Dillon, Letters lead Lehigh to sweep in Ann Arbor
Posted: November 23, 2003
Ann Arbor, MI – With a preseason ranking as high as No. 2 in the nation, expectations were high for this year’s Lehigh wrestling team. A season-opening loss to No. 6 Iowa State did a little to dampen enthusiasm, but on Sunday the Mountain Hawks did all they could to justify their high standing, defeating the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (1-1) on their home floor by a final of 18-12. Earlier in the day, Lehigh (3-1) defeated No. 15 Central Michigan (0-2) 25-9 as well.
The match started at 125, where Mario Stuart knocked off his second top ten opponent in 10 days, this one 9-7 over Michigan's Mark Moos. He did it in the same comeback fashion, trailing 4-3 after one period, 6-5 after the second, and then diving for his winning takedown at the edge with just twenty seconds left in the final two minutes. At 133, Matt Ciasulli showed off his dominance on time, defeating Chase Metcalf 5-4 thanks to a riding time advantage.
Another wild bout occurred at 141, where Cory Cooperman whipped No. 15 Clark Forward, 13-8. Tied at 2-2 after one period and 4-4 after the second, Cooperman was able to gain three takedowns in the decisive period for the big win. The win was a big turnaround from last November, as the Mountain Hawks got out to a 9-0 lead after trailing as much as 23-0 last year at Grace Hall.
Making his varsity debut on the mat at 149 at last was Matt Anderson, who lost 4-2 to No. 6 Ryan Churella but had him on his back at the end in a near fall cradle. Anderson won by forfeit in the earlier match to Central Michigan.
Two All-Americans matched up at 157, with defending NCAA champion Ryan Bertin beating Derek Zinck. Zinck scored the first takedown in the first period, but Bertin took control and took the victory 7-4. Troy Letters then scored a five-point counter move in the first period (takedown and three-point near fall) against Pat Owen at 165 and added a third period reversal plus time advantage to win 8-3. Brad Dillon was up next at 174, and the senior co-captain remained undefeated with a 7-3 victory of his own.
Travis Frick gave his team an 18-6 lead with a 3-2 win at 184, thanks to an oh-so-slim riding time advantage. This meant that Michigan could win only by tying the dual 18-18 with two falls and winning on criteria. Michigan would fight back, but Matt Cassidy hung tough at 197 to lose by a close 3-2 margin to Chase Verdoorn and clinch the victory for the Mountain Hawks. Cassidy was again the Cardiac Kid, as even in his first loss his match was decided by a single point. Greg Warner then finished the match by defeating Paul Weibel 10-3 at heavyweight.
Coach Greg Strobel was happy to come away with the sweep. “We could have come out of there 0-2 against two such good teams,” said Strobel. “So getting two wins is quite an accomplishment for this team. Last year we trailed so bad so early to Michigan, so it was a little surprising to see us up 9-0 after the first three matches. So now we just have to get ready for Hawaii”
The 18-12 win was all the more impressive, considering the Mountain Hawks wrestled Central Michigan directly beforehand. Lehigh defeated the Chippewas 25-9, winning at seven of the ten weights. Among the winners for the Mountain Hawks, Derek Zinck took the only non minor decision of the day, beating Ty Morgan 14-4 at 157 for a major decision. Troy Letters faced his toughest match so far, needing overtime to defeat David Bolyard 4-2 at 165. Matt Cassidy also won a tight one, escaping with one second left to win his match 4-3 at 197.
Lehigh will continue their season as they travel to Hawaii over Thanksgiving to face Oregon State in the Aloha Duals. The action gets under way on Friday, November 28.
Lehigh 18-Michigan 12
Weight Matchup Result Score
125 Mario Stuart (LU) over Mark Moos (UM) 9-7
133 Matt Ciasulli (LU) over Chase Metcalf (UM) 5-4
141 Cory Cooperman (LU) over Clark Forward (UM) 13-8
149 Ryan Churella (UM) over Matt Anderson (LU) 4-2
157 Ryan Bertin (UM) over Derek Zinck (LU) 7-4
165 Troy Letters (LU) over Pat Owen (UM) 8-3
174 Brad Dillon (LU) over R.J. Boudro (UM) 7-3
184 Travis Frick (LU) over Joshua Weitzel (UM) 3-2
197 Chase Verdoorn (UM) over Matt Cassidy (LU) 3-2
HWT Bill Greg Wagner (UM) over Paul Weibel (LU) 10-3
Lehigh 25-Central Michigan 9
Weight Matchup Result Score
125 Mario Stuart (LU) over Kyle Stouffer (CM) 4-2
133 Jordan Webster (CM) over Matt Ciasulli (LU) 4-2
141 Jason Mester (CM) over Cory Cooperman (LU) 7-4
149 Matt Anderson (LU) forfeit
157 Derek Zinck (LU) over Ty Morgan (CM) MD, 14-4
165 Troy Letters (LU) over David Bolyard (CM) 4-2, (OT)
174 Brad Dillon (LU) over Mitch Hitchcock (CM) 7-3
184 Travis Frick (LU) over Russell Vanderheyden (CM) 7-3
197 Matt Cassidy (LU) over Alex Lammers (CM) 4-3
HWT Bill Stouffer (CM) over Paul Weibel (LU) 9-4