NEWBERRY, S.C. -- The Lake Erie College wrestling team won three of four matches, including a dominating win over the nation's 20th-ranked team and took the fifth-ranked squad to the wire in posting a 3-1 mark at the Newberry College Duals Saturday (Dec. 8) in Newberry, S.C.
The Storm (6-2, 0-1 GLIAC) defeated Lindenwood University, 25-9, Limestone College, 25-12 and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, 26-10. UNC-Pembroke was ranked tied for 20th in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Poll while Limestone was listed among others receiving votes. Lake Erie's only loss of the day was a 25-21 setback to the event host, fifth-ranked Newberry, in the final match of the day.
" I am very proud of our guys and the performance they had out there today," said head coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "We have improved greatly and we are happy with our progress, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us."
Gillihan followed 125-pounder Ian Ross' (Newark, N.Y./Newark) decision with a pin to get the Storm off to a quick 9-0 lead against Lindenwood. Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston), Green and Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) all picked up wins in the opening bout for the Storm.
Ross, Gillihan and Tom McVicker (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills/Penn Highlands) got the Storm off to a 13-0 lead against Limestone with a major decision, decision and pin. Vandermeer, Green, Samijlenko also earned wins along with sophomore Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) at 174 pounds.
Against the 20th-ranked Braves, the Storm again jumped out early with victories by Ross at 125 and Gillihan at 133 pounds, respectively, and then distance themselves with three straight wins in the middle weight classes, including a big pin at 157 pounds by freshman Christian Baughman (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth). Vandermeer's decision at 165 pounds put LEC ahead 18-4 and Green and Samijlenko sealed the Storm's first win of the year over a ranked squad.
Gillihan's pin of Nick Lankford tied the Storm's match with Newberry at 6-6.Vandermeer, Zivcic and Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) all lost close decisions and the Storm trailed 25-6 going into the higher weights. Green earned a sudden victory two win over Jared Holiday at 184 pounds, followed by pins at 197 by Samijlenko and at heavyweight by Patrick to close within four.
"Our three guys that didn't lose a match really showed up and wrestled with a lot of hearth today," Hoogenboom said. "I thought overall we wrestled with a great deal of pride and our guys fought the whole day. "
The Storm will next head to Indianapolis, Ind. for the Midwest Classic Dec. 15-16.