The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team battled No. 21 Purdue down to the wire before falling 21-15 at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., today. The score was tied at 15 with one match left, but the Boilermakers scored a fall to take the team win.
The Mocs won five matches on the day, but gave up two costly pins, and lost two more in overtime. UTC drops to 4-4 overall while Purdue improves to 3-1.
“There is a tipping point when you move from good to great and we have to take advantage of one of these opportunities to do that,” stated Mocs head coach Heath Eslinger. “I thought it was a good match, but I thought we could have won eight of the 10 matches.”
Action began with a great match at 184 between sophomore John Lampe and Purdue’s Tyler Lynde. Lynde held a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Lampe scored a takedown in the second for a 3-1 advantage.
After choosing down in the third, Lynde scored an escape and a takedown to go up 4-3. Lampe tied the match with an escape before the buzzer and won it in overtime with a takedown.
Freshman Jared Johnson battled No. 15 Braden Atwood at 197. Despite the 10-4 loss, Johnson was able to avoid giving up bonus points with an escape late in the match. He was down 9-2 and lost the riding time point, but forced a penalty and scored an escape to keep the major decision off the books.
Junior Kevin Malone put the Mocs back on top 6-3 with his 3-0 win over Alex White at heavyweight. His escape and takedown late in the second period was the difference in that bout.
Purdue took a 9-6 lead with the first of its two pins at 125. Camden Eppert scored a second-period fall against freshman Byron Smith.
Junior Nick Soto started strong at 133 against Cashé Quiroga. He ran out to a 5-0 lead after the second period. Quiroga battled back to tie the match a 8-8 in the third period, but an escape and riding time for Soto gave him the 10-8 win. That tied the team score again at 9-9
Freshman Austin Sams twice slammed Danny Sabatello to the mat at 141, and looked to be in control with a 6-3 lead after the second period. Sabatello battled back to tie the match at seven and win it in overtime with a takedown. Freshman Michael Hooker also dropped his 149 match in overtime, giving Purdue a 15-9 advantage.
Senior Alex Hudson was dominant in his match against Doug Welch at 157, scoring an 8-1 win. He had a chance for bonus points, but gave up an escape at the buzzer.
Junior Corey Mock, ranked as high as No. 4 coming into the match, improved to 11-0 with his 6-0 win over Chad Welch. That tied the team score at 15-15, setting up the final bout at 174. Junior Levi Clemons got caught early in the match and gave up the fall in the first period to Patrick Kissell.
“Everyone thinks it falls on Levi but we had two overtime matches we could have won too,” added Eslinger. “We have to rally around those guys and find a way to get their confidence to where it needs to be.”
The Mocs are back on the mat tomorrow when they open Southern Conference action against Gardner-Webb in Maclellan Gym. Monday’s contest against the Bulldogs is the much-anticipated Taziki’s Candlelight Dinner Match. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) with wrestling beginning at 7:00 p.m. Contact the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) for more information.
No. 21 Purdue 21 – Chattanooga 15
184: John Lampe (UTC) – Dec. 6-4 (SV) - Tanner Lynde (Purdue) – UTC 3-0
197: No. 15/17 Braden Atwood (Purdue) – Dec. 10-4 - Jared Johnson (UTC) – 3-3
285: Kevin Malone (UTC) – Dec. 3-0 - Alex White (Purdue) – UTC 6-3
125: Camden Eppert (Purdue) – Fall 4:00 - Byron Smith (UTC) – Purdue 9-6
133: Nick Soto (UTC) – Dec. 10-8 - Cashé Quiroga (Purdue) – 9-9
141: Danny Sabatello (Purdue) – Dec. 9-7 (SV) - Austin Sams (UTC) – Purdue 12-9
149: Brandon Nelsen (Purdue) – Dec. 5-3 (SV) - Michael Hooker (UTC) – Purdue 15-9
157: Alex Hudson (UTC) – Dec. 8-1 - Doug Welch (Purdue) – Purdue 15-12
165: No. 4/7 Corey Mock (UTC) – Dec. 6-0 - Chad Welch (Purdue) – 15-15
174: Patrick Kissel (Purdue) – Fall 1:25 - Levi Clemons (UTC) – Purdue 21-15