JOHNSTOWN, PA. – Two straight victories had the Lake Erie College wrestling team in position for an upset of 12th-ranked University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown midway through the team's nonconference dual meet Friday night (Jan. 11) before the Mountain Cats won three straight matches to thwart the Storm's bid and pull out a 23-13 victory at the UPJ Sports Center.
The hosts jumped out to a 13-3 lead, but Lake Erie's first win was a big one as sophomore Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) earned a 2-0 decision at 133 pounds over eighth-ranked Dave Fogle. The victory was Gillihan's 11th in his last 12 matches and upped his overall record to 17-4 after moving up in weight after being a national qualifier at 125 pounds last season.
The Storm (6-3), who won four of 10 matches on the evening, then jumped back into the match with a pair of victories at the middle weights.
Junior Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) picked up a major decision victory at 157 pounds, defeating Joel Paolo 10-2. Sophomore All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) went to triple overtime, but ultimately pulled out a 4-2 win over Kevin Ryan at 165 pounds that brought Lake Erie within 13-10.
The victory by Vandermeer was his 20th win of the season (20-4), 16 of which have come by decision.
The Mountain Cats (5-2) picked up back-to-back decision victories at 174 and 184 pounds to distance themselves at 19-10. Nikos Garofola clinched the match for the Cats with a major decision at 197 pounds.
Freshman Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) scored in the closing seconds of overtime for a 3-2 win at heavyweight in the final match of the night.
The Storm will look to bounce back into the win column on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Millersville University.
#12 Pittsburgh-Johnstown 23, Lake Erie 13
Friday, Jan. 11 | UPJ Sports Center (Johnstown, Pa.)
125: Evan Link (UPJ) won by major decision over Ian Ross (LEC), 11-2.
133: Austin Gillihan (LEC) won by decision over Dave Fogle (UPJ), 2-0
141: Dave Cawley (UPJ) won by pin over Cobey Fehr (LEC), 3:58
149: Jack Bachman (UPJ) won by decision over Nate Ball (LEC), 8-5
157: Zak Vargo (LEC) won by major decision over Joel Paolo (UPJ), 10-2
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) won by decision over Kevin Ryan (UPJ), 4-2 (OT)
174: Gary Lantz (UPJ) won by decision over Dylan Zivcic (LEC), 7-3
184: Travis McKillop (UPJ) won by decision over Zev Green (LEC), 9-4
197: Nikos Garofola (UPJ) won by major decision over Devin Smith (LEC), 14-5
285: Almonte Patrick (LEC) won by decision over Josh Duplin (UPJ), 3-2 (OT)