BETHLEHEM, Pa. – No. 11 Lehigh won seven of ten bouts and beat three ranked wrestlers as the Mountain Hawks headed into their final exams/holiday break with a 23-9 win over No. 14 Central Michigan Sunday inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Junior Brian Tanen and sophomore Robert Hamlin delivered bonus wins for Lehigh, which improves to 7-2 on the dual season.
Wrestling: Service Electric 2 Post Match Show Central Michigan, Dec. 12, 2010
“I’m really pleased with the way we wrestled today,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “They had four All-Americans in their lineup and we wrestled well against all four guys. There were a lot of close calls and tight matches.
The visiting Chippewas (1-4) struck first as Christian Cullinan won 5-2 over senior Mitch Berger at 125 and appeared to be headed to a 6-0 lead after two bouts. A second-period reversal put ninth-ranked Scotti Sentes ahead of freshman Frank Cagnina, but not before Cagnina had gone over a minute of riding time. In the third period Cagnina chose neutral, and after several attempts at a takedown, finally gained control of Sentes for a takedown in the final seconds of the match. A 1:02 riding time advantage gave Cagnina the 3-2 upset win.
“That was huge for us,” Santoro said. “Any time you beat an All-American it’s huge. Frank has been a little buzz saw. He scored in the final seconds and it sparked the team.”
Central Michigan regained the lead when Scott Mattingly edged Stephen Dutton 4-3 at 141 but from there Lehigh rolled off three straight wins to take control of the dual. Sophomore Joey Napoli tied the dual at six with a 10-4 win over Donnie Corby at 141, but it was Tanen who delivered the spark, winning a 9-1 major decision over Adam Miller to give Lehigh a four point lead heading into intermission. Tanen used a modified headlock to score five first period points and added a third period escape, a takedown and riding time to secure the major.
“Brian can flat out wrestle,” Santoro explained. “He’s doing some great things. He’s done a great job filling in and has done better now that he’s been getting that exposure.”
Lehigh picked up its second win over a ranked opponent at 165 as junior Brandon Hatchett downed ninth-ranked Mike Miller 8-6. After struggling to find his offense recently, Hatchett scored a pair of first period takedowns to lead 4-2. He added a third period takedown that gave the necessary cushion to extend Lehigh’s lead to 13-6.
Freshman Austin Meys gave No. 3 Ben Bennett all he could handle at 174, but came up just short in a 1-0 setback. The only points of the match were a second period escape from Bennett as Meys chose neutral in the third but was unable to score a takedown.
Hamlin moved to 9-0 on the season with an impressive 14-5 major over Chad Friend at 184. Hamlin totaled six takedowns in the win, including three in the third period as he built the necessary margin to earn the bonus point. Junior Joe Kennedy then kept things rolling with a 12-6 decision over Craig Kelliher at 184. Kennedy gave up a takedown in the opening seconds of the bout but was able to compensate with a reversal and four takedowns of his own.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the day was at heavyweight where top ranked junior Zach Rey squared off against No. 5 Jarod Trice of Central Michigan. Both men played things close to the vest with minimal offensive shots. Tied at one, after three periods and sudden victory, Rey escaped in the first 30 second tiebreaker and then rode out Trice to win 2-1 and join Hamlin at 9-0 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks will have the two and a half weeks off from competition before returning to action at the Midlands Championships, December 29 and 30 in Evanston, Ill.
Lehigh 23, Central Michigan 9
125 – Christian Cullinan (CMU) dec. Mitch Berger (LU) 5-2
133 – Frank Cagnina (LU) dec. Scotti Sentes (CMU) 3-2
141 – Scott Mattingly (CMU) dec. Stephen Dutton (LU) 4-3
149 – Joey Napoli (LU) dec. Donnie Corby (CMU) 10-4
157 – Brian Tanen (LU) maj. dec. Adam Miller (CMU) 9-1
165 – Brandon Hatchett (LU) dec. Mike Miller (CMU) 8-6
174 – Ben Bennett (CMU) dec. Austin Meys (LU) 1-0
184 – Robert Hamlin (LU) maj. dec. Chad Friend (CMU) 14-5
197 – Joe Kennedy (LU) dec. Craig Kelliher (CMU) 12-6
285 – Zach Rey (LU) dec. Jarod Trice (CMU) 2-1, t.b.
Attendance – 1,505
Referee – Jake Llewellyn