Wrestlers Claim SoCon Regular Season with Win Over UNCG
Senior group photo on Senior Day (photo by David Cate)
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

The wrestling team notched a 25-17 victory over UNC Greensboro Saturday to complete an undefeated Southern Conference season and claim the SoCon regular-season championship.

The Mocs won six of 10 matches, five of which came with bonus points, as Chattanooga improved to 11-6 on the year and 5-0 in conference action.

“In my program, winning the Southern Conference is expected,” UTC Head Coach Chris Bono said. “Winning SoCon matches is expected of each of my guys. Now we are on to the SoCon Tournament where we will have to perform to get to the NCAAs.”

The Mocs trailed two times in the match, which began at the heavyweight division. Ryan Hsu gave the Spartans (9-9, 3-2) a 3-0 lead after a two-overtime victory over UTC’s Matt Lettner, and 16th-ranked Jeff Hedges pushed the margin to 8-3 with a 16-0 technical fall on UTC’s Steve Hromada at 133.

Chattanooga senior Javier Maldonado ran his SoCon unbeaten string to 20 matches with a 4-2 win over Mitchell Johnson at 125, which evened the score at 3-3 after the second match.

Cody Cleveland knotted the score for the Mocs at 141 pounds, and Joey Knox put Chattanooga ahead for good in the following match. Cleveland, a sophomore ranked 13th, registered a 19-3 technical fall late in the third period over Ben Wilmore, and Knox, a sophomore ranked 17th, earned a 10-1 major decision over Marcus Hannah for a 12-8 Mocs’ lead.

Junior Seth Garvin recorded a technical fall of his own at 157 pounds. Garvin was a 17-3 winner over Andrew Saunders, and a riding time point pushed his total to 18-3.

UNCG’s Byron Sigmon turned a 6-4 second-period deficit into a 7-6 victory at 165 pounds, recording an escape and a takedown in the final period against UTC junior Nick Davis.

Seniors Lloyd Rogers and Josh Edmondson essentially put the match out of reach. Rogers, ranked 14th at 174 pounds, improved his record to 24-3 overall with a 15-7 major over Victor Hojilla, and Edmondson scored a 10-1 major decision over Jeremy Cannon at 184.

UNCG’s 13th-ranked wrestler, Darren Burns, ended the match with the day’s only fall, pinning junior Kyle McKee at 1:20. McKee was competing for injured starter Matt Koz.

Chattanooga’s four seniors were honored in a prematch ceremony in their home finale. The senior class has captured three straight SoCon postseason titles and has a chance for four straight March 8 at the SoCon Mat Jam hosted by UTC. Maldonado ran his four-year career record to 79-34, and Rogers improved to 74-49.

No. 18 CHATTANOOGA 25, UNC GREENSBORO 17

285 Ryan Hsu (UNCG) dec. Matt Lettner (UTC), 5-3 (2ot) 3-0 UNCG

125 No. 15 Javier Maldonado (UTC) dec. Mitchell Johnson (UNCG), 4-2 3-3

133 No. 16 Jeff Hedges (UNCG) tech. fall Steve Hromada (UTC), 16-0 (5:00) 8-3 UNCG

141 No. 13 Cody Cleveland (UTC) tech. fall Ben Wilmore (UNCG), 19-3 (6:28) 8-8

149 No. 17 Joey Knox (UTC) maj. dec. Marcus Hannah (UNCG), 10-1 12-8 UTC

157 Seth Garvin (UTC) tech. fall Andrew Saunders (UNCG), 18-3 (7:00) 17-8

165 Byron Sigmon (UNCG) dec. Nick Davis (UTC), 7-6 17-11

174 No. 14 Lloyd Rogers (UTC) maj. dec. Victor Hojilla (UNCG), 15-7 21-11

184 Josh Edmondson (UTC) maj. dec. Jeremy Cannon (UNCG), 10-1 25-11

197 No. 13 Darren Burns (UNCG) pinned Kyle McKee (UTC), 1:20 25-17

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