Mizzou beat the snow out of the area this past weekend and got down to the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga (damn...believe it or not, I spelled both of those correctly the first time I wrote them....they will be UT-C from now on) to take on the surprising Mocs. The Mocs have been slowly building their program over the past few years to another level, and took it to another level earlier this season, knocking off Big 10 and otherwise thoroughly solid foe Ohio State to propel them to #10 in the country. Mizzou has an interesting history with them, as the Tigers were forced to forfeit their dual with them last year because of the flu. Anyway, Mizzou came away with a solid 24-10 win and move on to Pitt where they will take on the Panthers on Wednesday evening. Rankings today are based on whatever MUTigers.com uses.
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One of the best two matches of the afternoon, which pitted two top-10 ranked wrestlers. Frosh Tony Pescaglia, fresh off of his very good showing in Vegas came in ranked #7 in the country, faced off against #10 Javier Maldanado, who seems to have been around the national scene for about seven years now. A back and forth match saw Pescaglia come out on the short end 9-7, giving UT-C an early 3-0 lead. Pescaglia continues to show he can score points, but would appear to need to do better on the defensive game to take his game up another level. A quick look ahead does not show a ranked wrestler for Pitt at this class, with junior NCAA qualifier Brad Gentzle likely to take the mat.
Tyler McCormick made his return to the MU lineup after battling the injury bug for the past month or so. McCormick also battled the same big for much of last year before coming on strong down the stretch to achieve his second straight AA season. His return to the mat saw him take a 6-1 win which pulled Mizzou even with UT-C at 3. A quick look ahead does not show a ranked wrestler for Pitt at this class, though sophomore Jimmy Conroy did take a win over a top 20 opponent in his last action.
With the match even at 3, Marcus Hoehn took to the mat against the Moc’s Cody Cleveland. A tough and close match saw Hoehn eventually falling 4-3 on the day. Hoehn will continue to have his work cut out on this roadtrip, as his match at 141 against Pitt will put him up against #10 ranked Drew Headlee.
Coming back for the Tigers at to get them even at 6 in the match was Josh Wagner, who is currently ranked #16 in the nation, even off of a less than stellar Vegas tourney. He would move the Tigers back into a tie with a 10-5 victory over Joey Knox. Wagner will move on and look ahead to his match against Pitt, who does not appear to have a ranked wrestler in this class, with junior NCAA qualifier Joey Ecklof coming off of a 3-0 weekend in his last outing.
From all accounts, this was one of the top two matches of the day, as #13 Mike Chandler took the mat against #20 Seth Gavin. With the match coming down to the final second, Chandler avoided a last second takedown attempt which would have tied the match. In the end, Chandler walked off the mat a 7-5 winner over a ranked opponent, moving MU to 9-6 on the afternoon. A tough test awaits him however on Wednesday, with #4 Matt Kocher of Pitt.
Mizzou began to pull away here a tad with #5 Nick Marable seeing his first action since his impressive outing in Vegas. Nick walked off the mat on Sunday with an 11-8 victory over Seth Garvin, propelling Mizzou to a 12-6 lead. He will likely take on NCAA qualifier redshirt junior Sean Richmond this week .
This weight continues to fluctuate a bit for the Tigers, as Joey Garrity saw action this past weekend against the Mocs. I do not know if his starting is a product of a better week of workouts over Williamson or any other factors, but Garrity took the mat against #16 Lloyd Rogers of UT-C, and Rogers came away with an impressive 22-9 major decision, cutting the Mizzou lead to 12-10. Up next for whoever Mizzou decides to throw out there on Wednesday will be a match with #1 Keith Gavin of Pitt....so good luck to Mizzou in that weight class.
Mizzou started a 3-match winning streak to close out the match, as #5 Raymond Jordan scored early and often in closing out Josh Edmondson 12-6 to push the team lead back to 15-10. Jordan will now move on to wrestle RS-sophomore and transfer (East Stroudsburg....where I went to wrestling camp once) David Sullivan.
In what HAD to be the match of the day, #7 Max Askren took on #10 Matt Kox in the other match up of top 10 wrestlers. Finishing the 7 minutes of regulation tied, the grapplers went into OT, which are 1 minute periods. After SIX of them, Max finally was able to score a point of an escape and take the match 4-3. Yes folks, (and sorry to those of you who already took your shoes off for this math) that is 13 minutes of wrestling...the most you will likely see in a long time. Max will likely take on David Crowell of Pitt, who is unranked at this point. The win moved Mizzou out to an 18-10 lead, clinching the dual for them.
And finishing in grand style, #12 Mark Ellis collected his seventh pin on the year, once again getting a fall in the first period (at the 2:58 mark this time) over Matt Letner. Ellis continues to show great improvement over an already solid last season, and his obtaining of falls could stand to be very important come major tournament time with the extra points awarded. Ellis will now get a rematch with #15 Zach Sheaffer of Pitt, who earlier this season was pinned by Ellis in :49 to give Ellis a 7th place finish at the Vegas Tournament.
In the end, a nice and solid win for Mizzou, who will move on to grapple #20 Pitt on Wednesday. After Pitt, Mizzou will be off through the holidays and new year until taking on Bucknell on the 4th of January.