* University of Wyoming press release

KANSAS CITY, MO., – Jore Volk had lofty goals entering the 2024 NCAA Championships inside the T-Mobile Center. The No. 5-seeded sophomore wanted to make some noise and wrestle all three days of the tournament.

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Volk made his life and path to accomplishing said goals quite difficult after dropping his first match Thursday morning. After doing that, the 125-pounder needed four consecutive wins to earn a spot on the podium and All-American status.

With pure Cowboy grit, Volk did what he set out to do. Four straight wins, the last of which was an upset of Penn State’s No. 1 Braeden Davis in sudden victory, 4-1.

“Obviously my goal coming into the tournament was being a national champion, but that first match didn’t go my way,” Volk said. “I just had to stay the course, keep my head in the right place and just believe I could come back.”

The victory gave Volk his first-career All-American award after going 1-2 at last year’s NCAA Championships. It’s Wyoming’s first All-American since 2022.

Volk fell in his final match Friday. Lehigh’s No. 2 Luke Stanich won via major decision, 9-0. Volk will wrestle for seventh place Saturday morning against South Dakota State’s No. 23 Tanner Jordan.

Volk’s journey to the podium featured a come-from-behind victory in the third round of the consolation bracket Friday. He rallied, scoring a takedown with under 10 seconds to go, for a 5-4 decision win over Stanford’s No. 14 Nico Provo in the third round of the consolation bracket.

Friday also featured a 5-1 decision victory for Volk. He defeated Virginia Tech’s No. 11 Cooper Flynn.

“It’s hard to come back after you drop your first match, especially when it’s an upset,” head coach Mark Branch said. “To be able to claw your way back and get on the podium is impressive. Now it becomes a focus on winning the last match of the tournament, and it’s something that is important for him to do.”

Volk wasn’t the only one to show impressively in Kansas City. The other two Cowboys – Gabe Willochell (149) and Joey Novak (197) – combined for four upset wins, two of which were of at least 10 seed spots.

No. 22 Gabe Willochell (149) picked up his second upset in as many days Friday. He beat Maryland’s No. 12 Ethen Miller via decision, 10-8, to advance to the third round of the consolation bracket.

Willochell’s NCAA Championships came to close there; however, it wasn’t without a fight. Ohio State’s No. 14 Dylan D’Emilio hung on for a 9-7 decision win.

It marked Willochell’s second NCAA Championships. He qualified for the 2022 version as a member of the Edinboro squad and went 0-2.

No. 17 Joey Novak (197) also boasted his second upset of the tournament on Friday. He bested North Carolina’s No. 15 Max Shaw via decision, 9-5, which saw the Wyoming freshman score eight third-period points.

Novak’s NCAA Championships ended in the third round of the consolation bracket. He dropped a major decision, 13-5, to Little Rock’s No. 9 Stephen Little.

“Gabe and Joey had outstanding tournaments, as well,” Branch said. “They came up short from placing, but both of them scored upsets and beat guys that were seeded higher. They wrestled as hard as they have all year and as tough as they have all year.

“I can’t remember a group that has wrestled with this much toughness, so in that I’m super proud.”


125 | No. 5 Jore Volk

Round of 32: No. 28 Diego Sotelo (Harvard) dec. No. 5 Volk, 5-3

Consolation Round 1: No. 5 Volk dec. No. 21 Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State), 2-0

Consolation Round 2: No. 5 Volk dec. No. 11 Cooper Flynn (Virginia Tech), 5-1

Consolation Round 3: No. 5 Volk dec. No. 14 Nico Prove (Stanford), 5-4

Blood Round: No. 5 Volk sudden victory No 1 Braeden Davis (Penn State), 4-1

Consolation Quarterfinals: No. 2 Luke Stanich (Lehigh) major dec. No. 5 Volk, 9-0


149 | No. 22 Gabe Willochell (2-2)

Round of 32: No. 22 Willochell major dec. No. 11 Quinn Kinner (Rider), 8-0

Round of 16: No. 6 Austin Gomez (Michigan) fall, No. 22 Willochell, 4:57

Consolation Round 2: No. 22 Willochell dec. No. 12 Ethen Miller (Maryland), 10-8

Consolation Round 3: No. 14 Dylan D’Emilio dec. No. 22 Willochell, 9-7


197 | No. 17 Joey Novak (2-2)

Round of 32: No. 17 Novak dec. No. 16 Luke Stout (Princeton), 9-6

Round of 16: No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) fall No. 17 Novak, 2:21

Consolation Round 2: No. 17 Novak dec. No. 15 Max Shaw (North Carolina), 9-5

Consolation Round 3: No. 9 Stephen Little (Little Rock) major dec. No. 17 Novak, 13-5

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