Ngati and Gratz Named Student-Athletes of the Week

  • By WVU Athletic Communications
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  • February 13, 2017 02:02 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - After two strong performances last week, freshman Brandon Ngati of the West Virginia University wrestling team and junior Elizabeth Gratz of the WVU rifle team have been named the WVU Student-Athletes of the Week, presented by University Apartments.
Heavyweight Brandon Ngati pinned Iowa State’s Joe Scanlan in the second period of the final bout to give the Mountaineers a thrilling 22-20 comeback win over the Cyclones for WVU’s first Big 12 win in program history. Ngati, who dropped a close 1-0 decision against South Dakota State on Thursday, was scoreless in the first period of Sunday’s bout and found himself trailing Scanlan 1-0 after an early second-period escape. With just 35 seconds to go in the period, Ngati used a lateral drop to put Scanlan to the mat and secured the fall at 4:28. The victory marked Ngati’s first collegiate pin and his second win of the season.
A native of Sigel, Illinois, Gratz shot an NCAA- and school-record 600 air rifle in the Mountaineers’ 4718-4675 win at No. 6 Kentucky on Feb. 11. Gratz is the first collegiate shooter to tally the perfect score this season. She is the third Mountaineer to earn the mark and the first since 2011.Gratz followed the record-matching performance with a second place, 598 air rifle mark against No. 3 Murray State on Feb. 3. She also placed second in smallbore against the Racers with a 587 total. The Mountaineers secured their fourth straight Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) regular-season title on Saturday. They capped off their second consecutive undefeated season with a 4726-4713 win over the Racers on Sunday.
This Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia remains at home to take on No. 25 Kansas State on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in a 7 p.m. tilt at the WVU Coliseum … Wednesday’s contest will be televised on ROOT SPORTS Pittsburgh … the game is Local Heroes Night and the first 300 fans can get a limited edition “Roll Out the Carpet” pint glass … Wednesday’s game will also feature a food drive benefiting The Rack: WVU’s Food Bank for Students ... all fans that donate to the drive will recieve free admission to Wednesday’s contest ... Mountaineers hit the road for a matchup at Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 18, in a 1 p.m. ET/noon CT contest … the third coach Mike Carey Show will take place on Monday, Feb. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Kegler’s, Morgantown’s most popular sports bar and restaurant … fans can listen on WRLF 94.3 FM and WMMN 920 AM in Morgantown/Fairmont, WPDX 104.9 FM and WPDX 750 AM in Clarksburg and WBKW 1070 AM in Beckley … additionally, the show will air at WVUsports.com and via the TuneIn radio app.
Last Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia suffered a 90-87 double-overtime loss at No. 19/20 Oklahoma after leading by as many as 15 points in the third quarter … sophomore guard Tynice Martin scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Mountaineers … Teana Muldrow added a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds … West Virginia bounced back with a school-record 17 three-pointers in a 79-53 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday … Martin again led the way with 30 points … Muldrow added her sixth double-double of the year and second consecutive with 14 points and 13 rebounds. 
Notes: Martin’s 35-point performance was one shy of the WVU sophomore record 35 held by Meg Bulger … WVU’s 17 3-point field goal makes are the most in school history, surpassing the previous record of 16 set against Providence in 1998 … with a 30-point performance against the Cowgirls, Tynice Martin became the first Mountaineer to have back-to-back 30 point games since Meg Bulger did so on Jan. 11 (Marshall) and Jan. 15 (Seton Hall), 2005 … Martin knocked down a career-high seven three’s in the game, the most since Taylor Palmer made eight 3’s on November 11, 2011 against Youngstown State … Martin has now made a field goal in a team-leading 34 straight contests … Teana Muldrow recorded her seventh career double-double and second consecutive with a 14 point, 13 rebound game against the Cowgirls … after grabbing six boards against Oklahoma State, Lanay Montgomery now has 858 rebounds, moving her into sixth all-time … she needs seven more rebounds to move into fifth …  Montgomery has now recorded a rebound in 99 straight games … Chania Ray dished out a game-high seven assists, marking the 27th straight game that she has had multiple assists.
Coach Mike Carey’s comments after a win over Oklahoma State on Saturday: “Needless to say, it was nice hitting shots. I mean when you hit shots, everything works so it was nice that we hit shots. I thought we played hard again, played with emotion so that was good to see. Oklahoma State, Jim (Littell), their coach does a great job. We were just hitting everything.”
This Week in Gymnastics: The No. 19-ranked Mountaineers concluded a three-week swing away from Morgantown with a dual meet at No. 19 Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m., inside St. John Arena.
Last Week in Gymnastics: WVU (6-4, 1-1) tallied 194.575 in a third-place finish at Towson on Feb. 12 … North Carolina won the meet with a 195.525 mark, and the Tigers finished second with a 195.025 total … Temple scored 193.575 and placed fourth … WVU finished first on vault (48.975) and bars (49.075), third on floor (48.85) and fourth on beam (47.675) … junior Zaakira Muhammad earned the vault win with a 9.85 score … senior Alexa Goldberg and sophomore Tiara Wright tied for first on bars with season-high matching scores of 9.875 … junior Kirah Koshinski tied for third on floor with a 9.85 … Koshinski also paced on beam and finished 10th overall with a 9.75 … Goldberg finished fourth in the all-around with a 39.05 total.
Notes: Sunday was the first time this season WVU opened a meet on balance beam … WVU’s bars score was its second best of the year … Muhammad has hit 9.85 on vault four times this season … she also matched her season high bars total of 9.85 and finished in third place … the Buckeyes are the third ranked opponent the Mountaineers will face this season … WVU is 1-1 against ranked teams this year.
This Week in Track and Field: West Virginia will close its the indoor regular season competition at the Penn State Tune-Up on Saturday, Feb. 18, in University Park, Pennsylvania, at noon ET.
Last Week in Track and Field: The Mountaineers earned three victories at the Marshall Invitational on Feb. 10-11, including a runner-up finish, while three select student-athletes competed at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington … on Saturday, junior Shamoya McNeil won the women’s triple jump with a mark of 12.62 meters, and sophomore Danique Bryan won the women’s long jump, leaping 5.92 meters … the Mountaineers’ first win came on Friday from junior Sara Finfrock in the women’s pole vault … Finfrock won with an indoor career-best mark of 3.80 meters, improving .12 meters from last weekend’s Akron Invitational … junior Bria Welker notched a runner-up finish in the women’s 400 meters, crossing the finish line in an indoor career-best 56.78, just .56 seconds away from winning the race … Welker shed .54 seconds off of her previous best time at this year’s Akron Invitational.
Notes: Additional Mountaineer finishers at Marshall came from sophomore Chaqieta Robinson, as she placed 12th in the 400 meters with a season-best time of 58.60, shaving 1.32 second off of her previous best set at the Akron Invitational … McNeil competed in her second event on Saturday, placing third in the women’s long jump with a mark of 5.64 meters … freshmen Greer Gumbrecht and Megan Silva and junior Rebekah Lafata all tied for fourth place in the women’s pole vault, marking 3.50 meters … redshirt freshman Olivia Hill notched a top-five finish in the women’s 3,000 meters, placing fourth with a time of 9:56.72 … sophomore Faith Penny placed sixth in the women’s high jump, marking 1.60 meters … WVU’s junior Rebecca Wendt posted an eighth-place finish in the women’s 800 meters with a time of 2:17.90 … at the Husky Classic, redshirt juniors Jillian Forsey and Maggie Drazba represented West Virginia in the 5,000-meter run, on Friday … Forsey crossed the finish line in 15th with a time of 16:14.76 and Drazba placed 39th with a time of 16:53.89.
This Week in Wrestling: West Virginia (3-11, 1-3) will host a home dual on Friday before wrapping up the regular season on the road … the Mountaineers host No. 23 Edinboro on Friday night at the WVU Coliseum … the match is slated for a 7 p.m. start and will serve as the team’s annual Senior Night … seniors Dylan Cottrell, Cory Stainbrook, Tony DeAngelo, Louis Colonna, William Jenkins, Ty Millward, Jake S. Smith and  Bryson Begley will be honored … on Sunday, WVU travels to Clarion for a 2 p.m. match to finish out the regular-season slate.
Last Week in Wrestling: WVU went 1-1 on the week … on Thursday, the Mountaineers dropped a 32-9 loss to Big 12 foe, No. 16 South Dakota State at the WVU Coliseum … Joe Wheeling won by decision at 141 and Jacob A. Smith won by injury default at 197 in the loss … on Sunday, the Mountaineers posted a thrilling comeback to top Iowa State, 22-20 … Christian Monserrat (149) claimed a win by decision while Parker VonEgidy (184) won by decision in sudden victory … Dylan Cottrell returned to the mat and won by fall, with Smith adding a major decision … the highlight of the day was freshman Brandon Ngati’s pin at heavyweight, which gave the Mountaineers the win.
Notes: The win over Iowa State was the first Big 12 victory in program history for West Virginia … the win was Brandon Ngati’s first pin of his collegiate career and his second victory of the season … No. 5 Jacob A. Smith recorded his 10th straight win … he is 4-0 in league bouts and boasts a team-best 16 wins … No. 13/11 Dylan Cottrell returned to the mat and picked up his third pin of the year … he is tied for the team lead with three wins by fall … Cottrell leads the team with six bonus-point victories: three falls, two tech. falls and a major decision … Christian Monserrat (149) won a 9-6 decision with four takedowns … he leads the team with 22 takedowns in dual matches … Smith and Cottrell remain nationally ranked … Smith ranks at No. 5 via InterMat and FloWrestling … Cottrell ranks at No. 13 via InterMat and is No. 20 according to Flo … Smith is ranked at No. 5 in the NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, while Cottrell is ranked 12th … Cory Stainbrook (133) ranks at No. 23 and Monserrat comes in at No. 32 in the RPI rankings.
This Week in Rifle: The No. 2-ranked Mountaineers compete in an NCAA Qualifying Match on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the WVU Rifle Range … the first relay is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. … Alaska-Fairbanks also will shoot at the range on Saturday, but the teams will not compete against each other. 
Last Week in Rifle: WVU (12-0, 8-0 GARC) secured its second straight undefeated season and fourth consecutive Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) regular-season title with two wins in Lexington, Kentucky … the Mountaineers defeated No. 6 Kentucky, 4718-4675, on Feb. 11, before knocking off No. 3 Murray State, 4726-4713, on Feb. 12 … WVU swept the discipline wins, outshooting UK, 2336-2319 in smallbore and 2382-2356 in air rifle, and Murray State, 2345-2340 smallbore and 2381-2373 air rifle … junior Elizabeth Gratz earned the air rifle win on Saturday, shooting an NCAA record 600 in air rifle … sophomore Ginny Thrasher paced in smallbore against the Wildcats with a winning 592 mark … freshman Milica Babic won air rifle on Sunday with a career-best 599 score, and senior Jean-Pierre Lucas won smallbore with a season-high matching score of 588.
Notes: WVU’s aggregate score on Sunday was a season high and the second-best score shot nationally this year … Gratz is the third Mountaineer shooter to shoot 600 air rifle and the first since 2011 … Thrasher and Lucas shot school-record 200 prone marks on Saturday.
This Week in Swimming and Diving: The Mountaineers have one week off to prepare for the Big 12 Championship from Feb. 22-25 in Austin, Texas … the four-day championship meet begins at 11 a.m. ET each day.
Last Week in Swimming and Diving: They did not compete last week.
Notes: The WVU women are now 5-6 in dual meets and 1-1 in Big 12 while the men are 5-4, 1-0 Big 12.
This Week in Tennis: West Virginia will return to the Mountain State for a pair of rivalry matches against Virginia Tech on February 18 and Marshall on Feb. 19 … both matches are slated to begin at noon … Saturday’s match will kick off rivalry weekend for the Mountaineers with promotions for the match including free pizza, a pom-pom distribution and post-match poster autographs … Sunday’s match against Marshall is tabbed as the Gold Rush match … The first 50 fans will receive a WVU tennis T-shirt … other promotions include a men’s basketball ticket raffle and free pizza … live stats and a recap of both matches will be available at WVUsports.com
Last Week in Tennis: West Virginia traveled to Buffalo, New York, to take on the Buffalo Bulls on Saturday, Feb. 11 … after dropping the doubles point, WVU was able to rally and secure a 4-3 victory over the Bulls at the Miller Tennis Center … Habiba Shaker, Paula Goetz, Christina Jordan and Lyn Yuen Choo picked up wins in singles play to win the match for the Mountaineers
Notes: Saturday’s win against Buffalo moved the all-time series to 3-2, with the Mountaineers holding the advantage … Shaker leads the Mountaineers in singles play, holding a 5-2 record at No.1 … Shaker is now one win away from getting her 50th career singles victory … the tandem of Goetz and Yvon Martinez pace WVU with a 4-2 record in doubles play.
Coach Miha Lisac following Saturday’s win over Buffalo: “It was a good battle today and a good team win. We didn’t start the match as we wanted to, but had a big comeback in singles.”
This Week in Golf: West Virginia is off until Feb. 20
Last Week in Golf: West Virginia did not compete.
Notes: Max Sear continues to lead the team with a 72.75 stroke average … Etienne Papineau boasts a 73.25 stroke average … Alan Cooke is averaging 73.45 … Sear’s 66 at the VCU Janney Shootout in October was the lowest round of the season for WVU … Sear leads the team with eight subpar holes.
This Week in WVU Baseball: The Mountaineers open the season this weekend at Charlotte … Opening Day is set for Friday at 3 p.m. ET, while first pitch on Saturday and Sunday is set for 1 p.m., in Charlotte, North Carolina
Notes: The Mountaineers were voted to finish fifth in the 2017 Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, their highest preseason ranking since joining the league in 2013 … West Virginia (36-22, 12-11 Big 12 in 2016) is coming off its best season in the Randy Mazey era … WVU won 36 games, the most since 2009, and advanced to its first ever Big 12 Championship Game … the Mountaineers went 20-10 at Monongalia County Ballpark, capping the home season on a nine-game winning streak … WVU returns 11 position players and 11 pitchers from last year’s squad and welcomes 14 newcomers … four West Virginia natives are on the 2017 roster: junior Shane Ennis and sophomores Jimmy Galusky, Michael Grove and Chase Illig … 2017 season tickets, flex plan tickets and mini packs are on sale now and fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-WVU GAME, going to WVUGAME.com or visiting the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum … WVU will play 23 home games at Monongalia County Ballpark, including series against preseason No. 1-TCU, defending Big 12 champion Texas Tech and Oklahoma and midweek contests against rivals Pitt, Marshall and Penn State.

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