HAMPTON, Va. – Junior Zach Rey pinned his third opponent in as many bouts and freshman Austin Meys pinned his sixth opponent this season, but it wasn’t enough as No. 9 Lehigh fell 21-18 to No. 15 Michigan in the semifinals of the Virginia Duals Saturday at Hampton Coliseum. The Wolverines won five of the first six bouts and an 18-3 lead was too much for the Mountain Hawks to overcome.
The win moves Michigan (4-1) into the finals where the Wolverines will face Penn State, while Lehigh (9-3) will wrestle Kent State for third place.
Michigan successfully avenged a 25-6 loss to Lehigh back on November 19 by winning five bouts that the Wolverines lost first time around.
The first two bouts were reversals of the first meeting as Michigan’s Sean Boyle won 11-6 over Lehigh senior Mitch Berger, but freshman Frank Cagnina avenged an earlier loss to Zac Stevens with an 11-4 win at 133. Cagnina built a 4-0 lead with a takedown and first period two point near fall and added takedowns in the second and third period, narrowly missing on a major decision.
The Wolverines regained the lead as top ranked Kellen Russell held off freshman Stephen Dutton 6-2 at 141 and Michigan went on to win the next three bouts to build a 15 point lead.
At 149 sophomore Joey Napoli scored the first takedown against Eric Grajales, but Grajales’ second period takedown proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win. Junior Brian Tanen trailed Aaron Hynes 1-0 after two periods at 157. Tanen took the lead early in the third period with a reversal, but Hynes reversed back and kept Tanen down to prevail 3-2.
The dual took a big turn in Michigan’s favor at 165 as Brandon Hatchett met Dan Yates. The wrestlers locked up and following what seemed to be a simultaneous throw, Hatchett hit his head on the mat and after exhausting all his injury time was forced to default, giving the Wolverines six big points.
Meys began Lehigh’s comeback attempt by pinning Jonathan Beck in 2:42 at 174. Meys led 7-1 before working Beck over for the fall. Sophomore Robert Hamlin then followed with a 10-4 win over Hunter Collins at 184 to pull the Mountain Hawks within six points.
The dual came down to 197 and the highly anticipated rematch between junior Joe Kennedy and Michigan’s Anthony Biondo. Kennedy won the first meeting in overtime and once again extra time would be needed. The wrestlers were tied at one after regulation and sudden victory. Biondo escaped midway through the first tiebreaker period. In the second period Kennedy was close to an escape near the halfway point but Biondo clamped down on the ankle and managed to milk time off the clock while not being penalized for stalling. Biondo eventually rode out the period to win 2-1 and clinch the dual for the Wolverines.
Rey moved to 17-0 on the season by pinning Ben Apland in 2:21 in the final bout of the dual. Rey is now 3-0 with three falls at the Virginia Duals.
Lehigh will now meet No. 23 Kent State in the third place match Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The match can be heard live at Lehighsports.com.
Michigan 21, Lehigh 18
125 – Sean Boyle (UM) dec. Mitch Berger (LU) 11-6
133 – Frank Cagnina (LU) dec. Zac Stevens (UM) 11-4
141 – Kellen Russell (UM) dec. Stephen Dutton (LU) 6-2
149 – Eric Grajales (UM) dec. Joey Napoli (LU) 4-3
157 – Aaron Hynes (UM) dec. Brian Tanen (LU) 3-2
165 – Dan Yates (UM) won by injury default over Brandon Hatchett (LU)
174 – Austin Meys (LU) pinned Jonathan Beck (UM) 2:42
184 – Robert Hamlin (LU) dec. Hunter Collins (UM) 10-4
197 – Anthony Biondo (UM) dec. Joe Kennedy (LU) 2-1, t.b.
285 – Zach Rey (LU) pinned Ben Apland (UM) 2:21