HAMPTON, Va. – No. 9 Lehigh and No. 23 Kent State split ten bouts, but a technical fall win for the Golden Flashes at 165 provided the difference as Kent State edged the Mountain Hawks 18-16 to claim third place at the Virginia Duals Saturday night at Hampton Coliseum. Lehigh needed a pin from junior Zach Rey in the final bout to rally for a victory but Rey could only manage a regular decision win over Brendan Barlow.
The loss, Lehigh’s second of the day, drops the Mountain Hawks to 9-4 on the dual season.
"We were a little flat," said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. "It was still one of our better rounds of the weekend, though. We wrestled hard and responded well to the loss this morning. We were out-gunned at a few weights where we were missing some guys. It’s not an excuse. We will have to get better. That being said there were some good things this weekend from some individuals that we can build on."
Each team won five bouts and each team had one win by major decision, but Ross Tice earned a 17-2 technical fall over sophomore Josh Fitch at 165 for the decisive team points. Fitch was filling in up a weight class for the injured Brandon Hatchett. Tice scored two first period takedowns and built his lead with a number of two point near falls, including three in the second period.
The first four bouts saw the teams trade wins by decision. Kent State’s Nic Bedelyon opened the dual with an 8-5 win over senior Mitch Berger at 125. Freshman Frank Cagnina completed a 4-0 weekend by defeating Tyler Small 8-1 at 133. At 141 Chase Skonieczny took an early 5-0 lead and overcame a pair of second period takedowns to win 7-4. Sophomore Joey Napoli closed the first four bouts with a 4-1 decision over Marcel Clopton.
Kent State took control of the dual with bonus wins at 157 and 165. Matt Cathell won a 9-0 major decision over junior Brian Tanen before Tice’s technical fall put the Golden Flashes up 15-6.
Freshman Austin Meys did his part to keep Lehigh in the dual with a dominant 10-2 major decision over Brandonn Johnson at 174. Meys was 4-0 on the weekend, while sophomore Robert Hamlin moved to 3-0 at the Virginia Duals with a 10-4 win over Casey Newburg at 141.
Trailing 15-13 Lehigh turned to junior Joe Kennedy who had the tough task of wrestling No. 5 Dustin Kilgore. The Golden Flashes junior extended their lead to 18-13 with a 6-2 win converting takedowns in the first and third periods.
Lehigh needed a pin from Rey to win or a technical fall to tie, but facing the 17th ranked Barlow, Rey made two early takedowns stand in a 5-2 victory, improving his record to 18-0 but it wasn’t enough to overcome Kent State in the team score.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Saturday, January 15 when they travel to Annapolis, Maryland to face EIWA rival Navy. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start from Halsey Field House with audio coverage available at Lehighsports.com.
Kent State 18, Lehigh 16
125 – Nic Bedelyon (KSU) dec. Mitch Berger (LU) 8-5
133 – Frank Cagnina (LU) dec. Tyler Small (KSU) 8-1
141 – Chase Skonieczny (KSU) dec. Stephen Dutton (LU) 7-4
149 – Joey Napoli (LU) dec. Marcel Clopton (KSU) 4-1
157 – Matt Cathell (KSU) major dec. Brian Tanen (LU) 9-0
165 – Ross Tice (KSU) tech fall Josh Fitch (LU) 17-2, 5:12
174 – Austin Meys (LU) major dec. Brandonn Johnson (KSU) 10-2
184 – Robert Hamlin (LU) dec. Casey Newburg (KSU) 10-4
197 – Dustin Kilgore (KSU) dec. Joe Kennedy (LU) 6-2
285 – Zach Rey (LU) dec. Brendan Barlow (KSU) 5-2