PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Pins in the first two matches fueled the Lake Erie College wrestling team to a 25-12 upset of 13th-ranked West Liberty University Wednesday night (Dec. 14) in the team's home opener at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.
Freshman Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) opened the night with a pin of Joe Wagstaff early in the second period and sophomore Tom McVicker (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills/Penn Highlands C.C.) followed with a fall of Dillon Nolte 1:29 into the match to make it 12-0 and give the Storm (5-4) a lead it would never relinquish.
"Those two pins were so big tonight," said second-year head coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "They really got us going, really got the crowd into it. That is a very good wrestling team we beat tonight and we needed to have a big night from a lot of guys and we got that."
The Hilltoppers (3-1) briefly closed the gap with a pair of close decisions at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Nate Ball, ranked fifth nationally, got all he could handle from Storm freshman Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) before prevailing 6-3 at 141 pounds and Art Hobley followed with a 5-4 win at 149 over sophomore Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Acadmey) who was making his season debut.
But after the two setbacks, the Storm responded in big fashion. Sophomore Tyler Tesny (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls) defeated Jarrod Shaw convincingly at 157 pounds, 9-3, and freshman Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) edged Ohio University transfer Jordan Nolan, 4-3, on riding time.
Those two victories put the Storm ahead 18-6. After Matt Littleton edged Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) 4-3 at 174 pounds, freshman Jon Schafer (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) clinched the match with a major decision over Derrick Williams, 16-7, at 184 pounds. Redshirt freshman Mike Samilenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) earned an 8-7 decision over Jacob Donely for the Storm's sixth victory of the night.
"I thought coming in that those middle matches between 149-184 could go either way, and we won three of them," Hoogenboom said. "Those 10 points, along with Mike's win at 197 pounds, were big and proved to be the difference."
Freshman Bobby Zappitelli (Painesville Twp., Ohio/Lake Catholic) battled sixth-ranked heavyweight J.D. Ramsey into overtime before dropping a 4-1 decision.
The win was the third straight in dual competition for the Storm and second in three matches over a ranked foe. Lake Erie defeated 17th-ranked Limestone College, 29-12, on Saturday (Dec. 10).
Lake Erie now travels to Indianapolis, Ind. on Sunday and Monday, Dec. 18-19 for the annual Midwest Classic at the University of Indianapolis. That tournament will be the Storm's final event of 2011.
Lake Erie 25, #13 West Liberty 12
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 | Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center
125 Austin Gillihan (LEC) pinned Joe Wagstaff (WL), 3:48
133 Tom McVicker (LEC) pinned Dillon Nolte (WL), 1:29
141 Nick Wykoff (WL) dec. Nate Ball (LEC), 6-3
149 Art Hobley (WL) dec. Zak Vargo (LEC), 5-4
157 Tyler Tesny (LEC) dec. Jarrod Shaw (WL), 9-3
165 Matt Vandermeer (LEC) dec. Jordon Nolan (WL), 4-3 (RT)
174 Matt Littleton (WL) dec. Zev Green (LEC), 4-3
184 Jon Schafer (LEC) maj. dec. Derrick Williams, 16-7
197 Mike Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Jacob Donley, 8-7
285 J.D. Ramsey (WL) dec. Bobby Zappitelli (LEC), 4-1 (OT)
Time of match: 1:34