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DES MOINES, Iowa-- The Lake Erie College wrestling team earned an eighth-place finish at the prestigious NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals which concluded on Sunday (Jan. 12).
The Storm, ranked 19th in the country, finished a tough day one schedule with a 2-1 mark to advance to day two of the completion which featured 16 of the best NCAA Division II schools.
The Storm fell in their first match of the day against seventh-ranked Kurtztown University, 20-17. The Golden Bears picked up wins in the first three matches before the Storm got on the board. Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) defeated Joe Esposito by major decision, 11-3, at 149-pounds. Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) followed up Ball's major decision with an 8-2 decision over Matt Martoccio at 157-pounds. The Golden Bears and Storm exchanged victories the rest of the way. After Kurtztown won the 165-pound bout, Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor/Lakeland) defeated Andrew Kinney, 8-4, at 174-pounds. Evan Rosborough (Concrod, Twp., Ohio/Riverside) won a 5-2 decision over Brandan Clark at 197-pounds but it was not enough as the Golden Bears won the 184-pound and 285-pound bouts to secure the win.
In the Storm's final match of the tournament, they faced 10th-ranked Upper Iowa University for the second time at the tournament but were unable to overcome the Peacocks, falling 38-6. Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) and Chevy Farris (Ferndale, Mich./Ferndale) picked up wins in the match. Gillihan defeated Matt Paulus 11-8 at 133-pounds while Farris defeated Brock Gobin, 5-1, at 184-pounds.
"We did not wrestle well but making top-eight is a step forward for our program," said Storm Head Coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "This is something to build upon. It is good to see where we are at and needs to be worked on."
The Storm return to action next Saturday (Jan. 18) for a dual at Mercyhurst University.