BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Fans enjoyed their first look at the 2010-11 Lehigh wrestling team Thursday night with the annual Lehigh wrestle-offs inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Ten bouts were contested on the evening as fans got to see the 17th-ranked Mountain Hawks in person before they open the regular season at home against Drexel on November 5.
“It’s wrestle-offs,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro after the proceedings were done. “I don’t think anyone ever enjoys wrestle-offs. It’s teammates versus teammates, which is a difficult situation to be in. They don’t ever ‘go well.’ You’re happy for half the guys but disappointed for the other half.
He continued, “There were some nice things. Some guys scored points. We didn’t have many low-scoring 3-2 matches. Some guys had opportunities to try and get bonus points and didn’t take advantage.”
The evening began with a match-up between senior Mitch Berger and sophomore Alex Abreu. Berger started fast with a pair of first period takedowns, before adding an escape, a second period takedown and riding time advantage in an 8-2 win.
Next up was an exhibition between freshman 133-pounder Frank Cagnina and deferred freshman Albert Woody, who certified at 141. Cagnina was unable to convert on any of his shots and the match went into sudden victory tied 1-1. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Cagnina rode out the first 30 second tiebreaker and then escaped in the second period to win 2-1.
In the first of three bouts at 149 on the evening, sophomore Joey Napoli built a 7-2 first period lead on senior Kyle Rosser and went on to a 9-2 victory. Sophomore Shane Welsh then gave up the first takedown to classmate Dane Stevens, but responded with a quick escape and takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead. Welsh added a second period escape and riding time to win 5-2.
A pair of true freshmen squared off in the third bout at 149. Anthony Salupo scored a takedown in every period and yielded just three escapes in an 8-3 win over Dillon Smith.
At 157, juniors Sean Bilodeau and Brian Tanen met, with Tanen moving up from 149 where he competed last year. Bilodeau scored first late in the first period and took a 2-1 lead to the third period, where he broke things open with a reversal and takedown to prevail 7-2.
The match-up at 174 ended prematurely with deferred freshman Austin Meys winning by injury default over freshman Shane Stark. Meys led 2-1 early in the first period when Shark suffered an injury trying to counter a takedown attempt.
Sophomore Robert Hamlin showed no ill-effects from his move up to 184. Hamlin scored two first period takedowns and added one in the third to control classmate Kevin Bailey and win 8-4.
At 197, junior Joe Kennedy made a first period takedown stand, earning an escape and riding time to defeat freshman Max Wessell.
The final bout of the evening matched 184-pound senior Kadeem Samuels against freshman heavyweight Tim Granata. From the opening whistle, Samuels pushed the pace. An early takedown turned into a 10-0 lead with three tilts. After yielding an escape, Samuels scored his second takedown and added a three-point near-fall and a two-point near fall in the final seconds, to win by technical fall 17-1 in just three minutes.
The Mountain Hawks officially open the 2010-11 season on Friday, November 5 when they host the Drexel Dragons inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. The first match is set for 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME, by visiting the Lehigh ticket office, located in Grace Hall or by logging on to Lehighsports.com.
125 – Mitch Berger (Brown) dec. Alex Abreu (White) 8-2
141(EX) – Frank Cagnina (Brown) dec. Albert Woody (White) 2-1, t.b.
149 – Joey Napoli (White) dec. Kyle Rosser (Brown) 9-2
149 – Shane Welsh (White) dec. Dane Stevens (Brown) 5-2
149 – Anthony Salupo (Brown) dec. Dillon Smith (White) 8-3
157 – Sean Bilodeau (White) dec. Brian Tanen (Brown) 7-2
174 – Austin Meys (White) inj. def. Shane Stark (Brown) 1:11
184 – Robert Hamlin (Brown) def. Kevin Bailey (White) 8-4
197 – Joe Kennedy (Brown) def. Max Wessell (White) 4-1
285(EX) – Kadeem Samuels (White) TF5 Tim Granata (Brown) 17-1, 3:00
Attendance – 1,037
Referee – Jake Llewellyn
Photography (c) 2010, Kelsey Lind