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December 9, 2023 3:45 am

UMO battles in three dual meets at Carolina Clash

GREENWOOD, S.C. – After battling in three dual meets at the Carolina Clash hosted by Lander, the Trojans suffered two narrow defeats to nationally-ranked Glenville State and West Liberty before claiming a win over Kentucky Wesleyan to finish the event on Dec. 3.

With the results, the Trojans hold a 6-2 record in dual meets after facing two ranked programs from the Mountain East Conference and one team from the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

The team scores from the dual meets were No. 12 Glenville State over Mount Olive, 25-21; No. 7 West Liberty over Mount Olive, 24-15 and Mount Olive over Kentucky Wesleyan, 40-7.

Against Glenville State, the Pioneers established an early 7-0 lead behind a major decision at 125 and a narrow 3-1 win via decision in the 133 weight class. Junior Hayden Waddell (141) got the Trojans on the board with a victory via fall over Jesiah Winters to earn maximum points to trim the deficit to 7-6. Redshirt freshman Dallas Wilson followed up with a dominant performance to claim an 18-0 technical fall over Cam Barr at 149 before redshirt junior Michael Vernagallo (157) registered an 18-9 major decision against Tristan Pugh to give UMO a 15-7 advantage.

Glenville State rallied back with a slight 2-1 decision at 165 before victories in the 174 and 184 weight classes to reclaim a 19-15 lead. Sophomore Jonathan Clack answered with a win via fall over nationally-ranked Jordan Williams at 197 to give UMO a 21-19 advantage heading into the final match. The Pioneers prevailed at heavyweight with a win by fall to secure a 25-21 win.

Against West Liberty, the Hilltoppers took an early 6-0 advantage following an injury during the match at 125. Freshman Jeffrey Richards (133) responded with a 9-5 decision over Matt Englehardt to cut into the deficit before West Liberty pulled out a slim 3-0 decision in the 141 weight class. Wilson (149) secured his second win over the day with a 9-4 decision versus Jacob Simpson, while the Hilltoppers added to their advantage with a 6-2 win via decision at 157. Sophomore Jake Nicolosi (165) countered with a win by 6-5 decision over Chase Morgan, but West Liberty collected back-to-back wins at 174 and 184. Clack (197) secured his second victory by fall against Drake Kendrex. The Hilltoppers sealed the 24-15 dual meet win following a 7-2 decision at 285.

Against Kentucky Wesleyan, freshman Darius McKenzie opened up with a 7-0 decision over Bryson Rowley at 125 before Richards (133) registered a win via forfeit. With UMO holding a 9-0 lead, the Panthers responded with an 11-0 major decision at 141 before Wilson (149) completed the day 3-0 with an 18-2 technical fall against Will Keener. At 157, Vernagallo claimed a win via fall over Cade Johnson before Nicolosi (165) posted an 8-0 major decision versus Caden Moore to stretch the lead to 24-4. Redshirt senior Dimitri Naimi recorded a win by fall over Jarrod Gray in the 174 weight class, while redshirt sophomore Devin McCorkle posted a 12-3 major decision at 184 to put UMO ahead 34-4. Kentucky Wesleyan claimed a 5-3 decision at 197 before redshirt senior Nico Ramirez (285) registered a win via fall versus Robert Ward, 40-7.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics