The nationally ranked Gannon University wrestling team certainly has gotten off to a strong start, as evidenced by a pair of victories in last weekend’s tri-meet against Long Island University Post and Millersville.
The Knights, ranked No. 7 nationally and No. 2 in NCAA Division II Super Region One, showed their ability to work together as a solid unit for the first time Saturday as they opened with a 26-13 victory over LIU Post and ended their day with a 32-11 win over Millersville.
Both meets were held across town at Mercyhurst University.
Freshman Jacob Dunlop, competing at 125 pounds, redshirt junior George McGuire (157) and redshirt senior heavyweight Nick Budd all went unbeaten on the day.
Budd would be the only one to post pinfall victories in each of his matches and would do it all in a very timely fashion with a combined 5 minutes and 1 second of total action for the day.
McGuire would be very happy with each of his wins as well with a major decision and tech fall victories on his stat sheet. This moved McGuire’s individual record to 11-1 for the start on the year, which is the best on Gannon’s team.
At the 141-pound weight class, nationally ranked sophomore Carmine Ciotti opened with a sudden victory loss, 3-1, to LIU’s Anthony Sparacio.
But the fifth-ranked Ciotti struck back in his second matchup with a 23-second pinfall win. That would be the fastest win for any competitor throughout the weekend.
Nick Costa, ranked sixth nationally at 184 pounds, saw his first action of the season after recovering from injury.
Costa dropped an 8-6 decision in his first match but rebounded to claim a 13-5 win in the team’s match with Millersville.
Other winners in the meet with LIU were Austin Hertel (133), Nate Ross (165) and Gunner Loughman (197). Winners in the meet with Millersville were Jacob Dunlap (125), Giovanni Ciotti (149) and Jake Stratton (174).
At Sunday’s fifth annual Storm Open, hosted by Lake Erie College, Gannon’s Bryan Zehe and Joel Leise tied for sixth place at 174 pounds.
The Knights are looking forward to this weekend as they will compete in the PSAC Championships hosted by Edinboro University on Saturday.
McGuire said his mindset — and the team’s mindset — heading into Saturday’s meet is “to just let it fly.”
“Go out there, have fun, score a lot of points and never let up on the opponents.”