LEWISBURG, Pa. – In its first EIWA action of the season, No. 12 Lehigh won seven of ten bouts in a 25-9 win over Bucknell Friday night at Davis Gym. The Mountain Hawks won four bouts by major decision and captured the first three and last four bouts on the evening. With the win Lehigh improves to 6-2 on the dual season, while Bucknell falls to 1-3.
“Bucknell is a good team,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “They always wrestle hard for seven minutes. There were a lot of swing matches tonight which has become a theme for us this year. Tonight being a conference match, it was good to come out and win a lot of big matches.”
Senior Mitch Berger once again set the pace for Lehigh with a come-from-behind victory in a swing match at 125. Berger gave up the first takedown to Derek Reber, but scored a quick escape. After riding out the second period and choosing neutral in the third, Berger forced overtime at 2-2 with his riding time point. In the sudden victory period, Berger was able to score a takedown to earn the 4-2 win.
“Mitch is scrappy and feisty and he wrestles seven minutes or whatever it takes,” Santoro said. “Give him a lot of credit. He really got the team rolling.”
True freshmen Frank Cagnina and Stephen Dutton helped Lehigh extend its lead to 11-0 with back-to-back major decision wins at 133 and 141. Cagnina broke open a 4-2 match with 11 third period points as he defeated Alex Pellicciotti 16-6. Dutton totaled four takedowns in his match with Zac Hancock. After his final takedown, Dutton used a turk ride and cross-face to turn Hancock for three points and riding time and a penalty point for stalling made the final score 14-3.
“They had some big matches,” Santoro explained. “We thought they might be swing matches but they both went out and opened it up. They had a sour taste after last week but they really came out and performed tonight and it was great to see.”
Bucknell crept back into the dual with three straight wins from 149 through 165. The top-ranked Bison wrestler, No. 3 Kevin LeValley downed sophomore Joey Napoli at 149. LeValley scored a takedown at the first period buzzer and added an escape and riding time. At 157, Brantley Hooks scored two takedowns in a 6-2 win over junior Brian Tanen. Bucknell’s Corey Lear knocked off 12th-ranked junior Brandon Hatchett 1-0 at 165. Lear escaped late in the second period after it looked like Hatchett might ride out, and then rode out Hatchett in the third period to make the escape stand.
With the Bison within two points at 11-9, all eyes were on the matchup at 174 where freshman Austin Meys met David Thompson. Meys scored a first period takedown, but gave up a reversal, only to reverse back and lead 4-2 after one period. Thompson reversed Meys again to open the second period and rode out the remainder of the stanza. Mets chose neutral for the third period and was able to convert a takedown late in the period to earn a 6-4 victory.
Sophomore Robert Hamlin moved to 8-0 on the season with his first bonus point victory of the year as he won a 15-4 major decision over Joe McMullan at 184. Hamlin had two takedowns in both the first and third periods, and had a takedown and quick two-point near fall in the second.
At 197, junior Joe Kennedy broke a 1-1 tie with two third period takedowns to defeat Jay Hahn 5-2, while in the final bout of the dual, top-ranked junior Zach Rey picked up a major decision win, putting on a double-leg takedown clinic in a 16-6 win over Conor Sweeney.
The Mountain Hawks will return home for their final dual of 2010 on Sunday December 12 when they host No. 11 Central Michigan at 1 p.m. inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. 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 (LU) dec. Derek Reber (BU) 4-2, s.v.
133 – Frank Cagnina (LU) maj. dec. Alex Pellicciotti (BU) 16-6
141 – Stephen Dutton (LU) maj. dec. Zac Hancock (BU) 14-3
149 – Kevin LeValley (BU) dec. Joey Napoli (LU) 4-0
157 – Brantley Hooks (BU) dec. Brian Tanen (LU) 6-2
165 – Corey Lear (BU) dec. Brandon Hatchett (LU) 1-0
174 – Austin Meys (LU) dec. David Thompson (BU) 6-4
184 – Robert Hamlin (LU) maj. dec. Joe McMullan (BU) 15-4
197 – Joe Kennedy (LU) dec. Jay Hahn (BU) 5-2
285 – Zach Rey (LU) maj. dec. Conor Sweeney (BU) 16-6
Referee – Jeff Cook
Attendance - 983