Wrestling drops two matches

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Scott Padula & Alex Wagner
Writer & Assistant Sports Editor

The Bison wrestling team faced difficult tasks on Sunday and Tuesday as it came away with a tough 23-13 home loss to No. 11 American and a 27-12 loss at Army. Alex Pellicciotti ’14, John Regan ’12, Corey Lear ’13 and Stephen McPeek ’14 posted wins against American, while Lear, McPeek, Austin Miller ’15 and Derrik Russell ’13 won against Army.

The Orange and Blue got off to a rough start on Sunday, trailing 17-0 after a forfeit in the heavyweight class and losses in three other bouts. In the next four matches, the Orange and Blue mounted a comeback to trail 17-13 with two bouts left and an opportunity to win. The Bison were unable to complete the upset, though, as they fell in their final two matches.

“This weekend’s match was a great experience for our team. American is the type of team we need to wrestle not only to see where we are, but wrestling better teams will only make us better at the end of the season. Our team still has work to do in order to get where we want to by the time nationals comes around,” Lear said.

The most impressive win of the day occurred in the 165 lb. weight class where Lear defeated Ganbayar Sanjaa, the third-ranked wrestler in the nation in the 157 lb. weight class. Lear overcame a 4-3 deficit with 30 seconds left in the third period to capture an 8-5 decision.

Beforehand, Regan easily took the 157 lb. weight class for his seventh win in eight matches. Pellicciotti started the comeback with a 6-5 win over Kevin Tao in the 149 lb. weight class, while McPeek captured the final Bison win in the 174 lb. weight class with a 13-9 victory.

“I know wins like that show the team that anything can happen on any given day. We train just as hard as every other Division I program in the country, if not harder. This is the time of the year to take advantage of other teams getting worn out from the long season and to step up. It was a shame we didn’t upset them as a team but it was a good performance and we look to get some team wins this week,” Regan said.

The short turnaround before Tuesday’s matchup proved to be too much for the Bison. Although they won four of the nine bouts, they fell short to Army after a forfeit at the heavyweight spot and two pins against them.

Miller continued to be a consistent wrestler for the Orange and Blue by earning the team a 3-0 lead after winning the opening bout 13-7. Shawn Armato ’15, however, was pinned in his 133 lb. bout, giving Army a 6-3 advantage.

A 4-1 victory by Russell evened everything up, but a pin in the 149 lb. bout and a Bison loss in the 157 lb. bout put the Black Knights ahead once again 15-6. Lear and McPeek, continuing their great form, won back-to-back bouts to bring the Bison back within three points, but Army answered with two wins of their own.  A forfeit at the heavyweight ended things for good.

The Orange and Blue will head to Lock Haven on Friday before they wrap up their regular season with a home match on Sunday against the University of Pennsylvania.

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