PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Slow starts cost the Lake Erie College wrestling team in its first two dual matches Saturday (Feb. 9) at the Lake Erie Quad II, but the Storm were able to overcome a third slow start to upset 13th-ranked Mercyhurst University in the final match of the day at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
The Storm fell to the University of Findlay, 22-14, and King College, 21-15, before coming back to defeat the Lakers, 19-16.
Despite the overall results, the middle of the Lake Erie (11-6, 1-3 GLIAC) lineup was dominant, combining for a 10-2 record from 149-174 pounds. Sophomore All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) and junior Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) led the way with each going 3-0 on the day. Redshirt sophomore Mikey Samijlenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) also went 3-0 at 197 pounds.
In their opening match, the Storm fell behind seventh-ranked Findlay (11-8, 2-2 GLIAC) early, losing the first four bouts to trail 15-0. But they responded at that point to win four of the next five matches. Vargo earned a 15-2 major decision at 157 pounds and Vandermeer followed with a 4-2 win over Mason True in a match-up of top-eight nationally-ranked 165-pounders. Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) picked up a 10-2 major decision at 174 pounds and Samijlenko earned a 3-1 decision at 197 pounds to make the score 18-14 heading into the final bout of session I. Findlay's seventh-ranked Andrew Tumlin major-decisioned freshman Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights), 10-1, to post the final margin in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) dual.
The Storm started the second session against King (5-3) in the same fashion, falling behind 12-0 before again racing back to make it a match. Sophomore Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) got it going with an 11-5 decision over Nic Stella at 149 pounds and Vargo made quick work of Jordan Reece with a pin 25 seconds into their 157-pound match. Vandermeer decisioned John Austin Jones, 3-0, to tie it 12-12. The Tornado earned close decisions at 174 and 184-pounds to retake the lead before Samijlenko edged Cody Davis at 197 to cut it to 18-15. Once again coming down to heavyweight, Garrett Fosdyck held off Patrick, 4-2, for the six-point team win.
The final dual of the day started the same, with the Storm again falling behind early. A major decision and a pin in the first two matches had LEC in a 10-0 hole. But again, the home team responded. In his first action of the day, junior Tom McVicker (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills/Penn Highlands) got the Storm on the board with a 14-10 decision at 141 pounds over Nick Hannan. Ball picked up a 5-3 win over Michael Griffith and Vargo earned a bonus point with a 16-5 major decision over Tyler Berger.
Vandermeer withstood a strong challenge from Clint Schaefer for a 8-6 win and Zivcic put the Storm up 17-10 with an 11-3 major decision at 174 pounds for a fifth straight LEC win. After Eric Lundgren scored in the closing minutes to defeat Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) 5-2 at 184 pounds, Samijlenko clinched the win for Lake Erie with a 10-6 decision over Tyler Landfried at 197.
In addition to the three wrestlers at 3-0, Ball and Zivcic finished at 2-1.
The Storm closes the regular season Tuesday night, Feb. 12, with a nonconference match at Ohio Valley University.
#7 University of Findlay 22, Lake Erie College 14
125: Ben Sergent (UF) pinned Ian Ross (LEC), 2:44
133: Nick Goebel (UF) dec. Austin Gillihan, 6-5
141: Joey White (UF) dec. Cobey Fehr (LEC), 5-2
149: Jan Ulinski (UF) dec. Nate Ball, 4-2
157: Zak Vargo (LEC) maj. dec. Jordan Cowell (UF), 15-2
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) dec. Mason True (UF), 4-2
174: Dylan Zivcic (LEC) maj. dec. Alex Betts (UF), 10-2
184: Adam Walters (UF) dec. Zev Green (LEC), 9-3
197: Mikey Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Ashton Brown (UF), 3-1
Hwt: Andrew Tumin (UF) maj. dec. Almonte Patrick (LEC),10-1
King College 21, Lake Erie College 15
125: Jerelle McCabe (KC) dec. Ian Ross (LEC), 5-2
133: Collin Crume (KC) pinned Austin Gillihan (LEC), 3:55
141: Marcelle McCabe (KC) dec. Cobey Fehr (LEC), 8-4
149: Nate Ball (LEC) dec. Nic Stella (KC), 11-5
157: Zak Vargo (LEC) pinned Jordan Reece (KC), 0:25
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) dec. John Austin Jones (KC), 3-0
174: Dyvon Passmore (KC) dec. Dylan Zivcic (LEC), 3-1
184: Brandon Tressler (KC) dec. Zev Green (LEC), 4-2
197: Mikey Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Cody Davis (KC), 3-2
Hwt: Garrett Fosdyck (KC) dec. Almonte Patrick (LEC), 4-2
Lake Erie College 19, #13 Mercyhurst University 16
125: Willie Bohince (MU) maj. dec. Ian Ross (LEC), 12-0
133: Dylan D'Urso (MU) pinned Austin Gillihan (LEC), 4:08
141: Tom McVicker (LEC) dec. Nick Hannan (MU), 14-10
149: Nate Ball (LEC) dec. Michael Griffith (MU), 5-3
157: Zak Vargo (LEC) maj. dec. Tyler Berger (MU), 16-5
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) dec. Clint Schaefer (MU), 8-6
174: Dylan Zivcic (LEC) maj. dec. Angelo Bortoluzzi (MU), 11-3
184: Eric Lundgren dec. Zev Green (LEC),
197: Mikey Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Tyler Landfried (MU), 10-6*
Hwt: Jeff Pollard (MU) dec. Bobby Zappitelli, 3-1
* Lake Erie deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct (Samijlenko)