SoCon Wrestler of the Week award after scoring bonus points in both wins last week. He has a team-best 22-6 overall record at heavyweight.
The Citadel is 4-4 overall and 2-1 in SoCon action. They have league wins over Campbell (45-3) and Gardner-Webb (20-15), but lost to Appalachian State (13-21) on Sunday. The Citadel was picked to finish second in the league in the preseason coaches poll.
The Mocs and The Citadel are very familiar with each other this season. They both were at the Hokie Open, the Navy Classic, the Defense Soap & Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle and the Virginia Duals.
Both teams took on Kent State at the Virginia Duals. Chattanooga won 27-9, but The Citadel lost 23-9.
ALL-TIME VS. THE CITADEL The Mocs are 34-3 all-time against The Citadel, including last season's 27-12 win in Charleston on Jan. 22. UTC has won 10-straight in the series and the last loss was a 27-13 defeat on Feb. 14, 2004. UTC is 15-2 at home against the Bulldogs.
Last Five Matches Jan. 22, 2014 - Chattanooga 27 - The Citadel* 12 Jan. 27, 2013 - Chattanooga 22 - The Citadel* 20 Jan. 29, 2012 - Chattanooga 27 - The Citadel* 13 Jan. 30, 2011 - Chattanooga* 26 - The Citadel 6 Dec. 17, 2009 - Chattanooga 34 - The Citadel* 7
LAST TIME VS. THE CITADEL The 22nd-ranked Mocs defeated The Citadel 27-12 in last year's meeting on Jan. 22. Scottie Boykin and Nick Soto both scored four-point major decisions in the win.
No. 22 Chattanooga 27 - The Citadel 12 Jan. 22, 2014 - Charleston, S.C. 165: No. 16 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (CIT) – Dec. 4-3 – No. 6 Corey Mock (UTC) – The Citadel 3-0 174: Levi Clemons (UTC) – MD 16-7 - Terrell Forbes (CIT) – UTC 4-3 184: John Lampe (UTC) – Dec. 3-2 - Kenneth Radford (CIT) – UTC 7-3 197: Scottie Boykin (UTC) – MD 16-5 - Marshall Haas (CIT) – UTC 11-3 285: Dawson Peck (UTC) – Fall (4:23) - Joseph Bexley (CIT) – UTC 17-3 125: Campbell Lewis (UTC) – Fall (2:57) - Joaquin Marquez (CIT) – UTC 23-3 133: No. 11 Nick Soto (UTC) – MD 8-0 - Aaron Hansen (CIT) – UTC 27-3 141: Ugi Khishignyam (The Citadel) – Dec. 12-5 - Michael Pongracz (CIT) – UTC 27-6 149: Matthew Frisch (CIT) – Dec. 7-3 - Austin Sams (UTC) – UTC 27-9 157: Aaron Walker (CIT) – Dec. 7-5 (SV1) - Alex Hudson (UTC) – UTC 27-12
KEY MATCHES & PREVIOUS MEETINGS WITH THE CITADEL Possible rematches from last year could take place at 197 between Scottie Boykin and Marshall Haas and 133 between Nick Soto and Aaron Hansen.
Boykin won last year's regular season meeting with Haas in a 16-5 major decision. Haas came back with a surprise 9-5 decision in the SoCon Tournament and represented the league at the NCAAs.
Aaron Walker is the returning SoCon champ at 157 and the preseason pick at that weight. He will go against UTC's Austin Sams who brings in a six-match winning streak.
The Nov. 9 Hokie Open saw Sean Mappes defeated Kenneth Radford 3-1 at 174 and John Shrader pin Jared Hemmings at 184. Shawn Greevy already has a win over Matt Frisch at 149. He posted a 10-5 decision at the Navy Classic on Nov. 22.
The Keydets are 4-5 overall and 1-1 in league duals. They defeated Campbell 45-8 in their last outing on Jan. 16. VMI lost to Gardner-Webb 31-9 in their other league dual in December.
The Keydets face Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Davidson at Davidson on Friday before visiting the Mocs on Sunday.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE KEYDETS The Mocs are 24-6 all-time against VMI, including a current 11-match winning streak. UTC's last loss in the series was a 26-12 defeat on Feb. 22, 2003. The Mocs are 11-3 at home against VMI and have not lost more than three individual matches in a dual with the Keydets since 2004.
LAST TIME VS. VMI UTC was ranked No. 24 in the nation when it scored a 37-3 win at VMI last season.
No. 24 Chattanooga 37 - VMI 3 Saturday - Feb. 22, 2014 - The Thunderdome (Cocke Hall) - Lexington, Va. 125: Byron Smith (UTC) – Dec. 13-9 - Dalton Henderson (VMI) – UTC 3-0 133: No. 16 Nick Soto (UTC) – Dec. 11-6 - Michael Flora (VMI) – UTC 6-0 141: Michael Pongracz (UTC) – Dec. 5-4 - Emmitt Kelly (VMI) – UTC 9-0 149: Shabaka Johns (VMI) – Dec. 8-6 - Austin Sams (UTC) – UTC 9-3 157: Alex Hudson (UTC) – MD 14-1 - Ted Gottwald (VMI) –UTC 13-3 165: No. 13/8 Corey Mock (UTC) – MD 8-0 - Mark Darr (VMI) – UTC 17-3 174: Levi Clemons (UTC) – Fall 2:02 - Jake Koch (VMI) – UTC 23-3 184: John Lampe (UTC) – MD 20-8 - Hardy Hendren (VMI) – UTC 27-3 197: Scottie Boykin (UTC) – MD 12-2 - Andrew Embree (VMI) – UTC 31-3 285: No. 20 Dawson Peck (UTC) – Fall 3:20 - Juan Adams (VMI) – UTC 38-3
KEY MATCHES & PREVIOUS MEETINGS WITH VMI The only rematch from last year's meeting is at 141, based on the probable lineups. UTC's Michael Pongracz defeated Emmitt Kelly 5-4 in last year's meeting.
Heavyweight will be a big test in this dual. VMI's Juan Adams is the preseason pick in the SoCon while UTC's Jared Johnson is 22-6 overall going into the weekend.
CLOSE LOSSES All five of the Mocs losses have been very close matches. Four have been by four points or less and only at No. 22 Old Dominion did UTC not win at least five individual matches.
MOCS PICKED TO WIN SOCON TITLE The Mocs were selected as the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference title by the league's coaches. UTC has won 28 SoCon titles since joining the league in 1978. Head coach Heath Eslinger's squad claimed the regular season and tournament crown in 2014, received seven first-place votes and 49 points overall.
SOTO CLIMBING CAREER WINS CHART Senior Nick Soto is 106-34 in his career at UTC. He is currently seventh on UTC's all-time wins list. He needs four more wins to pass Ben Reichel (109-37-2 - 1985-89) for sixth.