Wrestling falls to Cardinals

Wrestling falls to Cardinals

The Gannon University wrestling team made the drive down to Wheeling Jesuit last week for its last regular-season dual meet of the year and while the 25–14 loss was a heartbreaker, don’t expect this to slow down the Knights with the postseason approaching.
Gannon will end its nine-day layoff when competition gets under way Friday at the NCAA Division II Super Regional One tournament, hosted by Mercyhurst University. The two-day event will conclude Saturday at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.
Gannon is expected to have seven wrestlers competing in the regional event, depending on injuries.
Last year, the Knights finished fifth among 15 teams and had three wrestlers – Matt Turek, Zack Zelcs and Nick Budd – finish among the top three in their weight classes to advance to the national championships.
Gannon, which finished 4-6 in dual-meet action and is ranked No. 9 in the region, was without three of its regionally ranked starters in No. 6 Johnny Marotto at 141 pounds, No. 6 George McGuire at 149 pounds and No. 5 Nicholas Costa at 184 pounds against Wheeling Jesuit on Feb. 17.
Despite being at less than full strength, the Knights still came through with some solid performances, starting with the 141-pound match, where redshirt junior Zach Reges had an impressive comeback against Damon Outward.
At 157 and 165 pounds, the Knights saw much of the same caliber and strength shown by standout performers Garret Smith and Nate Ross. Both came in being ranked individually at No. 4 in their respective weight class.
Smith showed an overall dominating display of ability over Peyton Geary at 157 pounds with a 16-0 technical fall victory in the second period.
At 165 pounds, Ross again showed how his stamina is his deadliest characteristic.
After a scoreless first period, Wheeling Jesuit’s Keegan Driscoll scored the first point with an escape in the second.
Ross countered with the exact same start for himself in the third period. He then followed up his escape with a two-point takedown.
Driscoll was able to get his second escape point of the match, but was unable to get the takedown and claim the victory. This was the second time Ross defeated Driscoll this season, as he claimed a 14–5 major decision victory at the Findlay Open earlier in the year.

MATTHEW NEWARA
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