Wrestling in front of a home crowd of 1,200 in Grace Hall for the first time in over a month, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks easily defeated their EIWA rivals the Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania.
Early on many fans were disappointed that the most anticipated match of the day at 184 lbs. never materialized. Penn’s senior Lorenzo Thomas , an EIWA runner-up, and 11-1 on the season was a late scratch from the line-up.
So in the opening bout of the afternoon, 5th ranked Nate Brown for Lehigh made short work of Penn’s Joe Heyob, pinning the freshman backup in the very first period. 6-0 Lehigh…thank you Mr. Thomas.
From there Lehigh ran off four straight wins going into the intermission. Elliott Riddick (197) earned a major decision over Carson Stack displaying an impressive array of takedowns in the victory. At 285 LU’s man-mountain Doug Vollaro was efficient in dispatching Patrick Garren 8-1. Lehigh’s big man outweighed his opponent by 40 lbs.
Back to the little men at 125, freshman sensation, Lehigh’s Doug Parker (5-1) electrified the crowd with another dominating performance defeating Penn’s Jereny Schwartz 18-5. Parkers only loss of the season was to Penn State #10 ranked Jordan Conaway, 4-3. Expect great things from Mr. Parker.
At 133 Lehigh’s Mason Beckman avenged two previous career losses to Penn’s Caleb Richardson, winning a close bout 3-2. At times tentative and cautious, the deciding takedown was scored late in period 2. Expect these two to meet again late at the EIWA’s. Beckman is ranked #6 in the nation but will need to show more in the coming months to improve upon his national position.
Local favorite Randy Cruz brought a five match win streak into the bout at 141 against Penn’s Jeff Canfora (6-3) and picked up the win 8-1 with several counter takedowns and subsequent back points. Probably Lehigh’s most dangerous mat wrestler, Cruz just missed another pin in period 2. Long, tall Randy just improves with every match. Look for him to crack the top 10 in national ranking.
Lehigh freshman 149 lb., Drew Longo just missed upsetting Penn’s senior captain C.J. Cobb, losing 7-5 in one of the more exciting bouts. Cobb’s superiority on his feet proved to be the difference, but he had his hands full.
At 157 Lehigh’s Will Switzer from Severna Park, MD., defeated Penn’s freshman May Bethea, Trenton, N.J., in a closely contested bout, 6-3. Normally a 149 lb., Switzer carried the action throughout putting a smile on coach Pat Santoro’s face.
At 165 lbs., Santiago Martinez, defeated Quinton Hiles 8-2. Martinez, last years national club champion from Oviedo, Florida dominated the match against Penn’s Quinton Hiles. Mr. Martinez is another of Lehigh’s rapidly improving newcomers.
The final bout of the evening at 174 lbs., was won by Penn as Lehigh’s Marshall Peppleman was victimized by a curious call resulting in 3 back points while in command of the match midway through the second period. A late reversal was not enough as Dan McDevitt prevailed 6-4.
Check back for highlight videos of each match
No rest for Lehigh as they square off with the Broncos from Rider University 2.p.m. , tomorrow again on the mats of Grace Hall.match