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West Liberty Wrestling Sweeps Opening Tri-Meet

PHILIPPI — The No. 6-ranked West Liberty University wrestling team opened the season with a bang here Saturday afternoon, sweeping a triangular from host Alderson Broaddus and Glenville State at Rex Pyles Arena.

Although it was their first competition in nearly a year, Coach Danny Irwin’s Hilltoppers (2-0, 2-0) looked like they hadn’t missed a beat. West Liberty opened the day’s proceedings with a 37-12 sprint past Glenville State (0-2, 0-2) and followed that up with a 38-10 pasting of the host Battlers. Alderson Broaddus (1-1, 1-1) downed Glenville, 37-12, in the final match of the day.

“First of all, it was great to finally have a chance to get back out there and compete today,” Irwin said. “It took so many people working extremely hard to make today happen and we are extremely appreciative. From a team standpoint, we have work to do and it’s all over the place depending on the athlete. That being said, I’m supremely confident in our staff and with our guys that we will continue to clean it up.”

The Hilltoppers certainly cleaned up on Saturday with sophomore 184-pounder Garrett Cook, senior 174-pounder Chance Morgan and junior 125-pounder Cole Laya enjoying especially impressive afternoons.

Cook barely had time to break a sweat in posting a pair of first period pins, stopping Glenville’s Christian Ramsey at 2:02 and the Battlers’ Chiedu Chika at 2:41. Morgan also maxed out his point total with two stoppages, stacking Glenville’s Luke Martin at 5:50 in the opener and pinning AB’s Andrew Gorto at the 5:12 mark in his second match.

Laya, already a two-time NCAA Division II All-American, pitched a 16-0 shutout in carding a second-period technical fall over Glenville’s Kevin Meloni in the first match of the day before stopping the Battlers’ Sean Vosburgh at 2:51 of their opening bout in the second match.

A redshirt freshman from Morgantown, W.Va., Simpson competed in one of several exhibition bouts during the breaks between the dual meets and rolled to a 16-0 win by technical fall.

Chance Morgan’s twin brother, Chase, also won twice with a technical fall and a decision at 165 while Alec Cook added a first period fall and a forfeit at 149. Jamie Kilmer notched the final fall of the day for WLU, pinning AB’s Kourdell Todd at 4:22 to close out the Hilltopper sweep. Marcus Jean-Baptiste (141) and Christian Rivera (157) added decisions during the AB dual.

The Hilltoppers will be back on the road next Saturday when they head to Fairmont State for a triangular with the host Falcons and Glenville State.

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