The 2013 Southern Scuffle, presented by Defense Soap, lived up to its hype with an outstanding second day of competition in Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Dean Pavlou led the Mocs with a seventh place showing, while the fans set another attendance record for the Scenic City tournament.
Pavlou, competing at 141 pounds, defeated Penn State's Bryan Pearsall (4-2) to claim seventh in the championship. It was the only win for Chattanooga on the day as the Mocs finished 14th in the team standings with 31.5 points.
Penn State repeated as Scuffle Champs with 178.5 points. No. 2 Oklahoma State was second with 158 points while No. 6 Missouri was third with 147.5. No. 3 Minnesota (139.5) and No. 8 Cornell (136.0) rounded out the top five in the team standings.
Championship action began with PSU's Nico Megaludis defeating Virginia's Matt Snyder 8-4 at 125. Snyder did take home the Gregorian Award with three pins in six matches. John Morrison won the 133 bracket for the Cowboys while Cornell's Michael Nevinger won at 141.
Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver dominated the 149 pound bracket on his way to winning the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. He defeated Air Force's Cole VonOhlen 21-8 in the finals. Virginia's Jedd Moore led the Cavaliers to a sixth place finish by winning at 157.
Three of today's finals pitted the top-2 ranked wrestlers in the class according to this week's InterMat NCAA Division I rankings. The first was the most anticipated match of the tournament between No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell and Penn State's second-ranked David Taylor at 165.
After a scoreless first period, Dake chose down for the second and escaped for a 1-0. Taylor was down to start the third and went up 2-1 on a reversal. Dake scored another reversal to gain a 3-2 advantage, but Talyor held the riding time point and could win with an escape. With time winding down, he could not get out and finished with 0:59 seconds on the riding time clock. That gave Dake the win, joining Minnesota's Cole Konrad (2003-06) as the only four-time Scuffle champs.
Oklahoma State's Chris Perry took the 174 title before the 184 bout that featured the top two ranked wrestlers. Penn State's top-ranked Ed Ruth defeated No. 2 Steve Bosak of Cornell (7-3 in a bout that featured two returning NCAA Champions.
Penn State's Quentin Wright won his second title with a victory at 197. That set up the last match of the day between the top two heavyweights in the nation. No. 1 Anthony Nelson, a returning NCAA Champion from Minnesota, was upset in the finals by Missouri's second-ranked Dominique Bradely.
The Mocs went 0-3 in the opening consolation matches today. Senior Niko Brown (197) and sophomores Nick Soto (125) and Kevin Malone (285) all lost their first match on Day 2. Brown moved his overall record to 19-3 while Soto is 16-5. Malone improves to 9-7 on the year.
UTC set another single-day high with 2,856 fans in attendance. The two-day attendance total of 5,399 was a 23% increase from last year's inaugural tournament on the campus of UTC.
The Mocs are back in action on Sunday, Jan. 6 when they host No. 6 Illinois. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym. Tickets are $5 and on sale now at GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).