On a night when the big guns were quiet, the 22nd-ranked Chattanooga Mocs were still able to score a dominating 27-12 Southern Conference win at The Citadel. UTC dropped four individual matches, but scored bonus points in five of its six wins to improve to 12-5 overall and 3-0 in SoCon action.
Despite losses by senior Alex Hudson at 157 and sixth-ranked junior Corey Mock at 165, the Mocs still won their 11th-striaght SoCon match and remained in first place in the conference race. UTC improved to 25-1 in league duals under fifth-year head coach Heath Eslinger. The Citadel fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the SoCon.
“It was an awesome effort tonight,” stated Eslinger. “We competed hard at all 10 weights, and up to this point we have been very consistent. That’s really all you can ask for. To get a win like that with Corey and Alex going down was big.”
The evening started with a huge matchup at 165 between Mock and The Citadel’s 16th-ranked senior Turtogtokh Luvsandorj. Luvsandorj scored a first period takedown and held a 2-1 lead after three minutes.
Mock chose down in the second period and escaped to tie the match heading into the final frame. Luvsandorj chose neutral to start the third and scored another takedown to go up 4-2. Mock escaped but could not get the go-ahead score. Individually, Mock moves to 23-2 overall while Luvsandorj improves to 22-5.
Trailing 3-0 just after their best wrestler went down, things could have gone south quickly for the Mocs. However, UTC dominated the next six matches to put the outcome out of reach.
“Bonus points were huge for us tonight,” continued Eslinger. “It would have been a lot closer had we not had three majors and a couple of pins. Those extra points in those five matches were really the difference.”
Junior Levi Clemons (174), freshman Scottie Boykin (197) and junior Nick Soto (133) all scored four-point major decisions. Sophomore John Lampe won a 3-2 decision at 184, but the big wins were pins by a pair of freshmen.
Heavyweight Dawson Peck improved to 6-1 overall with a second period pin against Joseph Bexley. That gave the Mocs a 17-3 lead after four matches. The big surprise came next at 125 when freshman Campbell Lewis put Joaquin Marquez on his back in the first period. UTC went up 23-3 after that bout, all but putting the team result out of reach for the Bulldogs.
“It was a big win for Campbell,” added Eslinger. “He needed one like that to get back on track and he did it against a tough competitor. He has been working hard and it was great to see it pay off tonight.”
Lewis snapped a four-match losing streak with just his second win of the season. Marquez was 16-9 coming into today’s action and had the most wins of any SoCon 125-pounder. Lewis’s other win this season was against Gardner-Webb, giving him a 2-0 mark in SoCon action. Coincidentally, that was also the last win at 125 in dual match action for the Mocs, snapping a string of seven consecutive losses at that weight.
The Mocs return to Maclellan Gym for the final home match of the season on Sunday, Feb. 2, against Appalachian State. UTC hosts the Mountaineers at 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.). Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at 423-266-MOCS (6627).
No. 22 Chattanooga 27 – The Citadel 12
165: No. 16 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) – Dec. 4-3 – No. 6 Corey Mock (UTC) – The Citadel 3-0
174: Levi Clemons (UTC) – MD 16-7 - Terrell Forbes (The Citadel) – UTC 4-3
184: John Lampe (UTC) – Dec. 3-2 - Kenneth Radford (The Citadel) – UTC 7-3
197: Scottie Boykin (UTC) – MD 16-5 - Marshall Haas (The Citadel) – UTC 11-3
285: Dawson Peck (UTC) – Fall (4:23) - Joseph Bexley (The Citadel) – UTC 17-3
125: Campbell Lewis (UTC) – Fall (2:57) - Joaquin Marquez (The Citadel) – UTC 23-3
133: No. 11 Nick Soto (UTC) – MD 8-0 - Aaron Hansen (The Citadel) – UTC 27-3
141: Ugi Khishignyam (The Citadel) – Dec. 12-5 - Michael Pongracz (UTC) – UTC 27-6
149: Matthew Frisch (The Citadel) – Dec. 7-3 - Austin Sams (UTC) – UTC 27-9
157: Aaron Walker (The Citadel) – Dec. 7-5 (SV1) - Alex Hudson (UTC) – UTC 27-12