No. 7 Lakers Claim Final Match, Edge Cardinals Wrestlers

WHEELING, W.Va. – In front of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestling crowd at the Wesbanco Arena, the Wheeling Jesuit wrestlers went toe-to-toe with another NCAA Division II Top 10 team, but fell short. The No. 7 Lakers of Mercyhurst claimed the final match and edged the Cardinals, 21-18, Friday afternoon.

With both teams claiming five of the 10 weight classes and eight team score lead changes, No. 5-ranked Andrew Weldon recorded a major decision over Maxwell Lacey at 285 for the Mercyhurst (6-3) point difference. WJU (9-4) picked up a Greg Brusco (157) fall along with decisions by Nolan Whitely (133), Daniel Romero (141), Keegan Driscoll (174) and Terrance Fanning (197).

"It was great to perform in front of the OVAC wrestling crowd today as it gave them a reason to stick around," said WJU head coach Sean Doyle. "We have never beaten Mercyhurst and have never been that close. I felt we were the better team, but we let this one get away from us. From top to bottom, we didn't wrestle great today."

The match started out positively. At 125, freshman Jake Donahue gave up only a second-period takedown, before he lost a close 3-0 decision to No. 1 rated Willie Bohince.

"Jake really battled Bohince, especially with how he rode him in the third period, which was very encouraging," added Doyle.

Whitely started his 133-pound bout strong with a trio of first-period takedowns of Jeffrey Sisk for a 6-2 lead. Sisk tied the match, 6-6, early in the second with a near fall, before Whitely rebounded to outscore the Lakers wrestler, 8-2, over the final 2:34 for the 14-8 decision.

Tied at 3-3, Romero trailed 6-3 after two frames to Mercyhurst's Joel Bowers. The Cardinal registered a third-period takedown and four-point near fall to regain the lead. Bowers pulled a late reversal, but Romero held on for the 10-8 win and a 6-3 WJU lead.

Logan Grass recorded the biggest surprise of the match. Grass trailed Dominick Nania, in the 149-pound match, 6-2, early and turned the tables in the third period for a fall at 5:48.

Brusco helped WJU regain the lead at 157. The freshman scored big in the first period for a 10-1 lead and maintained an 18-6 advantage before he pinned Cole Gavin with eight seconds left on the clock.

No. 1 ranked 165-pound Francis Mizia showed his might against Nic Skonieczny in a 16-1 tech fall and put the Lakers back on top 14-12.

In his first lineup appearance in dual action this season, Keegan Driscoll put in a solid outing. The sophomore 174-pounder held a 4-2 lead and went on for a final late takedown and 8-3 final score.

In the back-and-forth match, Michael Green gave the Lakers back the lead, 17-15, as he took a 14-11 decision over Nate Starkey at 184.

Fanning kept his momentum going in his 197-pound matchup. The redshirt sophomore dominated his match and took away a 7-2 win to set up the Cardinals with a one-point, 18-17, into the final bout.

Weldon held off the very game Lacey as Mercyhurst was able to have the lead last.

WJU will go back to work Saturday morning as part of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Invitational held at West Liberty. Matches start at 11 a.m.

No. 7 Mercyhurst 21, Wheeling Jesuit 18
125 – Willie Bohince (MU) dec. Jake Donahue (WJU), 3-0 –– MU 3-0
133 – Nolan Whitely (WJU) dec. Jeffrey Sisk (MU), 14-8 –– Tied 3-3
141 – Daniel Romero (WJU) dec. Joel Bowers (MU), 10-8 –– WJU 6-3
149 – Logan Grass (MU) fall Dominick Nania (WJU), 5:48 –– MU 9-6
157 – Greg Brusco (WJU) fall Cole Gavin (MU), 6:52 –– WJU 12-9
165 – Francis Mizia (MU) tech fall Nic Skonieczny (WJU), 16-1 (6:32) –– MU 14-12
174 – Keegan Driscoll (WJU) dec. Kevin Holman (MU), 8-3 –– WJU 15-14
184 – Michael Green (MU) dec. Nate Starkey (WJU), 14-11 –– MU 17-15
197 – Terrance Fanning (WJU) dec. Jamar Henry (MU), 7-2 –– WJU 18-17
285 – Andrew Weldon (MU) maj. dec. Maxwell Lacey (WJU), 8-0 –– MU 21-18

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