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Good weekend for wrestling

Jan 31 • Sports, Wrestling • 633

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Gannon University’s wrestling team had an outstanding weekend, as the Knights came from behind to beat East Stroudsburg Friday and two wrestlers captured their weight classes Sunday at a tournament in Jamestown, N.Y.

On Friday, Gannon shook off its loss to the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown the previous week by whipping East Stroudsburg, 31-13, before a large turnout on Hall of Fame weekend at the Hammermill Center.

The dual-meet victory, which boosted Gannon’s overall record to 4-2 and left it 3-2 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action, started off very slow for the Knights as they dropped three of the first four matches.

Carmine Ciotti was the lone winner in that group, netting a forfeit victory at 133 pounds.

At 157 pounds, Gannon’ Eric Lewandowski — ranked No. 3 in Super Region One and No. 12 in NCAA Division II — faced off against East Stroudsburg’s Joey Kratochvil, who is currently ranked fifth in the region.

Lewandowski dominated the first period with an early takedown and stayed in control on top for the rest of it. Although Kratochvil opened the second period with a takedown of his own, Lewandowski was able to come back with his own two points with an early reversal.

Lewandowski stayed in control for the third period to finish off the match, 5-2.

The Knights took care of the second half of the dual meet easily.

Garret Smith, ranked No. 6 in the region, took a forfeit win at 165 pounds, followed by Jake Stratton — No. 3 in the region — obtaining a victory due to injury default at 174.

Nicholas Costa, meanwhile, handled his match against regionally ranked Tyler Richardson at 184 pounds, winning 15-7. Costa, ranked No. 4 in the region, is 3-0 since returning after a two-month layoff.

The highlight of the second half of the meet, though, came from heavyweight Nick Budd, who finished his match very quickly with a pin in just 37 seconds. The win by Budd, ranked sixth in the region, sealed the Knights’ 31-13 victory.

This was not the only event going on this weekend, though. On Sunday, the Knights’ reserves went to New York and competed in the Jamestown Jayhawk Open. This tournament saw competition from 14 colleges and was open to outside talent as well.

The highlights came from sophomore Casey Volmer (133 pounds) and redshirt junior Christopher Mathews (174), who won titles at their respective weights.

Volmer started the tournament with a bye, but went on to beat Dylan Baker of East Stroudsburg by technical fall. Volmer then defeated Gannon teammate Mitchell Giffen, 7-3, in the hard-fought final.

Matthews needed three matches to earn his title, as he opened with a pin, then pinned teammate Khalil Hawkins in 39 seconds before decisioning teammate Anthony Williamson, 9-2, in the finals.

Junior Jared Sample took second at 157 pounds and Nigel Toussaint was runner-up at 197.

Looking ahead, the Knights have a big dual meet set for noon Saturday against Kutztown at the Hammermill Center.

Kutztown is ranked No. 6 in the region and No. 18 nationally and has beaten Gannon three straight times by a combined margin of four points — 19-18, 21-19 and 18-17.

The Knights also will be in action Wednesday, Feb. 8, when they host rival Mercyhurst in a 7 p.m. meet at the Hammermill Center.

MATTHEW NEWARA
newara008@knights.gannon.edu

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