First women’s wrestling season comes to an end


Twelve months after Gannon University became the first school in Pennsylvania to offer women’s wrestling as a four-year intercollegiate program, the team made history yet again on Friday.
The Knights, competing at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association Nationals in Marietta, Ga., placed 30th among 36 teams.
As a team, Gannon scored 10 points on four victories, which netted the 30th-place finish.
Gabby Perez, competing at 130 pounds, started the tournament strong, earning three takedowns in the first period against Waldorf’s Savannah Vold and two more in the second period to post an 11-1 technical fall victory.
Perez’s win was the first individual bout victory by Gannon at its first national tournament.
“This season has been full of great experiences and lessons learned,” said Perez, who dropped her next two matches Friday – one by technical fall to Emmanuel’s Abby Nette and the other by pin to Adrian’s Zoe Nowicki.
“I’m glad I got to be a part of the first women’s wrestling program in PA and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”
Perez said it was most rewarding to be the first woman wrestler to move on to the second round of a national championship tournament, but she’s already looking ahead.
“I’m excited to see where I’ll be in tournaments to come,” she said. “I’m just getting started, and we Lady Knights are wrestling hard, making history every day.”
Gannon’s Mikayla Dockweiler, also competing at 130, fell to Jamestown’s Desiree Estrada, 10-0, in her first match.
But Dockweiler persevered and came back in the consolation bracket with two consecutive falls in her next two bouts to reach the third round, where she was pinned by Emmanuel’s Caitlin Cardenas.
During her second consolation bracket bout, Dockweiler had her second pin during the second period, earning her four points.
The third Knight to pick up a win was Caleeann Blarr (123) in her first consolation-round match against Campbellsville’s Megann Kiser.
She previously was defeated by Lakeland’s Maddie Ruckdashel, but rallied to win an 8-5 decision over Kiser before falling by pin to Alexandra Herle of Emmanuel.
Other Knights who competed were Paige Cook (136), Stephanie Floor (143), Danielle Floor (155) and Larissa Ramos (191), all of whom finished the day 0-2.
This was the team’s last match of its historic first season.
The Knights ended their season at 2-6, with both wins against Nassau Community College.
Perez led the team in wins (14), tech falls (6) and pins (5) for the season.
Cook and Perez led the team in dual wins with three each.
The Knights will be away from competition until the fall season, when they will look to again rewrite Gannon’s history books.

brittany metzler
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