Softball mm
15th Annual UTC Porky's Open
Senior Dean Pavlou
Courtesy: GoMocs.com
Mocs Travel to Princeton & Grapple in the Garden
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is back on the mat for the first time in nearly a month when it travels to Princeton and New York City this weekend.  The Mocs will face the Tigers on Friday, Dec. 14, and compete in the Grapple in the Garden, presented by Suplay.com, in Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Dec. 16.

UTC (3-2, 0-0 SoCon) visits the Ivy League campus in Princeton, N.J., for a 7:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) bout against the 0-6 Tigers.  Links for live stats and pay-per-view live video are available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com. 

The Mocs head into the city for Sunday's historic Grapple in the Garden.  "Grapple at the Garden, presented by Suplay.com," the first-ever college wrestling event to be held at Madison Square Garden, features several of the nation's top collegiate programs.  Participating institutions include: Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Chattanooga, Cornell, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Rutgers.

The Mocs will face No. 2 Oklahoma State (4-0) at 10:30 a.m. and Rutgers (6-0) at 12:30 p.m.  Links for live scoring for both matches are available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.  Oklahoma State will also have their own radio broadcast for the match with the Mocs.  A link to this is a subscription broadcast is also posted on the Mocs wrestling schedule page. 

CHATTANOOGA PROBABLE LINEUP:
125:  No. 7 Nick Soto (So. - 10-3)
133:  Marvin Lopez (Fr. - 6-6)/Alex Ward (Fr. - 0-1)
141:  Dean Pavlou (Sr. - 11-4)/Austin Sams (Fr. - 3-2)
149:  Alex Hudson (Jr. - 4-3)/Jared Presley (4-5)
157:  Trey Stavrum (So. - 7-5)
165:  John Lampe (Fr. - 7-6)
174:  Jake Young (Jr. - 5-5)
184:  Robert Prigmore (Sr. - 4-6)/John Shrader (Fr. - 4-4)
197:  Niko Brown (Sr. - 14-1)
285:  Kevin Malone (So. - 5-4)

The Mocs are 3-2 on the year with wins over Ohio (21-12), Anderson (37-6) and Cumberland (49-0).  The two losses have both come against ranked teams in No. 16 Virginia (9-26) and No. 2 Iowa (6-37).

PRINCETON PROBABLE LINEUP:
125:  Max Rogers (Fr. - 3-8)
133:  Andrew Hirai (Sr. - 2-6)
141:  Kevin Moylan (Fr. - 3-2)
149:  Zach Bintliff (Sr. - 7-6)
157:  Seth Hazleton (Jr. - 5-5) or Kyle Roddy (So. - 6-8)
165:  Judd Ziegler (Fr. - 3-8)
174:  Ryan Callahan (Jr. - 3-3)
184:  Scott Gibbons (Fr. - 11-8)
197:  Dan Santoro (Jr. - 0-2)
285:  Cole Lampman (Fr. - 0-2)

The Tigers are 0-6 with losses to three ranked teams in No. 5 Illinois (0-41), No. 23 Purdue (6-37) and No. 18 Binghampton (12-23).  They have also dropped matches to Bloomsburg (10-31), Rider (11-32) and Rutgers (6-30). 

Princeton is the only team in the Ivy League the Mocs have not faced in a dual match.  UTC is 4-2-1 all-time against the Ivy League.  The last match was a 37-3 Mocs win over Brown at the 2012 Lone Star Duals in Grand Prairie, Texas. 

NO. 2 OKLAHOMA STATE PROBABLE LINEUP:
125:  Eddie Klimara (Fr. - 16-5)
133:  No. 7 Jon Morrison (Jr. - 8-2)
141:  Julian Feikert (So. - 8-4)
149:  No. 2 Jordan Oliver (Sr. - 9-0)
157:  No. 9 Alex Dieringer (RFr. - 9-0)
165:  No. 3 Tyler Caldwell (Jr. - 9-0)
174:  No. 1 Chris Perry (Jr. - 9-0)
184:  No. 17 Chris Chionuma (Sr. - 7-2)
197:  No. 14 Blake Rosholt (Jr. - 5-1)
285:  No. 4 Alan Gelogaev (Sr. - 3-1)

Oklahoma State is 4-0, including a 22-15 win over then-No. 1 Minnesota on Dec. 2.  The Cowboys have also defeated Penn (35-10), No. 20 Wyoming (31-8) and No. 10 Oklahoma (26-9). 

UTC is 0-5 all-time against Oklahoma State.  The last match was a 37-6 Cowboy win in 2004.  UTC visited Stillwater, Okla. for the NWCA National Duals last season, but only competed against Boise State and Wyoming.  

RUTGERS PROBABLE LINEUP:
125:  Joseph Langell III - (Sr. - 11-2)/Sean McCabe - (Fr. - 1-6)
133:  Vincent Dellefave (Jr. - 10-4)/Maverick Passaro (Fr. - 2-2)
141:  No. 15 Trevor Melde (Sr. - 9-3)
149:  Mario Mason - (Sr. - 5-4)/Ken Theobold (Fr. - 9-5)
157:  No. 16 Scott Winston - (Sr. - 14-3)
165:  Nick Visicaro - (So. - 5-2)/Anthony Volpe (So. - 6-5)
174:  No. 9 Greg Zannetti (Sr. - 14-1)
184:  No. 13 Dan Rinaldi (Sr. - 14-1)
197:  Dan Seidenberg (Jr. - 5-3)/Hayden Hrymack (Fr. - 4-7)
285:  Billy Smith (Fr. - 15-3)

Rutgers is 6-0 overall with wins over Clarion (26-6), Columbia (30-6), Binghampton (30-9), Army (26-15), Rider (25-5) and Princeton (30-6).  UTC and Rutgers have never faced off in a dual match. 

SOTO RANKED THIS WEEK
Sophomore Nick Soto is No. 7 in the Wrestling Insider Magazine and Intermat top-20 at 125 pounds.  He is No. 10 in the AWN top-20.  Soto is 10-3 overall with a 3-2 mark in dual matches.  He finished second at the Wolfpack Open and won the Hokie Open earlier in the year.   

Brown Named SoCon Wrestler of the Month
Senior Niko Brown was named the SoCon Wrestler of the Month for November.  Brown opened the season with a 14-1 record in November, including a 5-0 mark in dual meets.  He turned in five pins at the 197-pound weight class in his first month of action. He finished third at the Hokie Open and won the Wolfpack Open. 

BROWN WINS WOLFPACK OPEN & SOCON WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Senior Niko Brown was named the SoCon Wrestler of the Week after winning the 197-pound title at the Wolfpack Open on Nov. 11.  It is the second weekly honor of his career. 

SOTO WINS HOKIE OPEN & SOCON WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Nick Soto was the SoCon Wrestler of the Week after going 6-1 in the opening weekend (Nov. 3-4).  He won the 125-pound title at the Hokie Open, posting a 10-9 win over No. 6 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech in the finals on Sunday.  His only loss was to No. 9 Matthew Snyder in a dual match with Virginia on Saturday.  It is the third weekly honor for Soto in his career.   

SOUTHERN SCUFFLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW
The Southern Scuffle, presented by Defense Soap, returns to McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2 and will feature 23 teams.  Defending NCAA Champion Penn State, runner-up Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Illinois and Cornell are all top-10 teams competing in the tournament.  Virginia & Virginia Tech give the Scuffle seven of the top-25 squads in the nation in the lineup.  Tickets are on sale now at the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online at GoMocs.com.

LEGENDS WEEKEND IN MACLELLAN GYM
The Mocs are set to host "Legends Weekend" Jan. 26-27.  All former wrestlers, trainers, managers and coaches are invited to take part in the two-day event.  There is a private reception at the Chattanooga Marriott on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  All retuning alumni will be honored during the Mocs match with The Citadel on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym.  Check out the letter and registration form on the sidebar of the wrestling page on GoMocs.com for more details or to sign up for the event.  

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 tournament crown in 2012, received four of eight first-place votes and 46 points overall, narrowly edging The Citadel.

Place      School (1st Place)                                 Points
1.            Chattanooga (4)                                           46
2.            The Citadel (4)                                              44
3.            Campbell                                                       35
4.            Appalachian State                                        33
5.            Gardner-Webb                                              25
6.            VMI                                                                 20
7.            SIU- Edwardsville                                         14
8.            Davidson                                                         7

FOUR MOCS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SOCON
Head coach Heath Eslinger's squad boasts three members on the preseason All-SoCon team. After winning the 2012 title at 133 pounds, sophomore Nick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) will drop down to 125 and was the preseason selection there. Senior Dean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.), a two-time SoCon champion at 149, is the preseason pick at 141 this year. Senior Niko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) earned the selection at 197.

MOCS ADD TWO IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Kevin Cooper and Michael Pongracz both recently inked their NLIs in the early signing period and will join the Mocs in the fall of 2013.  Cooper, a native of Morning View, Ky., is a two-time state champion at Simon Kenton High School and is expected to compete at 157 pounds on the collegiate level.  He went 68-0 as a junior and is currently ranked in the top-20 at 145 by InterMat.  Pongracz hails from Milford, N.J., where he is a senior at Delaware Valley High School.  He finished fifth in the New Jersey State Championships, posting a 38-4 overall record as a junior in 2012.  He is expected to compete at 133 pounds at the collegiate level. 

MOCS RANK NO. 13 IN THE NATION IN TEAM G.P.A.
The UTC wrestling team recorded the nation's 13th highest grade-point-average for the 2011-12 season according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).  The Mocs posted a 3.15 g.p.a. among its starters and top reserves in 2011-12.

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