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Wrestling Mocs head to SoCon tournament this weekend

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Senior Alonzo Allen is the No. 1 seed at 125 pounds at the SoCon Tournament. Photo via GoMocs.com

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is off to the 82nd annual Southern Conference Wrestling Tournament in Boone, N.C., this weekend. The Mocs have won 29 SoCon Tournament titles since joining the league in 1978, including five of the last eight and 10 of the last 14.

The SoCon was allocated 13 spots for the NCAA Championships, with two each at 149, 174 and 197 pounds.

Appalachian State won last year's crown with 110 points, while Chattanooga came in second with 88 points. Alonzo Allen (125), Bryce Carr (184) and Scottie Boykin (197) won individual titles in 2018.

This year's tournament is set to be a battle after three teams tied for the SoCon regular season title. Campbell, Appalachian State and UTC all posted 5-1 marks in league duals with the Mountaineers defeating the Mocs, Chattanooga beating the Camels and Campbell taking out ASU in dual action.

Links for both live scoring and live video are available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS - SUNDAY - MARCH 10, 2019

Holmes Convocation Center - Boone, N.C.

  • 9:00 a.m. – Doors open
  • 10:00 a.m. – First-round matches
  • 12:00 p.m. – Semifinals
  • 2:00 p.m. – Consolation quarters (conso semis follow)
  • 5:30 p.m. – Consolation finals
  • 7:00 p.m. – Finals, true-place matches and award presentation

TICKETS

Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for youth ages 6-12. Groups of 10 or more can get tickets for $8 each, while students from Southern Conference schools, including wrestling associate member schools, get in free with school ID. Fans can also get $3 off ticket price with the donation of a food item at the door.

CHATTANOOGA LINEUP

  • 125: Alonzo Allen (Sr. – 22-7, 4-0 SoCon)
  • 133: Jake Huffine (Jr. – 17-14, 2-4 SoCon)
  • 141: Chris Debien (Jr. – 22-11, 6-0 SoCon)
  • 149: Tanner Smith (Fr. – 9-6, 4-2 SoCon)
  • 157: Ryan Resnick (Fr. – 9-13, 3-2 SoCon)
  • 165: Drew Nicholson (Fr. – 9-10, 4-2 SoCon)
  • 174: Hunter Fortner (Fr. – 10-15, 3-3 SoCon)
  • 184: Dominic Lampe (Jr. – 12-11, 1-1 SoCon)
  • 197: Rodney Jones (Jr. – 16-17, 3-3 SoCon)
  • 285: Connor Tolley (Sr. – 16-14), 5-1 SoCon)

SOCON REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIPS

UTC clinched a share of the SoCon regular season title with an 18-12 win over No. 25 Campbell on Feb. 10. It marks Chattanooga's 17th SoCon regular season title since the league began recognizing a season winner in 1994.

During that time the Mocs have won the regular season outright 12 times and shared the title five. Appalachian State is the only other school with more than three, winning the regular season outright six times and sharing the title on five occasions.

Head Coach Kyle Ruschell is the fourth-straight, first-year head coach at UTC to win the SoCon regular season. He joins Heath Eslinger (2010), Chris Bono (2007) and Joe Seay (2006) who also won the league regular season in their first years with the Mocs.

MOCS AT THE SOCON TOURNAMENT

The SoCon Tournament has been held 80 times since 1930. The Mocs have won a league-leading 29 tournament titles, despite not joining the league until 1978. VMI is second with nine and Appalachian State is third with eight.

HEAD COACH KYLE RUSCHELL

Kyle Ruschell was named head coach of the Mocs on Aug. 10, 2018. He replaced Heath Eslinger, who stepped down to pursue other interests on July 19. Ruschell joined the Mocs staff in June as assistant coach. He spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. A former member of the U.S. National Team (2014-15), he was a two-time All-American for the Badgers (2007-10).

WEIGHT-BY-WEIGHT NOTES

125: Senior Alonzo Allen is the defending SoCon Champion at 125. He battled teammate Fabian Gutierrez all year long for the starting position, winning the spot in a wrestle-off in late February. Gutierrez is No. 23 in the latest coaches rankings.

Allen won SoCon Wrestler of the Week after placing fifth at the Scuffle. He is 22-7 overall and has also placed at the Hokie Open (2nd), the Wolfpack Open (6th) and the Cougar Clash (3rd).

Allen went 4-0 in SoCon duals during the season, but two wins were by forfeit. There are only four entrants at 125 with Allen as the No. 1 seed. He also grabbed All-SoCon honors at 125 for the first time in his career.

Allen vs. the SoCon Field (2-0 - 2018-19 Career - 4-0)

2018-19

Korbin Meink (Campbell-2/10)........................ W-D, 7-2

De'andre Swinson (App. St. 11/4)................... W-D, 4-0

2017-18

DeAndre Swinson-Barr (App. State 3/3).......... W-D, 9-5

DeAndre Swinson-Barr (App. State 2/4).......... W-D, 3-1

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 125:

1. Allen (UTC), 2. Meink (Campbell), 3. DeAndre Swinson-Barr (ASU), 4. Derek Shockey (VMI).

133: Junior Jake Huffine is 17-14 overall with two SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week honors and another SoCon Wrestler of the Week recognition on his resume.

He has a runner-up showing at the Cougar Clash and a sixth place finish at the Wolfpack Open. Huffine earned UTC's Dayle May Award in January for having the highest student-athlete GPA. He is a 4.0 student as an Accounting major.

Huffine went 2-4 in league duals and is the fifth seed in the tournament. This is his first appearance at the SoCon Championships.

Huffine vs. the SoCon Field (1-4 - 2018-19)

2018-19

No. 20 Noah Gosner (Campbell-2/10).............. L-D, 2-5

Charles Kearney (Citadel-2/9).................... W-MD, 14-4

Codi Russell (App. St.-2/3)......................... L-MD, 3-11

Brandon Bright (GWU-2/1).............................. L-D, 2-3

Kyle Gorant (DAV-1/27).................................. L-D, 2-8

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 133:

1. Gosner (Campbell), 2. Codi Russell (ASU), 3. Kyle Gorant (Davidson), 4. Brandon Bright (GWU), 5. Jake Huffine (UTC), 6. Charles Kearney (Citadel), 7. Cliff Conway (VMI).

141: Junior Chris Debien posted a sixth place finish at the Southern Scuffle and was runner-up at the Cougar Clash. He is tied for the team lead with a 22-11 overall mark, including a fourth place finish at the Wolfpack Open. The 2016 SoCon Champion has won 15 of his last 21 matches and was 6-0 in SoCon duals.

Debien vs. the SoCon Field (6-0 - 2018-19 Career - 8-0)

2018-19

Nathan Boston (Campbell-2/10)..................... W-D, 6-2

Keegan Connolly (Citadel-2/8).............. W-TF, 15-0 (6:02)

Irvin Enriquez (App. St.-2/3)........................... W-D, 9-4

Blake Mulkey (GWU-2/1)............................... W-D, 9-7

Caleb Ziebell (DAV-1/27)......................... W-Fall (4:25)

Dom Gallo (VMI-1/20).................................... W-D, 5-2

2017-18

Nathan Boston (Campbell 3/3)....................... W-D, 5-0

Nathan Boston (Cambell 2/17)....................... W-D, 5-2

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 141:

1. Debien (UTC), 2. Boston (Campbell), 3. Enriquez (ASU), 4. Dom Gallo (VMI), 5. Blake Mulkey (GWU), 6. Caleb Zibell (Davidson), 7. Keegan Connolly (Citadel).

149: Tanner Smith is the 2019 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. He has won five of his last seven matches and is 9-6 overall. He has two pins, a major and a tech fall in his last four wins.

Smith went 4-2 in league duals and is the No. 3 seed in the tournament. There are two bids up for grabs at 149, so both finalists at this weight earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Smith's three losses were tight ones to the top two seeds, including Campbell's ninth-ranked Josh Heil and Appalachian State's Matt Zovistoski. Smith defeated Zovistoski (13-4) in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Cleveland State Open when he was an unattached, true freshman at Eastern Michigan.

Smith vs. the SoCon Field (3-3 - 2018-19 Career - 4-3)

2018-19

No. 9 Joshua Heil (Campbell 2/10).................. L-D, 4-7

Selwyn Porter (Citadel 2/8)............... W-TF, 18-3 (7:00)

Matt Zovistoski (App. St. 2/3)........................... L-D, 1-3

Zach Schmitt (VMI 1/20).......................... W-Fall (2:02)

Aidan Conroy (Davidson 11/4)................... W-MD, 11-1

No. 18 Josh Heil (Campbell 11/4).................... L-D, 5-9

2017-18

Matt Zovistoski (App. St. 12/16)................. W-MD, 13-4

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 149:

1. Heil (Campbell), 2. Zovistoski (ASU), 3. Smith (UTC), 4. Porter (Citadel), 5. Baldwin (Davidson), 6. McKinney (GWU), 7. Schmitt (VMI).

157: Ryan Resnick earned SoCon All-Freshman honors after winning four of his last seven matches to move to 9-13. Among his four wins in league action was a 7-6 decision over Campbell's Benjamin Barton in the dual on Feb. 10. He has two losses each to The Citadel's Rian Burris and Davidson's Tony Palumbo, the No. 2 and No. 6 seeds in the tournament.

Resnick vs. the SoCon Field (3-4 - 2018-19)

2018-19

Benjamin Barton (Campbell-2/10)................... W-D, 7-6

Rian Burris (Citadel-2/8).............................. L-D, 10-12

Angel Najar (App. St.-2/3)........................ W-Fall (1:12)

Evan Schenk (GWU-2/1)............................... W-D, 6-4

Tony Palumbo (DAV-1/27).............................. L-D, 2-4

Rian Burris (The Citadel 1/1)......................... L-D, 8-13

Tony Palumbo (Davidson 11/18)...................... L-D, 2-4

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 157:

1. Barton (Campbell), 2. Burris (The Citadel), 3. Resnick (UTC), 4. Najar (ASU), 5. Schenk (GWU), 6. Palumbo (Davidson), 7. Ostrander (VMI).

165: Drew Nicholson earned SoCon All-Fresman honors after posting a 9-10 overall record. He has won two of his last three matches. He was 4-2 in SoCon action and is the No. 3 seed in the SoCon Tournament.

Nicholson vs. the SoCon Field (4-2 - 2018-19)

2018-19

Cameron Pine (Campbell 2/10)...................... W-D, 3-2

Dazjon Casto (Citadel 2/8)............................. W-D, 8-6

Michael Elliott (App. St. 2/3)................... L-D, 4-6 (SV1)

Tyler Marinelli (GWU 2/1)................... L-TF, 1-16 (5:22)

Erik Eva (DAV 1/27)......................... W-TF, 20-5 (6:07)

Luke Niksic (VMI 1/20).............................. W-MD, 12-4

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 165:

1. Marinelli (GWU), 2. Elliott (ASU), 3. Nicholson (UTC), 4. Casto (Citadel), 5. Pine (Campbell), 6. Casto (Davidson), 7. Niksic (VMI).

174: Freshman Hunter Fortner is 10-15 and seeded fifth at the SoCon Tournament. He was 3-3 against the field , including an 11-3 major decision against Gardner-Webb's No. 4 seed Kyle Homet.

The SoCon has two bids at 174, so both finalists will qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Fortner vs. the SoCon Field (3-3 - 2018-19)

2018-19

No. 17 Andrew Morgan (Campbell 2/10)............... L-D, 4-9

Kyle Kretzer (Citadel 2/8).......................... W-Fall (6:30

Thomas Flitz (App. St. 2/3)......................... L-MD, 4-13

Kyle Homet (GWU 2/1).............................. W-MD, 11-3

Noah Satterfield (DAV 1/27)..................... W-Fall (4:19)

Neal Richards (VMI 1/20)................... L-TF, 6-21 (4:53)

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 174:

1. Richards (VMI), 2. Morgan (Campbell), 3. Flitz (ASU), 4. Homet (GWU), 5. Fortner (UTC), 6. Satterfield (Davidson), 7. Kretzer (Citadel).

184: Junior Dominic Lampe is 12-11 overall, but only wrestled in two league duals. He is the No. 3 seed and split matches with the top two seeds. He scored a 3-2 decision over Appalachian State's top-seed Alan Clothier and lost 9-6 to Campbell's No. 2 seed Chris Kober.

This is Lampe's second appearance in the SoCon Tournament. He was 1-2 at 165 as a freshman in 2016.

Lampe vs. the SoCon Field (2-1 - 2018-19 Career - 3-1)

2018-19

Chris Kober (Campbell 2/10)........................... L-D, 6-9

Alan Clothier (App.St. 2/3)............................. W-D, 3-2

Conor Fenn (Davidson 11/18)........................ W-D, 8-7

2016-17

Alan Clothier (App.St. 1/28).................. W-D, 6-4 (SV1)

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 184:

1. Clothier (ASU), 2. Kober (Campbell), 3. Lampe (UTC), 4. Fenn (Davidson), 5. Gallahan (VMI), 6. Duane (Citadel), 7. Salter (GWU).

197: Junior Rodney Jones is 16-17 overall. He has a third place finish at the Cougar Clash and a pair of sixth place showings at the Wolfpack Open and the Hokie Open.

Jones went 3-3 in SoCon duals and is 5-5 against the field overall. He is seeded fourth in the tournament and is making his first career appearance in the championships.

The SoCon has two bids at 197, so both finalists will make the NCAA Tournament.

Jones vs. the SoCon Field (5-5 - 2018-19 Career - 6-5)

2018-19

Austin McNeil (Campbell 2/10)....................... W-D, 6-5

Sawyer Root (Citadel 2/8)............................... L-D, 0-2

No. 17 Randall Diabe (App. St. 2/3)................. L-D, 1-4

Anthony Perrine (GWU 2/1)............................. L-D, 4-5

Finaly Holston (DAV 1/27)......................... W-MD, 10-0

Chris Beck (VMI 1/20).................................... W-D, 5-3

Anthony Perrine (GWU 1/1)........................... W-D, 7-2

Sawyer Root (Citadel 11/18)............................ L-D, 0-3

Finlay Holston (DAV 11/18)............... W-TF, 16-1 (3:46)

Sawyer Root (Citadel 11/4)............................. L-D, 2-3

2015-16

Randall Diabe (App. St. 11/8)......................... W-D, 5-2

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 197:

1. Diabe (ASU), 2. Root (Citadel), 3. Perrine (GWU), 4. Jones (UTC), 5. McNeil (Campbell), 6. Beck (VMI), 7. Holston (Davidson).

285: Senior Connor Tolley is 16-14 overall and was the SoCon Wrestler of the Week all competition on Feb. 6-12. He scored wins over The Citadel's Michael McAleavey (6-1) and Campbell's Odgerel Batkhishig (7-4). The win over Batkhishig clinched the SoCon regular season title for the Mocs.

Tolley was runner-up in the Wolfpack Open, falling to former NAIA All-American Ceron Francisco in the finals. He also has a third place at the Cougar Clash and a sixth place finish at the Hokie Open.

Tolley finished third at last year's SoCon Championships.

Tolley vs. the SoCon Field (6-1 - 2018-19 Career - 9-5)

2018-19

Odgerel Batkhishig (Campbell 2/10)............... W-D, 7-4

Michael McAleavey (Citadel 2/8).................... W-D, 6-1

Cary Miller (App. St. 2/3)............................ L-MD, 2-10

Jeffrey Linker (GWU 2/1)......................... W-Fall (4:07)

Mitchell Trigg (DAV 1/27)............................... W-D, 5-3

Trey Momon (VMI 1/20)............................ W-MD, 12-4

Jeffrey Linker (GWU 11/18)....................... W-MD, 13-3

2017-18

Cary Miller (App. St. 3/3)............................ L-MD, 0-11

Michael McAleavey (Citadel 3/3).................... W-D, 3-2

Cary Miller (App. St. 2/4)................................. L-D, 5-7

Michael McAleavey (Citadel 11/5)................... W-D, 6-2

2016-17

Michael McAleavey (Citadel 2/4)...................... L-D, 4-5

Cary Miller (App. St. 2/4)................................ W-D, 3-2

Michael McAleavey (Citadel 1/28).................... L-D, 3-6

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 285:

1. Miller (ASU), 2. Tolley (UTC), 3. Batkhishig (Campbell), 4. McAleavey (Citadel), 5. Momon (VMI), 6. Trautman (GWU).

SMITH NAMED SOCON FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

UTC's Tanner Smith is the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, the league office announced Thursday, March 7. Smith posted a 9-6 overall record, including a 4-2 mark in league matches, at 149 pounds. He is the ninth Moc to earn SoCon Freshman of the Year honors and the first since Kamaal Shakur in 2016. That is the most in the league by one school since the conference began the award in 1992. UNCG and VMI are tied for second-most with five.

ALLEN & DEBIEN NAMED ALL-SOCON

Senior Alonzo Allen and junior Chris Debein made the All-SoCon Team. Allen made the squad for the first time at 125 pounds. He was 22-7 overall and 4-0 in league duals. He is the defending SoCon Champion at 125 pounds and was the SoCon Wrestler of the Week after placing fifth at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2. He also placed at the Hokie Open (2nd), the Wolfpack Open (6th) and the Cougar Clash (3rd).

Debien earns his second All-SoCon honor, having made the team in 2017 when he was the league champ at 133 pounds. He went 22-11 and 6-0 in the SoCon at 141 this season. This includes a sixth place finish at the Southern Scuffle, runner-up at the Cougar Clash and a fourth place finish at the Wolfpack Open.

The Mocs have placed 96 individuals on the All-SoCon teams since the award began in 1993. Appalachian State is second with 62, while The Citadel is third with 31.

SMITH, RESNICK, NICHOLSON NAMED ALL-FROSH

Tanner Smith, Ryan Resnick and Drew Nicholson made the SoCon All-Freshman squad. Smith posted a 9-6 overall record, including a 4-2 mark in league matches, at 149 pounds. Resnick has won four of his last six matches to move to 9-12, while Nicholson is 9-10 overall. Resnick was 3-2 in league duals and Nicholson posted a 4-2 conference record.

The Mocs tied The Citadel for most in the conference this year. UTC leads the league with 26 all-freshman honorees since the team began in 2009. Appalachian State is second with 23, followed by Campbell with 16.

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