LOCK HAVEN - When you open your season with a pair of dual meets, the best you can hope for is a pair of wins and that is exactly what the Lock Haven University wrestling team got Saturday evening when they downed Shippensburg 42-3 before capping the good night with a 19-13 win over Bucknell. Bucknell also beat Shippensburg, 50-0.
"I am excited," said LHU head coach Scott Moore. "As a first-year head coach and wrestling a solid team like Bucknell that is a similar team to us I felt our guys took advantage of every opportunity to score as well as get bonus points as well as hold the opponents bonus points down. It is just a great way for us to start the season and I couldn't be happier."
The first meet of the day for the Bald Eagles was with Shippensburg, and they took nine of the ten individual matchups to win going away.
Starting at 149, the Bald Eagles came out firing big bullets as they opened up with five straight bonus points wins for a commanding 26-0 lead.
"The bottom line is that these guys have to come out and attack right away, no matter who they are wrestling or what color singlet they are wearing," said Moore. "We want them to come looking to score, looking to attack and I felt for the most part our guys got that done against Shippensburg. A few of the guys need a little more mat experience because they got a little sloppy in certain positions, but overall they were pretty aggressive."
R. J. Brydon got things started when he picked up a 20-5 technical fall over Karl Lightner at 149, Dillon Gavlock majored Mark Lentz 13-5 at 157, Elias Biddle made it three in a row at 165 with an 18-3 technical fall in 4:58 over Cotton Rebert, Dylan Caprio cranked Bobby Schievert for a fall in 5:43 at 174 before Fred Garcia completed the 5-bout streak by receiving a forfeit win at 184.
"We teach our guys that in order to win big matches you have to get bonus points whether it is a major decision, a tech fall or a pin," said Moore. "A lot of times it is going to come down to who is scoring the most whether it is getting back points or finishing a move at the end of a match to win. If you are aggressive and always looking to put points on the board that (winning) will happen more often."
Phil Sprenkle and Evan Ramos went round-and-round before Sprenkle prevailed by a 10-8 count and Jersey Shore's Cody Mason turned the lineup over at 285 when he escaped in the final period for a 6-5 win over Jacob Nale.
The Bucknell match was tougher, as expected, even though Bald Eagles won the first three bouts for a 9-0 lead.
Mac Maldarelli fought off his back from a 5-point move by Alex Pellicotti for a 9-7 win. Billy Randt scored eight points in the final two periods plus time for a 9-3 win over Logan Kerin and Jake Kemerer followed Randt's win by doubling up on Vincent Fava, 6-3.
Bucknell's Steven McPeek temporarily stopped the Bison bleeding with a 10-4 decision over Travis Moyer, but nationally-ranked Fred Garcia toyed with Bucknell's Tyler Greene at 184 for a 16-5 major decision.
Midway through the dual, the Bald Eagles held a 13-3 lead in the team score, but Bucknell rallied.
Tyler Lyster broke open a scoreless battle with Phil Sprenkle with six points in the final two periods for a 6-0 nod at 197 and nationally-ranked heavyweight Joe Stolfi was too much for LHU freshman Brad Emerick at 285, Stolfi handling Emerick for a 14-5 major decision.
Turning the lineup over while still trailing by three points, the Bison got themselves even at 125 when Paul Petrov decisioned Kaleb LeMaire 5-2.
With two bouts left to wrestle, the Bald Eagles had the upper hand as they had Cody Wheeler waiting in the wings at 133 with nationally-ranked Dan Neff to follow in the day's finale.
Both LHU lightweights did their job as Wheeler handled Grim Gonzalez 10-4 before Neff took the measure of Victor Lopez 14-10 to complete the double win.
"I knew that Wheeler could get the job done," said Moore. "He is the type of kid who is tough, hard-nosed and he finds ways to win. After we saw what the matchup would be, we knew he was in good shape and then at 141, I think that Danny (Neff) got a good lead and he just shut down a little bit at the end. Whenever you have two of your better guys to finish the match you can feel pretty confident."
Lock Haven 42, Shippensburg 3
149 - R. J. Brydon, LH, tech. fall Karl Lightner, 20-5, 6:24. (5-0) 157 - Dillon Gavlock, LH, maj. dec. Mark Lentz, 12-4. (9-0) 165 - Elias Biddle, LH, tech. Fall Cotton Rebert, 18-3, 4:58. (14-0 174 - Dylan Caprio, LH, pinned Bobby Schievert, 5:43. (20-0) 184 - Fred Garcia, LH, won by forfeit. (26-0) 197 - Phil Sprenkle, LH, dec. Evan Ramos, 10-8. (29-0) 285 - Cody Mason, LH, dec. Jacob Nale, 6-5. (32-0) 125 - David Calambas, S, dec. Ronnie Perry, 6-4. (32-3) 133 - Matt Bryer, LH, maj. Dec. Bryan Verra, 19-6. (36-3) 141 - Dan Neff, LH, won by forfeit. (42-3)
Lock Haven 19, Bucknell 13
149 - Mac Maldarelli, LH, dec. Alex Pellicotti, 9-7. (3-0) 157 - Billy Randt, LH, dec. Logan Kerin, 9-3. (6-0) 165 - Jake Kemerer, LH, dec. Vincent Fava, 6-3. (9-0) 174 - Steven McPeek, B, dec. Travis Moyer, 10-4. (9-3) 184 - Fred Garcia, LH, maj. Dec. Tyler Greene, 16-5. (13-3) 197 - Tyler Lyster, B, dec. Phil Sprenkle, 6-0. (13-6) 285 - Joe Stolfi, B, maj. Dec. Brad Emerick, 14-5. (13-10) 125 - Paul Petroc, B, dec. Kaleb LeMaire, 5-2. (13-13) 133 - Cody Wheeler, LH, dec. Grim Gonzalez, 10-4. (16-13) 141 - Dan Neff, LH, dec. Victor Lopez, 14-10. (19-13)
149: Alex Pellicciotti (B) pinned Karl Lightner 4:26 157: Brenan McAllister (B) dec. Mark Lentz 4-1 165: Rustin Barrick (B) pinned Brett Pastore 2:10 174: Stephen McPeek (B) wins by forfeit 184: Tyler Greene (B) wins by forfeit 197: Tyler Lyster (B) major dec. Evan Ramos 12-0 285: #10 Joe Stolfi (B) pinned Dan Fultz 3:44 125: Grim Gonzalez (B) dec. Dante Steffenino 10-3 133: Bob Hauser (B) major dec. Bryan Varra 12-3 141: Victor Lopez (B) wins by forfeit