* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming wrestling head coach Mark Branch’s right hand was sore Friday following his team’s dual against Air Force. The fact of the matter was he simply had to give out quite a few exuberant high-fives following an authoritative performance from the Cowboys.

7220 Sports logo
Get our free mobile app

Wyoming started extremely strong and finished well en route to a 30-14 victory inside the UniWyo Sports Complex. The victory improves the Pokes to 4-5 on the season and 2-3 in Big 12 action, while the loss drops the Falcons to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in league.

The message from Branch and the coaching staff Friday was simple, and it was clearly received by the squad. They wanted to showcase offense and showcase it early, which is precisely what the Cowboys did.

“In the seven matches we won, we scored first-period takedowns, and in most of them we scored pretty quick in that first 30 or 45 seconds,” Branch said. “That makes a huge difference. You come out and punch them in the face and you can’t stop punching them, and that’s what we did, especially at the first five weights.”

Those first five weights not only saw five Wyoming wins but four of them were bonus-point victories. No. 21 Gabe Willochell (149) earned a pin just 2:25 into the match. Garrett Ricks (133) and Sloan Swan (157) each won via major decision – final scores of 15-1 and 12-0, respectively – and No. 31 Cole Brooks (141) won via technical fall, 18-2.

“I thought we could win all those matches, but (Air Force) has a gritty group of guys, and they don’t give up bonus points to very many people,” Branch said. “I was obviously pleased with bonus points in those first five matches, and that set the tone.”

No. 20 Joey Novak (197) also claimed a technical fall win, 16-0. No. 3 Jore Volk (125) and Quayin Short (184) rounded out the victorious Cowboys with a pair of decision victories, 11-6 and 5-1.

Volk’s victory, his 17th, occurred over No. 33 Tucker Owens, marking his team-leading seventh win over a ranked foe this season. Novak logged his 16th win of the year and Willochell recorded win No. 13.

Wyoming takes to the road next week. The Pokes travel to Utah Valley on Jan. 20 for a 6 p.m. dual inside Lockhart Arena.

Wyoming 30 | Air Force 14

125: No. 4 Jore Volk (Wyoming) dec. No. 33 Tucker Owens (Air Force), 11-6

133: Garrett Ricks (Wyoming) major dec. Bubba Wright (Air Force), 15-1

141: No. 31 Cole Brooks (Wyoming) tech. fall Garrett Kuchan (Air Force), 18-2

149: No. 21 Gabe Willochell (Wyoming) fall Joe Fernau (Air Force), 2:25

157: Sloan Swan (Wyoming) major dec. Brooks Gable (Air Force), 12-0

165: No. 15 Giano Petrucelli (Air Force) major dec. Cooper Voorhees (Wyoming), 10-1

174: Quayin Short (Wyoming) dec. Gage Musser (Air Force), 5-1

184: No. 9 Sam Wolf (Air Force) major dec. Tyce Raddon (Wyoming), 15-4

197: No. 20 Joey Novak (Wyoming) Calvin Sund (Air Force)

HWT: No. 2 Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force) fall Colby Huynh (Wyoming), :38

UW: University of Wyoming Cowboys’ Greatest Games From the First Decade of the 2000’s


More From 7220 Sports